Maturity Knows no Age

December 15, 2022

High school is a turning point for young adults when it comes to maturity. Spending four years learning how to become an “adult” results in varying levels of sophistication. While some embrace the grown-up role with poise, others seem to fall behind.

“I think maturity has a lot to do with confidence and how you treat others,” Freshman Studies teacher Kimberly Caipa said. “Having confidence in yourself and staying true to your own beliefs is a clear sign of maturity. Also, decision-making is a big part, such as responding to situations rather than reacting.”

While confidence in oneself grows naturally over time, maturity can also vary between ages and each individual. To some, maturity is defined by self-representation and one’s actions.

“Maturity looks very different for everyone,” senior Liban Tuni said. “But generally, the way that people hold themselves I would say, and choosing to be the better person in situations where ego and pride are involved are signs of adulthood. Those who have a lot of maturity do not let little things affect them.”

Tuni agrees that confidence plays a major role in stepping into adulthood, however, Wang believes that maturity is better characterized by being serious and attentive.  

“I don’t think I am mature at all,” Wang said. “I would categorize myself as an immature person because I don’t take anything seriously when it’s supposed to be. Right now I think that’s just how I am, my best friend is like that too. In some ways, it is a peer pressure situation, but I also consciously choose to be like that. Some kids are always focused; they always do their work and they don’t mess around, but to me, it just seems boring.”

There is no scientific measure of a person’s maturity and no concrete sign to show when an individual is fully mature. Instead, it is found that biological improvements and increased maturity are heavily dependent on life experience. Maturity is not a one-size fits all characteristic, as Tuni has found that there is a slightly immature side to everyone. 

“I don’t think we ever really reach maturity perse because we all still have parts of us that lean towards an immature side,” Tuni said. “Maturity is merely something that grounds you and allows you to assume responsibilities. The more responsibilities that you have, the more maturity you’ll acquire and the more adult-like you’ll be.”

After working in a high school environment for years and witnessing the growth in maturity that occurs in students, Caipa believes that adulthood really is more than simply an age. 

“I really think age is just a number,” Caipa said. “I think that there are so many eighteen-year-olds that are not ready to take on the responsibilities of adults. Maybe they don’t have the life experience or maybe they don’t have the competence that they need to make those wise decisions and respond rather than react to important situations. And then I think that there are a lot of younger people that are naturally wise, those of which I would trust to make adult decisions.”

Whether one is childish, wise, young, or old, they can choose to assume whatever level of maturity is most fitting for them. Being an adult is not a question of age, but a question of priorities.

“I think everybody has some maturity, you just have to find it,” sophomore Demetrios West said. “By really reflecting and figuring out your priorities, you can learn to be serious in those important situations. It is interesting to look back and see what you did at a younger age and throughout the years. Seeing my level of maturity, or lack thereof, helps me to improve upon it.”

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