Coming of Age
All creatures undergo various distinct stages through the lifecycle. However, the most interesting and intriguing path is that of human beings. The reason might be because God gave us the authority to oversee all other creatures on Earth. Therefore, all human beings must undergo through these distinct stages before we die. It all ends at death. The human life cycle begins at conception in the womb of a woman and stays there for a period of nine months before the child is brought to the world. However, most people think that life begins at birth, but that is not the case. After birth comes the infancy stage that lasts for about a year. Then enters the childhood stage which extends beyond one year up to the beginning of puberty and adolescence. The adolescence stage continues up to teenage which marks the transition period into adulthood. Adulthood is divided into two phases; the young adult stage which is when one has just reached maturity. After reaching the maturity stage, life continues, and people continue to age until death which marks the end of the lifecycle.
The transitional period between childhood and adulthood is what is referred to as “Coming of Age” although its context varies across cultures and religious beliefs. For example, in the United States of America, it is used to refer to between the adolescence and teenage phase. Coming of Age involves the psychological and physical changes from which the young one can be considered to be a mature person who is ready to be responsible for a variety of things as well as claim the adulthood rights.
During the coming of age phase, adolescents undergo various trials and triumphs. They involve a number of obstacles that must be overcome for one to be considered as an adult. However, besides the obstacles, there are successes and triumphs that contribute to the shaping up of who the adolescents will become. Most people may assume that coming of age varies depending the era one is in. For example, one may assume that coming of age in this technological era is different from that of the industrial period. Both the 1920s and 2000s have witnessed a number of radical changes across the world. It might be assumed that these changes have a significant impact on “coming of age” during these two different periods in the human history. However, coming of age during these periods is similar, the physical and psychological changes that adolescents experience when transitioning into adults are the same despite the differences between the times.
The coming of age varies across cultures and religions. In some cultures and religions, various events are conducted to mark that one has transitioned from childhood to adulthood. Such events include certain rites of passage or rituals to mark the recognition of one as an adult who can do what adults are supposed to do such as getting married, having a family, holding superior positions and owning property. This stage is accompanied by a number of changes considering how the society considers the young ones and its expectations from them. In some societies, once an individual has been considered as an adult, he is expected to move out of his parent’s house and pursue an independent life, while others expect him to take up certain roles. Some of the roles include being a mentor to young children, becoming the spokesperson for the family as well as run certain businesses of the family.
Although it is a usual thing for one to transition from childhood to adulthood as a necessary step in the human lifecycle, the majority of the young ones together with their families encounters a lot of obstacles during and after the transition. The majority are caught unprepared by the fact they are becoming of age, and they are required to begin a new life that adulthood has brought.
Unpreparedness into this critical stage in life throws the majority of the young adults into a spin where they find themselves in identity and status crisis in the society. They become overwhelmed by the external pressure from family members, friends, relatives and the larger society. The demand for them to be independent and champion their own life and maybe support their younger siblings confuses them further. However, there are a number of factors that come into play in regard to when young adults should start to be independent. The first factor is educational level, and they may be educated but unemployed hence unable to fend for themselves. Secondly, they may not be psychologically prepared despite them coming of age. This implies that they will need more time and support from other people to be well prepared to take the adult responsibilities in the society. Otherwise, pressuring them to stop being dependent may make them be depressed and make wrong decisions that could lead them to endless struggles in life.
The childhood phase is a period in which the children learn about the world. At this stage, they experience various factors that impact their daily lives that help them be strong adults when their time comes. However, they learn valuable lessons during their adolescence stage which helps them to become better adults in the society. Majority of them undergoes and accepts their realization that the society does not have equal treatment to everyone in the society. Not everyone has equal opportunity as they should have in the society. The sooner they realize and accept that the concept of equality is not applicable in the society, the better they get prepared for their coming of age.
Coming of age is a critical phase in the human life cycle since it is the determinant of the future of the young children. It needs to be approached with care and a well-designed framework that will enable the young people who are coming of age be ready and prepared to take adult responsibilities. Lack of preparedness may lead to depression and make the young ones make wrong decisions that may result in them enduring endless struggles in their lives.