Friday, July 20, 2012

Forever Young (Developmental Psychology Seminar)
There is a NEW period in the developmental cycle.
We now go from
babies> toddlers> children> teens>
adults>; middle aged> senior citizens.
Emergent adulthood is the period after teenage life. After high school. Possibly during the starting years of college. But before marriage. Before a career. And before we officially move out of our folks' house.

Now, this does not apply to every culture. In some cultures it is perfectly normal to stay at home at least until you get married. Or even after marriage in other cases. But here, adulthood is usually described as BEING 18+ YEARS OLD/ HAVING A HOUSE AWAY AND INDEPENDENT OF YOUR PARENTS.

Emergent adulthood came from many different changes in Western society. I have been told that in many European countries, once you graduate from school at about 18 you can generally begin working in a trade or profession and start on a track to a permanent career.

But in the USA this is not always the case. Few people get married or begin a career at 18 years old. A high school diploma no longer leads to most permanent careers. And if you do not have a career or a job that pays well, you may have trouble moving anywhere.

Then comes the idea of schooling. Or shall I say MORE SCHOOLING. You already went to school from age 5-18. Now to start your life you must 
1) go to school AGAIN
2) acquire the money needed for housing and utilities and transportation and food
3) move to the new housing
4) possibly think of settling down and maybe starting a family...
Instead of this happening at age 18
it now can usually only happen once a person can
But in reality
WHEN YOU START STEP #1, AND YOU GO TO COLLEGE, DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU GO IT MAY BE HARD TO FIND FUNDING. Some campuses offer many options. And other campuses don't offer flexible schedules. Some areas surrounding colleges don't have affordable housing even for people who have careers. And with the recession, after graduating college, many students found it hard to be placed in permanent, reliable jobs OR those who found jobs may have gotten laid off.

People as a whole are now starting careers later, OR not getting careers started... they are getting married later on in life... they are having kids when they are older than their parents were when they had them... they are in more debt because of school loans... they are in credit card debt as well... AND NOW WE DON'T EVEN KNOW WHEN WE START TO BE CALLED ADULTS...

Living in a society and American culture, where there are no official rites to passage to signify that you are now an adult, we can only go by the definitions set for us. It is just a little funny and strange that now becoming an adult is blurry.

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