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Is there a manual for growing up?

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Written by   9
2 months ago

In different countries and continents around the world, being an adult or as they say a legal adult varies from one age to another. In my country the legal age is 18, at that age you are legally recognized as an adult, you are supposed to be treated and looked at as one. As an adult there are certain things you’re expected to have the capacity and the capabilities to do, you are expected to act in a certain way, speak in a certain way and in some cases you are expected to have had or acquired certain experiences, assets and skills. I then ask myself if a particular cut out template has been set for grown-ups and adults, then is a specific manual or set of guidelines and instructions for growing up.

When a person is born, you are born into a family, which in terms of nationality belong to a local government, state, country and continent. Growing up there are some things which play a role in and shape that process of growth; your nationality, the country and continent you’re born in play a role in the characteristics of your environment, such as the economy, security situation, educational standard and opportunity, lifestyle and others. For some people in terms of ethnicity, faith and beliefs, they are born into an ethnic group, a culture, religion and belief which also play roles in a person’s upbringing. Parents and family contribute their own quota to the upbringing of their children and the young ones around them. Education and academics; schools and teachers play a role too, a person’s access to education would depend on various factors, finances, opportunity, health and also support.

Not to take away the natural progression of growth that takes place from childhood, biological changes, eating habits, diets, behavioral changes and all other things which happen naturally as we progress in age. The intellectual, psychological, mental and emotional growth though is what’s mostly affected by environmental factors, level of exposure, culture, religion and other factors that make up a person’s lifestyle, experiences and play a role in their upbringing.

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Level of exposure is important in the growing process, good and healthy exposure of course, as it gives room for interaction and learning. In a country for instance where the economy is down and struggling, security is bad, educational opportunities are limited and people are literally struggling to survive and get by; a person who’s born into this kind of environment may have to struggle extra hard to feed not to talk of going to school and studying. If such a person is able to study and get through school, get a job and starts working in the same environment. Their level of exposure and experiences won’t be the same with a person who was born in an economically stabilized country with better security and affordable and accessible education.

Culture and religion, being another factor, does guide and limit the lives of some people, some children born into a particular culture or religion may later decide to follow suit with what they were introduced to or change and deviate into another direction of their choice, but all in all culture and religion does guide the practices and choices of people.

Parents and family as well, help in the key upbringing of a child, the training and upbringing they give to their young ones also depend on the level of exposure, education, knowledge and information that they themselves have acquired. Finances, health, support, opportunity and accessibility play a role in determining the level of education a child would possess.

If there are different people born into different families, states, countries, continents, ethnicity, cultures, religion and beliefs; with different financial status and capabilities, different health conditions and different levels of exposure, their experiences wouldn’t exactly be the same too. That means; they won’t all finish school or graduate at the same time, they won’t all start work at the same time, they won’t all get married at the same time nor have their own kids and start families at the same time, they wouldn’t “grow up” at the same time.

The conversation of being an adult and all it entails should be relative and not specific. A person shouldn’t be referred to as being too slow or too fast in terms of being a grown up just because of their biological age. Some people younger than the legal adult age have had to “grow up” and take up responsibilities in place of their parents due to different situations or circumstances. They are now seen to be grown up at a younger age, not everyone has that experience and they “grow up” at a different pace. Everyone strives for success, progress and excellence whether it is in academics, career, relationships and life. It won’t all happen at the same time and at the same pace for everyone, and it doesn’t mean they are not growing or that they are growing up wrongly. Even in terms of relationships and friendships, whether it is romantic or platonic, a person’s level of exposure, acquired information, knowledge and education plays a role in determining the success and quality of those relationships. Since all of these are determined by factors that differ for different individuals, it is only normal that their experiences and achievements at different ages would differ and vary.

If there was a cut out, specific manual for growing up, one that was designed to get us all grown up properly and at the same time, then it would be a question of following the instructions and guidelines but I haven’t come across it yet and I am now learning to accept that everyone’s pace is different, our experiences are different too, because we are influenced by different factors which affect us differently. Hence we might not all gain, acquire and possess information, knowledge, skills and assets at the same time, which means we might not all “grow up” at the same time. The process I think is important as it also helps in grooming and maturing us as individuals, the process though sometimes similar, is experienced differently from person to person. We should be encouraged and supported through the process regardless of the biological age, we learn and grow every day, and should be encouraged to do so and not discouraged because of age or the presence or lack of  achievements.

Thank you so much for reading.

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