An Analysis of the Concept of Adulthood by Arnett

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Updated: Jun 28, 2022
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After reading the article, I’d have to say I agree with what Arnett outlines in his article “Emerging Adulthood”. He basically argues that adulthood no longer starts at 18, but rather later on around 24 or 25, especially in modern, industrialized nations like America. This makes sense to me, as we no longer get married in our teens, or go straight off into the workforce after high school. Since we are in school nine months out of the year for the first 18 years of our lives, we do not feel like we mature as much as kids used to when working instead of going to school was common.

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Personally, my parents didn’t let me walk to school until sixth grade, so I never felt like I had much freedom or independence, two things key to maturity. Even as I entered high school, it was just another four years of the same old thing to me. I also knew that I was going to go to college, so I never felt an impending entrance into the workforce as a force to become mature.

Since I’ve been around my parents for all of my life, I have always been influenced by their thoughts and ideas, and especially by their rules. Arnett says that in college and beyond is when we truly form our own identities and ideas. I agree with this, because college will bring a level of autonomy and independence which I’ve never had before. Being away from my parents, I’ll be able to make my own decisions, set my own rules, decide my own plans. I’ll be able to do what I want, without having to think about what my parents will say when I get home. Under my parents’ roof, I have not had many experiences, I have actually been pretty sheltered to the world. In college, if I so choose to, I will be able to experience whatever I wish. I’ll be able to form my own opinions of the world and of others, and become an individual. I’ll always have what my parents taught me in the back of my mind, but you can never truly believe something until you challenge it. In challenging my current ideas, I’ll be able to decide if they are what I really believe, or if I should believe something else instead. So, I do agree with the period of life called emerging adulthood, because no one leaves high school knowing exactly who they are, what they believe in, and where they’re heading in life.

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An Analysis of the Concept of Adulthood by Arnett. (2022, Jun 27). Retrieved from