7 Things Young Adults Shouldn't Do if Adolescence Lasts to 25

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If 40 is the new 30, and 30 is the new 20, does that make 20-year-olds 10? Maybe, if you buy into the updated guidelines being given to child psychologists. The BBC reports that adolescence no longer ends when people turn 18, but rather when they turn 25.

Yup, apparently there are now three stages of adolescence: Early adolescence ranges from 12 to 14 years, middle adolescence from 15 to 17 years, and 18 and over is classed as late adolescence. I’m sure we’ve all known someone in his or her 20s that refused to act like a responsible adult, but come on. Let’s not excuse immaturity on “developing brain patterns.” One would hope that our brains continue to grow and mature throughout the years, and just because a 20-year-old might not be as wise as a 40-year-old doesn’t make them a child.

But if this is really going to be a thing, and these legal “adults” want to be classified as children to avoid grown-up responsibilities, then there are some privileges they should just have to do without.

  1. Drinking. This one is sort of self-explanatory. Adult beverages are for adults only.
  2. Driving. If a 25-year-old is still an adolescent, then a 16-year-old is practically a toddler. Hand over the keys until you’re mature enough to be trusted with heavy machinery, please.
  3. Credit Cards. It’s not free money, kids. You’re going to have to pay that all back someday. With interest.
  4. College. Do you really think children are responsible enough to choose a major and a career goal that will benefit them in the long run? Nope, let’s only let older people pursue higher education -- after they’ve learned a little about life.
  5. Voting. Children lack logical reasoning. They don’t get to pick our leaders.
  6. Tattoos. I know forever seems like the time it takes for spring break to get here when you’re 19, but tattoos are forever, and a dancing demon on your hiney isn’t going to seem like the best idea in a couple of decades.
  7. Sex. Think of how many STDs and abortions we could stop if there were a way to stop people from having sex until they were fully cognitive adults. Not to mention all the hurt feelings that could be prevented by young people getting too close too soon and getting their hearts broken.

Or you know, we can accept the fact that young adults may still be figuring out how to make a space for themselves on the planet, but they are adults and subject to all the responsibilities and privileges that come with it.

When do you think adolescence ends?


Image via Moyan Brenn/Flickr

aging, alcohol, drinking, emotional health, healthy habits, mental health, self esteem

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eupeptic eupeptic

It depends on the individual...


And crime rate statistics (pages such as this and this have charts near the bottom of the page) do show that peak crimes occur in individuals around the age of 17-18 with a gradual decline throughout the rest of people's lives.

Coles... Coles_mom

I agree completely (regardless of the tongue-in-cheek)! I truly don't think that 18 year olds should be voting, 16 year olds need to be driving, and most definitely 21 years olds should be drinking! Of course there is the mature exception, but from my own life experience- all of those things were way too early.

redK8... redK8blueSt8

I honestly think that its not too early, it's that responsibility and expectations have been put off too late. Think about it, back in "Little House on the Prairie" days people got married and started having kids at 16-18. Full time jobs, responsibilities, etc. Childhood ended as soon as they were physically able to help out. Instead of getting jobs, teens are getting Xbox. Instead of parent's requiring kids helping out around the house they're hiring maids. Adolescence didn't exist a few decades ago because a person when from child to adult with clear distinctions and obligations.


Most people need to put down the video game, put on some bigboy pants, and grow the eff up.

nonmember avatar Kate

People who speak from a position of privilege should think twice before casting judgement on other people. I live with my parents. I am still in college. I made the choice to live at home while in school so I can graduate debt free and move out promptly upon graduation. I go to school full time and have a job. Aside from my parents generously not charging rent or money for groceries, I take care of my own expenses. Many of my peers are extremely hard working. Although there are some of us who "sit around playing video games" it is not the norm. Most of my peers go to school and work full time jobs and STILL have a hard time making ends meet. Many are crippled with debt and the odds of getting anything beyond minimum wage is slim. Minimum wage isn't liveable anymore. We grew up being told that college was our ticket to success, and now we are entering a pitiful job market with tens of thousands of dollars of debt. Many of my peers are hard working, thoughtful, individuals. We are not lazy. We are not entitled. It breaks my heart to see my peers putting off their dreams of a house or having children because they can hardly afford to make rent. Those of us who are still at home aren't doing it to be lazy. We see how much our friends are struggling. I chose to live at home so I won't leave with debt. Some of us are just hoping to break even--shouldn't THAT make you upset, that we can't dream beyond that?

nonmember avatar Kate

Back in the "Little House on the Prairie" days, you could survive as long as you had a trade or skill. Children learned the trade of their parents. Blacksmith. Farmer. Seamstress. It's not so simple anymore. Having a useful skill doesn't automatically mean you will make money to survive or even thrive.
I don't know what kind of people you talk to, but most young adults and teens I know don't have maids to clean up after them. My brother is 16 and he just got his first job. My parents don't give him money and they don't let him sit on his xbox all day.
Instead of scrutinizing teens and young adults who are already being scrutinized and judged every single day just for being the age they are, maybe people ought to step down from their ivory towers and actually talk to them. Sure, you'll get some people who fit the stereotype, but you might be surprised at how many intelligent, responsible people there are out there.

redK8... redK8blueSt8

Yes, there are exceptions to this extended adolescence that we all can name. But sadly, they are just that, exceptions. The norm has become to put off, and the mentality of adolescence is what is the big problem, not the lack of opportunity.

nonmember avatar Kate

The cases I speak of are not the exception. It is the norm. I can count on one hand the number of people I know at university who don't have jobs by choice and fit this description of extended adolescence. Most college students/young adults work full time and some of them work multiple jobs. Their mentality is "How am I making rent this month. Can I afford groceries this week. Can I make my loan payment?"

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