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  • Becoming an adult means having it all together.

  • But that's now how I feel when I think about my student loans.

  • Oh cool, and only 25 more years to go.

  • And I still like playing with toys...


  • And sometimes I feel like a mess.


  • Adulthood isn't about all that - it's really about your brain, the culture you live in, and how you function.

  • Neurologically speaking, your brain doesn't finish developing until your mid 20s.

  • That's when the prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that plans and controls emotions, is good to go.

  • Every culture defines adulthood differently, but a new category of development has come up across the world in industrialized nations: emerging adulthood.

  • It's a period from 18 to 30 where the goal is to figure out who you want to become.

  • Things are unstable

  • People move around, have different jobs, and don't really commit to any one thing.

  • Why is there a new stage of emerging adulthood?

  • People spend more time in school and are getting married and having kids later... or not at all.

  • Some scientists don't think emerging adulthood is a thing, and if is it's hard to know if we'll still be talking about it in the future.

  • I meanthis is what we thought 2015 would look like back in the 80s.

  • So yeah, in 2045, maybe we'll have a completely different understanding of being an adult.

  • The standards of previous generations don't work anymore.

  • 30 is the new 20.

  • This gets me to last part of becoming an adult - function.

  • You have to be able to do certain things on your own in order to become an adult.

  • These are called developmental milestones.

  • Adult developmental milestones can include staying healthy, controlling your emotions, defining your identity, developing relationships, finishing your education, holding a job, becoming financially independent.

  • That's a lot of stuff.

  • It's intimidating, especially when everyone seems to have all their shit together.

  • But no emerging adult has it ALL together.

  • It took me 11 years to finish my education.

  • I was totally dependent on my parents and student loans.

  • I got pretty good at living on my own and connecting with others, but I knew nothing about finances, and I wondered if I should become a psychologist.

  • I spent a few years dabbling with photography, which now that I think about it, helped me make this show.

  • The experience is different for everyone.

  • Some have to start working at a young age.

  • Others have the luxury of going to school for a long time.

  • But becoming an adult is like a video gameeventually your character is going to beat the level, but everyone gets to the end their own way.

  • The maturity of becoming an adult is understanding your strengths and weaknesses, practicing the things you struggle with, and getting help when you need it.

  • Choose a goal that's just beyond what you can do on your own.

  • Find a mentor.

  • That's what psychologist called the zone of proximal development: people learn best when they experience a challenge and get support.

  • Parents, your job is to help this process along, and as your child begins to function more like an adult, back off!

  • Otherwise, your young adult might be stuck in a state of arrested development.

  • What are your thoughts on becoming an adult?

  • Let me know in the comments below.

  • I'm @alimattu on Twitter. Be sure to like THE PSYCH SHOW on Facebook and click on BB8 development.

Becoming an adult means having it all together.

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B1 US adult adulthood emerging development developmental brain

How to become an adult

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    Shinichiro posted on 2019/11/27
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