Emerging adulthood is a theory that proposes a new life stage existing between adolescence and young adulthood. This life stage has been observed over the past half-century in industrialized society (Arnette). As mentioned in the article, I believe this life stage is between eighteen and twenty-five. If I could compare this current generation and that of my grandparents, then I agree with the article’s writer, ‘ emerging childhood.’ for instance, my grandmother had her first child at the age of nineteen. This was considered a normal period for people to get into marriages and start families. Most men had a stable source of income at that time, and life stability came early. However, currently, this is the age where many young adults are indecisive about what they want out of life.
One of the features discussed in the article that make emerging adulthood distinctive is identity exploration (Arnette). I am 21 years old, and I fit perfectly into the age bracket of emerging childhood. Therefore, believe me when I say that identity crisis has recently been a major challenge in my life. I am currently exploring the many different possibilities in my love life and even my work life. I am yet to understand my identity, capabilities, and my limitations. This feature is relatable to my peers and me. My main challenge has been moving out of my parent’s house right into the uncertainty of college life. The many romantic and friendship frustrations I am currently enduring are a sign of my identity exploration.
Secondly, this emerging childhood age is the age of instability, as clearly put by the author. As we, the young adults, constantly explore our identities, what we want out of life, the people we want to associate with, and many more, our lives are always in constant motion with a roller coaster of emotions. In other words, this age is quite unstable. Furthermore, besides emotional stability, financial instability is also one issue that I go through. I have come to realize how high the cost of living is. It has forced me to juggle between school and part-time work. It is one hell of a hustle, I must say.
Emerging adults are most likely to move out of home at the age of eighteen or nineteen. In my case, I was only eighteen when I moved out. It was a scary time for me, especially since I had to go to a new state for my college education. Nevertheless, this emerging age has made me self-focused as never before. I have managed and still currently improving my knowledge, self-awareness, and trying out different skills. As the author Arnett mentioned, this is the time my peers in the emerging age bracket and I can make independent decisions about life choices and even the little decisions on what to eat or how to dress.
Another distinctive feature mentioned in the article is that many people in the emerging age bracket feel in-between most time (Arnett). I am currently at the stage where I do not know how to feel about my life. Sometimes, I feel, dress, and act like an adolescent, while I behave maturely like an adult. I may describe this stage as a transitional age.
Finally, I have found this emerging age to be an age of many possibilities. So many options are at my disposal, and all I have to do is choose wisely. I have great expectations for my future, and hopefully, it will turn out to be as I have imagined. I want to have a loving family with three children, a stable career, and a happy life. I hope to travel the world and test out new food and cultures. The author Arnett describes this stage as the hopeful stage.
In conclusion, the theory of emerging childhood is most likely to be factual. I have gone through all the features that make this stage of life distinctive. With all that being said, I believe this transitional age exists internationally, not only in my country but also in most industrialized countries.
Arnett, J. J. (2007). Emerging adulthood: What is it, and what is it good for?. Child development perspectives, 1(2), 68-73.