i've been reflecting a lot lately (when am i not?)
and i've noticed something about my peers.
they've either grown up a lot, just starting the process or not at all.
by the time you hit 24, it becomes glaringly obvious which state you are in.
and i dont mean to say that those who are in the "grown up" category are completely mature, or aren't constantly working on themselves... on the contrary, the reason people are in this group is because they are always aware of areas in their life that need improvement and work towards that. that's what makes a person mature in the first place.
and the category that you are in today has little to do with how mature you were in high school. i've noticed several of my peers who were considered mature in high school sort of stabilize there, and have not only made no positive changes since then, but actually several negative ones. in addition, ive seen several peers who i'd never hesitate to call immature in high school realize upon entering college or the real world that something has to change, and got their act together to become some of the most mature people i know.
and like always, there's a middle ground here. for you see, some people in the latter category may have made it to this point in life before realizing their need to grow and change, and are just now taking the necessary first steps to accomplish this maturity.
and like i said, its very easy to spot which category a person fits under at this age... especially once you realize their age. i recently informed somebody that i was the same age as another youth worker (who is somewhere in the middle of "not mature at all" and "starting to grow") and she did not believe me - she thought he was at least 3 years younger than his age, and that i was a few years older than my age.
i dont mean this to sound like an "im awesome and mature, and everyone should wish they were as adult as me" post, cause honestly thats not true at all... remember the part about us always growing, always trying to improve, seeing our flaws and working on them?.... yeah i definitely am there. "not that ive already obtained it...." you know the rest.
this is merely an observation. i was most intrigued by the fact that present maturity levels did not necessarily corresspond with high school levels...
::edit:: upon reflecting more, i wanted to clarify my definition of maturity. as a continuation of the "not already obtained it" thought, i don't think of maturity in the scientific sense, where a fully mature animal is completely grown. but in psychological sense, where i am in the right stage where i belong. think skinner, for instance. it's comparable to an IQ test, which is calculated by taking your intelligence age and dividing it by your real age...
because i would never presume to say that im completely adult, im fully mature. but if im acting like a 24 year old (or somewhere near that) as a 24 year old, then im doing pretty good.
which is why is perfectly possible for somebody to act like a 20 year old at 16 and be considered mature, but for that same person to not have grown at all and acts like a 20 year old at 24 and cause concern.
i would never expect my 12 year old students to act like my seniors. and id never expect my seniors to act like twentysomethings. and i hope nobody expects me as a twentysomething to act like a middle-aged adult.