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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Adulthood (07/30/09)

TITLE: The Four Phases of Adulthood
By Shakima Garrison


By society’s standards, a person is considered to have achieved adulthood by the age of 18. Society dictates that eighteen years is a sufficient amount of time for parents to groom their children. Once you turn eighteen, you step out into the world on your own and began making life choices. You’re able to buy cigarettes, get your own apartment, and go to college. In short, your life has completely become your own. There’s just one thing. You’re considered an adult now but you haven’t reached adulthood. Why not? Because adulthood consists of four phases: experience, regret, discipline, and commitment. At eighteen, your life experience is very minimal. Sure you’ve gotten a few scrapes and bruises, gone to parties, had a few girlfriends/boyfriends, and possibly even had your heartbroken but you still don’t have enough life experience to complete the first phase. Sufficient life experience is gained in the four or five years after the age of eighteen. Around the age of twenty-two or twenty-three, you’re still young, still having fun, and still carefree but hopefully you’re in college or at least living on your own. If you are, then you’ve made a lot more decisions since the age of 18 and possibly even made some that you’ll regret in the future.

Regret is the second phase of adulthood. Most adults think back on their past and realize all the mistakes they made. They think about the big life decisions that they didn’t realize were so important back then and wonder how different life would be if they’d walked a different path. These regrets cause them to recollect on how easy childhood really was. They began to remember how they had fewer bills, a lot more fun, and a lot less decisions to make. Most importantly they probably remember how nonchalant they were about everything. These memories lead to the one wish that all adults have. I call it “the time machine wish”. All adults at some point in their life wish they could go back in time and do things differently. Unfortunately, there is no time machine to take you back in time. However you can allow the bad decisions of the past to discipline you for the future.

Discipline is the middle phase of adulthood. Once you realize that you have to be disciplined in your finances, your career, and your relationships, your role in adulthood has truly began to develop. Your view on life will change and you will begin to prioritize. Those mistakes you recollected on during the regret phase will not start to show you which direction your life is headed in. As a result, you’ll begin to make choices that will lead you to where you want to be twenty or thirty years from now. In short, you will become committed to shaping your life into what you want it to be.

Commitment is the final phase of adulthood. Being committed to something or someone is a decision you make. The biggest decision any adult can ever make is turning their life over to God. But this isn’t an easy commitment to make. You have to be disciplined to be submissive to the Lords word. And you have to be committed to serving his purpose. Once you’re able to do that, adulthood becomes a breeze. You’re able to be an adult who’s traveling through adulthood, while getting the chance to be a child again. Sure you will have problems and unpleasant situations that will arise, but the great thing is you can turn those problems and situations over to the Lord. Just like when you were a child, you looked to your parents for protection and guidance. Now, during adulthood, you run to the Lord for protection. He will guide you to that prosperous life that you seek. Committing to the Lord shows that you’ve gained enough life experience to have regrets of the past that shaped your discipline of the future, which prompted you to become committed to achieving a better life. So in closing, please remember that age is what makes you an adult but life experience, regrets, discipline, and a strong commitment to the Lord is what places you in the midst of adulthood.

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This article has been read 281 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jeanne E Webster 08/12/09

You've compiled quite a list of adult experiences! A lot of detailed thoughts here. You certainly are a thinker!

Overall, your article is well written. Maybe a tad long, and remember to double check punctuation.

Your list gave me long reminders of my life's events. Good ideas for us all.