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Age is something that defines people throughout their whole life. When you turn 18 you can vote and become a legal adult, when you turn 21 you can drink alcohol legally and get a new license. Besides the obvious, age also undermines and holds expectations for people which can be overwhelming and frustrating. For example, college students are expected to have an idea of what their future is going to look like and if not then they can be labeled as irresponsible or lost. Yet when a middle schooler knows what they want to do in life and tries to pursue it, they may be viewed as “too young”. Society and the law has set standards for people of different ages, and while this can be beneficial it can also cause conflict and stress.


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A lot of people are taught that people who are older than yourself, retain more knowledge and experience, therefore making them more mature. Although this is true in many scenarios, people are raised differently and go through different life events. A person the same age as you may be less mature because they were raised in a lifestyle that contrasts yours. This can become controversial when people assume that someone of a younger age hasn’t experienced as much. Vice versa, where people older have experienced everything needed. A person the age of 50 may retain the same knowledge as someone the age of 18, depending on the education and experiences they have. 

In many cases, I have expressed a hardship to a friend where they provide me with advice that I don’t take. My friend may handle the hardship that way if it were their own, but I wouldn’t. Everyone deals with hardships in different ways, which can lead to steady or more maturity. One person may decide to learn from the obstacle and use it for the better, while another person may seek revenge or fairness from their point of view. Ultimately, people of the same age may have dealt with similar situations but handled differently which is where the maturity levels fluctuate. The stereotype that older people are more mature doesn’t always apply when a person of younger age has chosen to handle all challenges in life with sophistication. 

On the other hand, age does play a significant role in maturity and major life steps. For example, when you turn 16 you can drive a car without a parent. This is for the safety and well-being of yourself and others, in which experiences can’t overrule the chance of people getting hurt. The common saying that people who are older are more mature, formed because of many cases where this was true. The obvious points to understanding that more years of life means more time to gain wisdom from experience. Overall when talking about maturity, many factors come into play and can vary based on different situations. 


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When setting high or low expectations for people based on age, it can cause people to feel offended and discouraged. Instead, we should learn to be open-minded to the diverse amount of people in the world and their different lifestyles. The basic laws of age are set for various reasons, but when it falls on judging a person’s understanding because of their age, we need to take into consideration the insane amount of comparison each life has. Stereotypes exist all around the world, let’s not make age equivalent to maturity be one of these. 

Jaida Burgon

Cal Lutheran '24

Hi loves! I’m Jaida Burgon, born and raised on Oahu, Hawaii. Thus meaning I obviously love the beach and anything outdoors. My major is Communication, emphasis in Journalism and in my free time I love to read, write, and spend quality time with my friends and family.
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