Raymond Finzel

Well Done Human / Well Done, Human

It's my birthday, and although I've made many a promise to myself to keep the quality of my writing high (obviously), and not rush the process, I can't resist the opportunity to reflect a bit on human, and my own, personal development.

I'm frequently upset at how well highschoolers of the past seem to communicate. Like, actually mad. It seems as though the modern educational system, for all of its benefits, is incapable of turning out students that are as articulate and well-formed as the systems of yore. This includes me. Have you read my blog? It's bad.

Everything is confounded by the lowering of barriers to entry for high school education and a trillion other factors, but I believe that something is happening to our youth: it's getting longer. Stable families raise children that take longer to mature. Loving mothers in middle class homes have created environments for their children that shelter them from the outside world, and it's taking longer and longer to mature. If we're going to shelter children from traumatic (but formative[ turnin up the heat ]) events (we should), then they're not going to bake as quickly.

This isn't terrible: I'm pretty sure it's a good thing. Smoking at 18 or drinking at 21 seem pretty unwise when you consider that human brain development isn't done until the ripe old age of 25.

Development timelines that take advantage of this fact and work hard to shape minds while they're still pliable are pretty incredible. We need to encourage baking at the right temperature and for the right amount of time so our adults aren't too doughy.

That being said, it's important that we stop believing 18-year-olds are adults. They're just big children and need the guidance, support, and lenience that [big] children do.

None of this means that young brains shouldn't be challenged: the opportunity for growth and human development are unprecedented during the young adult years. But if we're going to put off all of the big challenges until college then we need new tools to train adults, and when college students ask to be sheltered from scary ideas, we need to understand that they are children asking us to do so. College students are a little under-baked. They need more time in the oven to develop the flaky crust.

Some policies and rules already seem to support the conclusion that "young adults" aren't quite done yet, including the ACA's clause that allows [kids] to stay on their parents' health care until the age of 26, the fact that car insurance (and car rental) is more affordable at 25 ([kids] are dumb), you're not allowed on a Holland America cruise without a supervising adult until you're 25 (okay that's just mean), and some bars have 30+ nights (understandable).

So when does adulthood begin? From wikipedia:

The first juvenile court in the United States was established in 1899 in Cook County, Illinois. Before this time, it was widely held that children 7 years old and older were capable of criminal intent and were therefore punished as adults.

Yeah, that's pretty insane. Seems like 7-year-olds were considered mostly adults. So, since we've moved beyond being able to make full sentences as criteria for adulthood, and we've moved beyond treating sexual maturity as adulthood (who in today's right mind would treat an 11-year-old girl or a 13-year-old boy as an adult), maybe we can finally formalize our precepts of adulthood, and align them with our knowledge of brain development.

So how do I feel at 26 years old? I feel like I'm finally out of the oven. Fully cooked. Maybe a little doughy, but if I was left in any longer I would have burned.

The Great British Bake Off is a great television show.