University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Coming Of Age Personal Essay
Everybody experiences coming of age in their lifetime. Coming of age is the transition from childhood to adulthood. My coming of age started in the middle of my grade 8 year and has continued up until the present. So, for me coming of age has occurred from grades 8-10. The three steps that really defined my coming of age was my traveling to Europe, starting high school and getting my first job at Tim Horton’s.
My first step in my coming of age was traveling to Europe with my aunt and uncle. Firstly, I was not with my parents which made me feel more self-reliant. This was my first time riding on a plane and traveling for more than a week without my parent so at the time it seemed like a big deal. I felt that because I was not being watched over as heavily, I was more responsible and was growing up. Secondly, I was starting to travel the world for the first time and it made me think of my future. It reminded me that when I was old enough, there were going to be endless possibilities to what I could accomplish and where I could go. This is definitely an important step in growing up. Realizing that you need to start preparing for your future and start to figure out what you want to do and where you want to go. Lastly, I made new older friends that made me feel like I was growing up and expanding my “bubble”. The people I met were older then I was and were so friendly. I felt more mature around them. Meeting new people if all part of “coming of age”. This is why traveling to Europe was the first step for me to start maturing and to start coming of age.
The second step I took towards my coming of age was when I started attending high school at Sir William Mulock Secondary School. Starting high school was a big change from elementary because there was a lot more responsibility. The teachers do not come after you for late assignments and there is a lot more homework that is necessary to complete. This helped me prepare myself for after high school when my employers will need me to show initiative when completing tasks. So therefore, this was a big step in my coming of age. Secondly, when you are in high school, authorities start to treat you as a mature young adult. This means that they have fast paced learning
environments and expect you to show up for class. If you miss to many classes you will not pass the course. This taught me to push myself when I was tired or sick which is a big part of growing up. When you are an adult working full time, you can’t skip work when you aren’t feeling well. So for these reasons, starting high school was a big step in my coming of age.
The last and most recent step towards my coming of age was starting my part time job at Tim Horton’s. Having this job as my first job was a big responsibility. In order to keep my job I had to show up on time, manage my extracurricular activities and homework around working, ask a lot of questions and deal with co-workers. This added responsibility helped me to start to understand what working will be like once I have graduated high school. Thinking ahead for the future and obtaining responsibility is part of coming of age. Also, for this job I had to learn many new skills. When you are starting a new job there are many techniques you have yet to master such as operating the cash register and making food/beverages as well as customer service skills. Learning all of this helped to me feel more mature and useful. Lastly, the job provided me with a steady flow of cash. Earning money was something that I had never experienced before and it gave me a good feeling. It made me self-reliant , which is a big part of growing up. Having my own money and being able to spend it on what I want is also a test to see if I can make good decisions or not as well as teaching me money management. This is an important skill for when I have moved out. Therefore , getting my own job was the most recent step in my coming of age.
So for these reason, I think that my coming of age happened over my grade 8-10 years. I am not done growing up yet, but the main events leading up to this day that have started my coming of age were my traveling to Europe, starting high school and getting my first job. There will be many more events in my future that will continue my coming of age in the future, but for now I am young and am excited for the growing that I still have to do.