Today is terrible.






My bike does not work properly, although I just bought it through Amazon last week. The chain keeps falling off the gears and makes noises while I use it to climb hills。

I stopped, got off the bike, tried to fix the chain and put the chain back to the gears. I thought it should work now, so I got on the bike, tried to ride, but the chain got off the gears again after 10 seconds. I tried 3 times but ended up with the same result.

I thought the bike could help me save time but it turned out that the time I spent on fixing the bike obviously outweighs the time been saved on moving between academic buildings.

Okay, that’s all the complaints. Now I guess I have to do the adult thing, thinking about how to avoid the same mistake in the future, I told myself.

I should never have ordered a bike online. The quality of a T-shirt might not matters that much, but the quality of a bike certainly matters a lot since it is something you expect to use every day. It is hard to tell the quality of the bike through online ‘detailed’ photos. You have to go to the shop, touch the bike, see if the height fits you and have a trial, feel if the chain and gear cooperate well.

This is the third week of college and the third week since I am legally 18.  Yes, that’s right, I am trying to be an adult.

When I was a little girl, I feel like a grown-up every time I go to school by myself, start to drink coffee, wear mom’s high heels and always dream about how wonderful it will be if I am an adult.

But, that’s not true. ‘Adulting’ is not always great and contains more beyond that.


I am not sure about how to define ‘adult’ since I always feel like I am not qualified to call myself an adult. So I checked  the dictionaries. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘adult’ as “A fully grown person who is legally responsible for their actions”. The Collins Dictionary defines ‘adult’ as “A mature, fully developed person”

It seems that ‘adulting’ is closely related to  fully grown/developed.

Since teenagers in 21th century American start to learn dressing up like adults at a young age. It becomes relatively harder to distinguish a teenager form an adult based on the appearance.

But the insides of teenagers and adults are very different. Only with tons of  experiences like the bike problem I mentioned before, struggling with choosing the future career path, can teenagers finally become adults. Just like what Thomas Hine wrote in  the article “Rise and Decline of Teenager”, “teenagers were provoking a lot of anxiety” . The experiences might be frustrating, horrible, exhausting; we may always feel anxious since our abilities cannot reach our desires, but the challenges we overcame and things we learned from the mistakes are what will finally make us adults instead of  simply “childish grown-ups’.



1.Thomas Hine | ”Rise and Decline of Teenager”

American Heritage | september 1999 | Vol. 50 | Issue 5



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4 Responses to Teenager+___?___=Adult

  1. Andrea Guerrero Garcia says:

    The first thing that came up in my mind while reading your post was: OMG, I totally feel you! I want to say that I completely identify with the feeling of being thrown into a world where we are supposed to act as “adults”, when we literally just came out of high school. We are often given this idea, this fantasy, that growing up is an easy process, that being an adult is great. We are told we are going to be independent, that we will be able to decide on our own and be the rulers of our own lives. But they omit the part when we are supposed to deal with a wave of responsibilities we aren’t used to, with a ton of new requirements that we weren’t expecting or we don’t know how to handle.
    On the other hand, I wouldn’t say buying a bike online was a childish error of you to make. I believe it was actually a step in the right direction. Yes, it might not have turned out as you expected, but it surely made you realize the reality behind online shopping and the future considerations you may want to take into account. But as they say, we fall to learn how to stand up, that is the key to maturing, the key to becoming a better person and eventually be seen as a true adult, someone who isn’t frustrated with failure but motivated by it to keep on climbing the rough path that will take you to maturity.
    So, as a wrap up, I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your post, as it was truly relatable and I only wanted to encourage you to see, that you are more of an adult than you think, so do not fear it.

  2. Adam Verga says:

    Your post is very engaging and one of the better ones I have read thus far. The way in which you start off with an anecdote and use it as an example of thinking like an adult is clever and well written. I agree with the concept that becoming an adult come with a change in thought process, and that this psychological change is more important than physical growth. In many ways, the two are independent. Someone may not begin thinking like an adult until much later in life or not at all depending on personal experiences that may have led to inconsistent or ineffective thought. If this mental maturation were the only criteria, then the time at which someone becomes an adult is not set by the law or by the genes most likely, but instead by the experiences, traumas, schema and relationships of the individual. Also, could I one day decide to become an adult and do it just by changing the way I think?

  3. Mingyuan Zhou says:

    I was totally engaged by your essay as soon as I looked at your topic. The title was so interesting that I can’t help reading the entire one extremely carefully. I can even imagine the scene all those difficulty you met in the campus and above all, your resilient spirit to overcome all these obstacles. I really wish you good luck in Georgia Tech.

    I can see through your experiences for these three weeks, your confused, multi-oriented and disappointed emotion, which represents all the moods along the way of become an adult. I don’t know why adults like to distinguish us just through a clear age like, (I’m still not an adult yet,) but I do know that we can all treat ourselves as adults in college, being mature, fully-developed and self-controlled in all. Indeed, people like to judge us by various means, by criticizing the distraction we faced in front of digital networks, or disdaining the incomprehensive career path we designed, etc.

    Never mind. We will never disappoint the society because we will try to achieve the balance of life, starting by the procedure from teenagers to adults.

    It’s just my personal view about your essay.

  4. Yingnan Zhang says:

    Firstly, I am really impressed by the title you made: a math equation, which is concise, but clearly shows that you want to write about the difference between adults and teenagers. And after reading your blog, I got to know that we should fill in the blank with “the experience gained from mistakes and challenges in life”. Is this correct?

    Secondly, I really agree that nowadays, people cannot identify teenagers and adults by merely observing their appearance. But from my perspective, this phenomenon is not only caused by the teenagers’ dressing ways; this is also probably because we tend to be precocious nowadays. This can be caused by changes in genetics due to migration of our parents or grandparents, and the improvement in nutritional supplies. So instead of dressing ourselves more mature, we are truly reaching physical maturity in an earlier stage. Also, there are cases where people who could not achieve physical maturity because of physiological reasons. So we have to say that it is not reliable to identify adults from teenagers according to their appearance.

    Finally, I agree with your point “the insides of teenagers and adults are very different.” So what exactly does “insides” mean? Does it mean psychological maturity, one’s experience of solving problems, or the ability to making better choices? I think it would be better if you point out the meaning of the “insides” and use some space to illustrate what kind of difference lies between the “insides” of teenagers and those of adults. Also, according to my interpretation of Thomas Hine’s article, the “anxiety” in the quoted sentence is not teenagers’ anxiety; instead, it’s the “anxiety” caused by teenagers to the entire society, because there was a rising wave of juvenile delinquency in that society and many teenagers who are not satisfied with their current status tried to escape by getting married. So I think the quote here is not that appropriate to support your point of view.

    In all, I am totally for the point that the one of the difference between teenagers and adults is the experience gained from life; but there is actually another difference; adults should be responsible to themselves and know how to protect their rights, so here is a suggestion: if your bike has been of bad quality since you bought it, you could return it and get full refund directly instead of making a decision not to buy things like a bike online.

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