The “Grow Up! But How? Becoming an Adult” panel on Thursday discussed what it means to enter adulthood in this day and age.
The panel took place in the Museum Collections building and was viewed by a mostly college-age audience.
The panelists began by defining adulthood. Frank C. Strasburger, an author and former priest at Princeton University, began the conversation with his definition. He said there were two main things that make a person an adult.
“When you begin to seriously wrestle with your mortality and when you realize you aren’t the center of the universe [you are an adult],” Strasburger said.
He said that paying bills, owning a house and raising children do not necessarily make someone an adult. Strasburger discussed how knowing one’s limitations define being an adult as well.
“[Parents] say you can do anything,” Strasburger said. “That’s not true.”
Karuna Jagger, executive director of the non-profit organization Breast Cancer Action, spoke about how parenting deeply affects growing up.
“We need to allow children to become an active participant in their own lives,” Jagger said.
She expressed her belief that asking children to do well in many things “is a recipe for feeling like a failure.” Additionally, she discussed how parenting style is in direct correlation with a child’s ability to truly grow up. Jagger concluded that to be an adult is to know how to nurture oneself.
The third panelist speaking was Allison Del Fium, a music journalist who works with the University of Oregon. Del Fium began with a simple statement, saying, “growing up is completely overrated.”
She talked about how not everyone meets the requirements that society sets for being an adult.
Del Fium also asserted “taking control of your destiny” is what makes someone an adult. She said that being an adult on paper is not the same as being an adult in real life.
Contact CU Independent News Staff Writer Maris Westrum at firstname.lastname@example.org.