Adolescence is a relatively recent thing in human history -- a period of years between the constraints of childhood and the responsibilities of adulthood. This irresponsible period of adolescence is artificially extended by long years of education, much of it wasted on frivolities. Tenure extends adolescence even further for teachers and professors.
The purpose of adolescence is to revise the past, not to obliterate it. . . . Adolescence entails the deployment of family passions to the passions and ideals that bind individuals to new family units, to their communities, to the species, to nature, to the cosmos. Therefore, given half a chance, the revolution at issue in adolescence becomes a revolution of transformation, not of annihilation.
Louise J. Kaplan
It is not however, adulthood itself, but parenthood that forms the glass shroud of memory. For there is an interesting quirk in the memory of women. At 30, women see their adolescence quite clearly. At 30 a woman's adolescence remains a facet fitting into her current self.... At 40, however, memories of adolescence are blurred. Women of this age look much more to their earlier childhood for memories of themselves and of their mothers. This links up to her typical parenting phase.
Terri E Apter
We have the most prolonged adolescence in the history of mankind. There is no other society that requires so many years to pass before people are grown up ... Adolescence is nurtured and prolonged by educational processes and by industry that has found a bonanza in embracing the adolescent population and fortifying 'adolescent values.' This prolongation of adolescence robs the country of the population group having the most risk takers, and the highest ideals.
Something about the turbulence of adolescence makes you want to do something creative... I thought as I got older I would stop writing about it, but I find adolescence, and popular depictions of it, very interesting. I like to see where my own life intersects or diverges from notions of what a teenager is supposed to be, or what a black person is supposed to be, or a woman.
Americans invented adolescence. It is not a natural phenomenon. Adolescence is a social construct, created by an urban-industrial society that keeps its young at home far past puberty. Teenage angst is a luxury if a successful modern human conceit that isn't condoned by our superior species.
Sarah Beth Durst
Perhaps a modern society can remain stable only by eliminating adolescence, by giving its young, from the age of ten, the skills, responsibilities, and rewards of grownups, and opportunities for action in all spheres of life. Adolescence should be a time of useful action, while book learning and scholarship should be a preoccupation of adults.
I feel that adolescence has served its purpose when a person arrives at adulthood with a strong sense of self-esteem, the ability to relate intimately, to communicate congruently, to take responsibility, and to take risks. The end of adolescence is the beginning of adulthood. What hasn't been finished then will have to be finished later.
Adolescence has been recognised as a stage of human development since medieval times--long, long before the industrial revolution--and, as it is now, has long been seen as a phase which centers on the fusion of sexual and social maturity. Indeed, adolescence as a concept has as long a history as that of puberty, which is sometimes considered more concrete, and hence much easier to name and to recognize.
Terri E Apter
Adolescence hits boys harder than it does girls. Girls bleed a little and their breasts pop out, big deal, but adolescence lands on a guy with both feet. . . . Your body is engulfed by chemicals of rage and despair, you pound, you shriek, you batter your head against the trees. You come away wounded, feeling that life is unknowable, can never be understood, only endured and sometimes cheated.
Infancy is the realm conveyed to us in dreams which look backward to the past. Adolescence, more like a work of art, is a prospective symbol of personal synthesis and of the future of humankind. Like a work of art that sets us on the pathway to new discoveries, adolescence promotes new meanings by mobilizing energies that were initially invested in the past.
Louise J. Kaplan
The troubles of the 20th century are not unlike those of adolescence -- rapid growth beyond the ability of organizations to manage, uncontrollable emotion, and a desperate search for identity. Out of adolescence, however, comes maturity in which physical growth with all its attendant difficulties comes to an end, but in which growth continues in knowledge, in spirit, in community, and in love; it is to this that we look forward as a human race. This goal, once seen with our eyes, will draw our faltering feet toward it.
Kenneth E. Boulding
I think one is naturally impressed by anything having a beginning a middle and an ending when one is beginning writing and that it is a natural thing because when one is emerging from adolescence, which is really when one first begins writing one feels that one would not have been one emerging from adolescence if there had not been a beginning and a middle and an ending to anything.
Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.