It is known that children have to pass through several stages in order to become adults. Most people pass through the following stages of growth: infancy (birth to age two), early childhood (3 to 8 years), later childhood (9 to 12) and adolescence (13 to 18). Those young people who are 18 and over are considered to be adults. The development of children ages 13 to 18 includes serious changes in terms of physical and mental issues. It is found that during adolescence, children learn how to understand different abstract ideas and develop the ability to understand moral philosophies, such as human rights and possible privileges in our society. In addition, they began to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships, learn “to share intimacy without feeling worried or inhibited”¯, develop a more self-esteem and self-confidence, etc. (Adolescent Development, 2012, para.1). Moreover, during adolescence, children have serious changes not only in physical development, but also in behavior. According to Aristotle, “the most important aspect of adolescence is the ability to choose”¯, and self-determination is the main sign of maturity (Santrock, 2009, p.12).
My goal in this paper is to analyze my own adolescence, the developmental period of transition from childhood to early adulthood, that involves biological, cognitive, and social emotional changes.
THE MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF MY ADOLSCENCE
In order to define the main characteristics of my adolescence, I will try to represent that major facts from my biography that will help to discuss the key issues of this paper. I spent my adolescence in Brazil, where I lived with my grandparents and my parents. We lived in one house and I had an opportunity to communicate with all members of my family on a regular basis. I had an opportunity to observe their behavior, listen to their stories and ask for advice. To tell the truth, I tried to analyze everyone in my family in order to take the best qualities from them. However, I should say that I did not have enough time to understand myself.
Today I can say that both my parents and my grandparents had enormous impact on my development. They helped me to develop my personality and to be self-confident and persistent. During my adolescence, I recognized that my grandparents were the positive role models for me, and I decided to follow their roles. My grandfather and grandmother taught me to be kind and honest, to respect others and love my family. They showed me their discipline, respect for religion and many other strong beliefs that I hold until today. As I was very skinny and tall, I used to be bullied at school all the time. My peers always tried to injure my pride. I treated them well, but some of them did not want to communicate with me because of my height. However, I decided to use my height in sports in order to avoid an inferiority complex. I decided to choose volleyball as my hobby. I should say that volleyball became both my life savior and my passion. Religion, music and sports were always very important in my adolescence. I was a sensitive and shy person, and I realized that my physical appearance was unique because I was tall and skinny.
I started to work at the age of 13 years old and I attended school until I became pregnant at the age of 16 years old. Pregnancy had enormous impact on my life and my behavior. I became more mature and more confident, although it was not an easy period in my life.Ā Then, I had to leave my school and work full time because my family needed money.Ā I always enjoyed my work because I earned money and was respected by all members of my family. It means I had to become an adult in my adolescent stage. I worked in the hospital and nursing home and enjoyed spending time with older people who were more experienced and wiser than me. At the age of 13, I told everyone that I would become a detective or a district attorney. I always fought for justice.