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Scientists Reveal We're Not Fully Adults While In Our Twenties

Once we get past the teen years, there can be huge amounts of pressure to be doing certain things, like graduating university, buying a house or getting engaged.

But while we feel like we should be doing all these grown up things in our 20s, even though we definitely still feel like children, experts are now saying we're not actually adults until we reach our thirties.


In the eyes of the law in UK, people become adults when they reach the age of 18, but experts have said this is 'increasingly absurd.'

It goes without saying that people mature at different paces and different ages but new research suggests our brains are still going through some pretty major changes at the tender age of 18.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

Professor Peter Jones from the University of Cambridge explained: "To have a definition of when you move from childhood to adulthood looks increasingly absurd. It's a much more nuanced transition.

"I guess systems like the education system, the health system and the legal system make it convenient for themselves by having definitions."


Speaking ahead of an international neuroscience meeting hosted by the Academy of Medical Sciences in Oxford, he continued to explain: "I think the system is adapting to what's hiding in plain sight, that people don't like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.

"There isn't a childhood and then an adulthood. People are on a pathway, they're on a trajectory."

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

This idea is supported by Professor Daniel Geschwind, from the University of California in Los Angeles, who says education often misunderstands variability within individuals' brain development, by focusing on groups instead of individuals.

"These are larger questions that go beyond the science.

"There are individual trajectories... development takes place over decades. But this varies from individual to individual."

Perhaps we should all stop being so hard on ourselves.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Topics: Life, Life News, Real, Health

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Junior Journalist at PRETTY52. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the team in 2017. Contact her on

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