So here I am, 25 and without my driving licence. For the first time I'm actually embarrassed about it. I had never considered that there would be a day when I'd feel judged for not having accomplished what my sister achieved six weeks after turning seventeen, or what my parents have been doing for a combined 70 years.
Being a tween or young adult can be rough, ridiculously confusing, and generally uncomfortable. (Hell, being an adult can be too.) Growing up, experiencing changes in your body, and feeling your crazy hormones running amok create a feeling of complete unease in your own skin. This summer, I ran a class called Girls' Lifestyle Camp for girls between the ages of 10 and 13.
Our society sends out confusing messages about when young people become adults, what level of responsibility they should have for themselves and what role they can play. You can smoke, join the army, leave school (this school year anyway) and have sex at 16, drive at 17 but you have to wait until 18 to drink alcohol in a pub and vote. Then you hit 21 and that still retains some significance.