Coming of age for me happened over time as I learned from my mistakes, it did not occur in an exact moment. Throughout the transition from middle school to high school, I learned that life is invaluable and to cherish each moment which helped me to mature. During the transition from middle school to high school, I gained a lot of knowledge from obstacles that I had to overcome which allowed me to become more grown-up. Going to HighSchool was very different socially and intellectually. On the first day, I knew no one and was exposed to a whole new environment. Being on Atholton’s field hockey team changed my whole perspective. It allowed me to have a close friend group and meet new people. Also, being a part of this team allowed me to learn team skills and how to be a better teammate as an individual. Not only did I learn team skills but I was also given responsibility to myself and the team. Being able to carry out such responsibility made me more mature.
For example, compared to middle school there are many more projects and homework in high school. To be able to keep up with sports and school I had to effectively manage my time. I also had to learn to manage my time and prioritize differently than in middle school. As I am also part of JROTC, I have multiple after school meetings. I had to be able to attend all practices for field hockey, JROTC, and make sure I keep my grades up. This experience taught me how to prioritize the most important tasks first, which was different from middle school. This experience was easier for me because going into high school I already knew the career path I wanted to go for. Although, going to high school was new, and there were times where I was confused about what decision to make. Sometimes choosing the wrong decision allowed me to learn the difference between right and wrong. Based on my transition, I believe that to come of age means that you need to have the capability to live on your own and learn from your mistakes, with responsibility for yourself and society.
The transition was different for my dad because he did not know which career path he was going to take at the time in high school. In high school, my dad was introduced to a computer engineering program outside of high school which he found interesting. He was not sure at the time if that’s what he wanted to join because he didn’t have a specific career path in mind. Although, he choose to join this program, which was a life decision he made because it led him to be a computer engineer as his career field. Based on my father’s experience I have learned that if you get an opportunity you should always take it because you never know the good that comes out of it. For example, when I was introduced to joining JROTC in eighth grade it was very new for me. At the time I was not sure whether or not I wanted to join, because I would b our of the district going to Atholton. This meant that I would not know anyone going there, but it was a life-changing opportunity. After joining JROTC, I met new people and learned many life skills. For example, I learned how to be more responsible and learned leadership skills. Also, was given the opportunity to lead a group of people as a team. Being part of the Raiders team on JROTC allowed me to expose myself to working with people I did not know as a team.
This experience also led me to maturity. Being a part of the Hindu cultural group means that I have priorities and must give time to my religion. In the culture of Hinduism coming of age represents that a boy or girl is mature enough to understand their responsibility towards their family or society. For example, every Sunday I go to a temple to worship our God and learn more history about my culture. Going to Sunday school was also a factor that allowed me to become more mature individually in my culture specifically. For example, I grow from learning about mistakes made in history. The historic rite of passage means to come of age as a Hindu, you are given the sacred thread, which is historical importance to all Hindus regardless of birth or gender. This thread marks the sacrament which initiates the child into society. Wearing this sacred thread on your wrist symbolizes that you have matured to be introduced to the society of adulthood. This religious ceremony is called Upanayana for children that signify their coming of age. During teenage years girls and boys go through have different ceremonies to celebrate their coming of age. For example, the rite of passage that males will go through is called Bhrataman, which marks adulthood. Girls celebrate their coming of age by having a ceremony called Ritushuddhi, which announces their maturity to the community. Culturally and socially coming of age to me means that you are mature enough to understand your responsibility towards your family and society.