Getting a job, moving away from your parents, getting married, and having kids-for most of history, with the exception of the 1950s and '60s, people did not become adults in any kind of predictable way.
And yet these are still the venerated markers of adulthood today, and when people take too long to acquire them, or eschew them altogether, it becomes a reason to lament that no one is a grown-up.
Social constructs have real consequences: they determine who is legally responsible for their actions and who is not, what roles people are allowed to assume in society, how people view each other, and how they view themselves.
There is either no answer, or a variety of complex and multifaceted answers.
One way to measure adulthood might be the maturity of the body. Surely there should be a point at which you stop physically developing when you are officially an "adult" organism?
Personal industry, devotion to something bigger than oneself, part of a historical process, and peers who grow with you all play roles.
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