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When becoming a teenager, it is easier to let feelings of being invincible control your life. They start to feel that nothing can harm you in a mental or physical state. As they grow, it is natural to act differently than they did in their younger years. For example, back then bullying used to be very tamable, in today’s world bullying is taken to the extreme. Kids today are now commiting suicide, taking guns to school to harm their bully and are doing many other things that put others in danger. Coming of age can also include the coming of age of things emotional, ethical, spiritual, physical etc. Moving forward regardless of the things that teenagers encounter is one of the main elements in coming of age.Things suddenly begin to change and the world which you once lived in is not the same anymore, and that is when you start to learn more about the new world you live in. However when a tremendous mind-blowing life incident occurs, teenagers specifically are forced to be brought out of ignorant and innocent mindsets and are faced with reality. Through their experiences in coming of age, teenagers become more mature about the way they deal with certain situations, the worlds they live in and their life in general.
In the novel The Outsiders, Ponyboy Curtis the 14 year old narrator of the book is stuck between a rock and a hard place. His parents passed away in a car accident and he lives with his two older brother Sodapop and Darry, not only are they financially disadvantaged but they are socially disadvantaged as well. He and his brothers are members of the Greaser gang, in the neighborhood that they live in being a Greaser means that they are juvenile delinquents to society. The greasers have a rivalry with the Socs, they’re the rich kids from the west side.Ponyboy is a very intelligent kid but the lifestyle he lives being a gang member sometimes over shadows that,he knows the things that his brothers and the rest of the member do are wrong be goes along with them anyway.
When teenagers have gotten older, certain things in their life and the world around them begin to change. They should began to learn more about the environment that they live in even if some of the things they learn make them uncomfortable. Ponyboy and his best friend Johnny who is also a greaser find themselves in a bad situation when they are beaten up by three soc boys and Johnny ends up killing one of them for drowning Ponyboy in a fountain. The two best friends ran away from their homes and hid in a church. Ponyboy had never been in the kind of situation before so he was not sure of how to handle it or what is was that they should do. They left so get food and returned to the church in flames with a bunch of kids in it. They went in to save the kids and in doing so they both got injured and were admitted into the hospital. Ponyboy had minor injuries but Johnny was in critical condition and later died. Ponyboy became very depressed to the point where he could not eat or sleep, he started to realize how vicious the world was. “Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.” (Hinton 147), those were Johnny’s last words to Ponyboy before he died. He was reminded Ponyboy to continue being innocent and pure and to never let anyone or anything mess up his childhood and take him away from his childhood.
Ponyboy and his older brother Darry would argue all the time because he would come home late, he was failing his classes and would act out of character, Ponyboy never understood why his brother was always on his back making about his safety and his grades. After his life changing experience with Johnny, Ponyboy began to look at life differently through his brothers eyes. “Darry looked real worried. I suddenly realized… he had given up a lot for Soda and me.” (Hinton 176). He realized in that moment that Darry has given up so much to take care of him and Sodapop. He dropped out of college to keep their family together and to take care of his younger brothers. In this moment, Ponyboy has transitioned into adulthood.
When a teenager is coming of age, not only is it a difficult journey for them but it is a difficult journey for their parents as well. According to ocrelationshipcenter.com, a teenagers coming of age is an emotional time for their families. Parents become heartbroken and disappointed when they began to feel that their child has everything figured out on their own and they no longer need them. Also, although teenagers are happy about this time in their life where they gain freedom, they sometimes are saddened and miss the safety that they had from their childhood.
The article also states that although teenagers are getting older and want to handle things on their own, they are still children and need to be guided. During this stage, teens become very unpredictable and unstable due to the fact that five percent of the brain develops when adolescence is over.This development also challenges teens to make good decision when it come to peer pressure and thinks that they are not used to. The best way for parents to handle certain situations when their teenager begins to become disobedient is to be calm no matter how bad it gets and to set boundaries. It is also important for parents to be very consistent with their children even when they have an enraged child on their hands.
In the world that we live in, social media is a big part of a child’s coming of age. Tools such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, all give people the platform to share their opinions on a certain things that will reach individuals all across the world. There are many teenagers that use social media as a primary source to find out what is going on in the world around them. Social media does contain firsthand accounts of history and are informative in terms of modern day cultures and trends. In there coming of age, teenager use social media as a gateway to many thoughtful blogs and online conversations that advance scholarly conversations and serve as a viable secondary sourced.
Social media is also help a teenagers coming of age because it helps them build friendships and helps them with job opportunities. Social media allows teens to communicate with friends and this increases online communication strengthens those relationships. Fifty two percent of teenagers that use social media say that social media has helped their friendships. Eighty eight percent say that social media helps them stay in contact with friends that they do not see regularly. Social media help teenagers with job opportunities because it gives them the opportunity to advertise themselves, teaches them how to networks and helps them find business opportunities. Eighty nine percent of job recruiters have hired their employees using social media with apps like LinkedIn. Social media has created numerous jobs and avenues of income.
The average teenager spends about twenty-seven hours on social media week. Although social media has a positive effect on children, it has its negative effects as well. Test scores for students who use social media 27 hours a week lower by twenty percent, it also shows that for every 93 minutes over the average 106 minutes spent on social media daily students’ grades drop 12 points. Cyberbully is one of the most negative effects of teenagers using social media, almost 800,00 minors have been harassed on social media and threatened to commit suicide.Teens are also higher risk for depression, low self-esteem, and eating disorders when they are being attacked on social media. In most teenager coming of age, they are negatively influenced by social media in a way that it affects their school work and the way that they treat other people. (McGillivray)
In the novel All The Pretty Horses 16 year old John Grady Cole is mourning the lost of his grandfather who left behind the ranch that he and his mother live in. In his process of mourning he is arguing with his mother to keep the ranch his grandfather left behind and he is trying to reconnect with his father who was a World War II veteran. Shying away from his problems at home, John decides to leave his home in San Angelo and heads on a journey to Mexico with his best friend Rawlins. While on their journey, a series of unfortunate things happened to John and Rawlins. They met a thirteen year old boy named Jimmy Blevins, he followed the boys around for awhile until they all split from each other. He also fell in love with the daughter of a ranch owner, her name was Alejandra.
Throughout the novel, John and Rawlins journey just kept getting worse, they were arrested and thrown into jail. They were accused of stealing horses and the only way they were able to be released was to pay their way out. Taking matters into his own hands, John got into confrontations with a lot of convicts, stabbing one of them and killing him. After a few days of being released, John and Rawlins left Mexico to never return again. “Way the world is. Somebody can wake up and sneeze somewhere in Arkansas or some damn place and before you’re done there’s wars and ruination and all hell. Sustained by a breath, trembling and brief. If only my heart were stone.” (McCarthy, 92) After all he’d been through on his journey, John Grady returns home only to find out that his father and the woman who has worked for his family for fifty years have both passed away. Being rebellious towards his family, finding unexpected love and leaving his hometown in a quest for some purpose in life, John Grady has experienced his coming of age.
It takes a series of events to happen in a teenagers life that transforms them from an immature child into a responsible adult. J.D Salinger wrote a novel entitled The Catcher in the Rye. The story follows the life of sixteen year old Holden Caulfield, who throughout his experiences in the novel transforms from an immature child into a responsible well rounded adult. He wanders around New York City and gains knowledge through his experiences there that teaches him life lessons and matures him. J.D Salinger wrote this book was to showcase coming of age and the changes in young adults.
In the novel, Holden Caulfield is being expelled from his prep school or failing tests in all of his classes.Holden decided to go back home to where his parents live, although this is not his first time being expelled from school, he does not want to tell his parents that he has been expelled once again. He decides to check into a hotel and stay there for a while. Trying to get rid of his bad mood, Holden decides to go to a local nightclub where he gets very drunk. He then goes to visit an ex-girlfriend and his sister Phoebe, the visit with his ex-girlfriend did not go as planned, but at his visit with his sister he was able to express how he really felt about his life.
Throughout the novel it is evident that Holden has no interest in being eager to learn about his growth into adulthood. He assures himself that adulthood is dishonest and unexciting and that is not something he wanted to be apart of. Although is does feel that way, as the novel unfolds we begin to see Holden come to terms with his unavoidable future. “Then the carousel started, and I watched her go round and round…All the kids tried to grab for the gold ring and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she’d fall of the horse, but i didn’t say or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off but it is bad to say anything to them.” (Salinger 112) This is a significant setting in the novel because in this moment Holden is letting go of his childhood while also appreciating its worth. Through his experiences in his coming of age, Holden Caulfield was able to realize that there was no way for him to escape becoming an adult and he needed to become mature.
At first Holden was very sure that adulthood was something that he did not want to be apart of. In the ending of the novel, Holden matures and begins to realize that losing innocence is something that no one can avoid as they grow up. His whole life revolved around the battle of innocence versus immorality. In the coming of age stage, one makes many mistakes and gains knowledge from them. Through his coming of age Holden was able begins to realize that being a child forever is not realistic and he starts to mature.
Overall, the coming of age process is not easy. This is shown through the three novels The Outsiders, All The Pretty Horses, and The Catcher In The Rye, where the main characters in each story had to go through very tough experiences to mature and help them through their process.

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