Personal Essay on Transition from Childhood to Adulthood

PersonalEssay on Transition from Childhood to Adulthood

Thelife of a human being is associated with development process withdifferent stages from conception, to birth, to naming, baptism,marriage, to initiation, and finally death. The rite of passage isthe transition from one stage of life to another that is a greatphenomenon. For example, transition from childhood to adulthood ismajor process, both to the individual and the society at large.However, this transition must be marked with rites of passage thatdiffer from one community to another. Mine, the Yao community is noexception. We have an elaborate rite for both girls and boys. Thistransition from childhood to adulthood commonly happens at pubertystage between the age of fifteen and twenty. This is when theindividual is first capable of sexual reproduction and is grownenough to handle responsibilities that are more serious. Essentially,most communities conduct a rite of passage to landmark this specialevent in their culture. This project investigates the rite of passagepractise in my community, ways in which the practise is part ofethnic identity, and the changes it has undergone in the 21stcentury. In addition, I will also share my own experience that markedmy transition from childhood to adulthood. Further, I will give myvalues, principles, tastes and beliefs were transformed.

Accordingto Connolly (2), infant die to become a child, while a child die tobecome a man. He gives an example of a lobster and it stages ofchanges. At first, the lobster grows and shed off a series ofprotective shells. Whenever it expands from within, it shed theshell. The lobster is then vulnerable. Afterwards, it recovers andreplaces the old shell. Similarly, human being undergoes similarchanges. From one stage of human growth, the individual has to shedprotective structure. Whenever a person is vulnerable to the cruelauthenticity of the world, then, he or she must come up with skillsto navigate these pitfalls. Since time immemorial, the transitionfrom childhood to adulthood has played a significant role in humandevelopment. Specifically, rite of passage is an important aspectadolescent (Connolly 2). In history, there has been painfulexperience to those people who do not undergo transition. Forinstance, the participant may result to substance abuse, youthsuicide, teen violence, and other crimes.

Inmy community, the rite of passage is conducted through a ceremony.Prior the event, the initiate has scarce information to drawessential conclusion from it. Yao tribe define initiation as a rulethat is performed among all boys. It is only after initiation that ateenage boy becomes an adult man. Correspondingly, the adult man isthen entitled to observe the community cult. Surprisingly, theinitiate boys are expected to fast during initiation period. Inaddition, a drum and a sword are placed under the initiate bed torepresent the Shaman instrument. During this period, the boys learntribal dances, life skills, and more about their tradition.Unfortunately, girls and women are not permitted to attend thisceremony.

Themain aim of initiation among the Yao tribe is to welcome the boy inthe adult community. The initiates prepare for the occasion and theyall have distinct reactions. For instance, some are excited that theyhave finally graduated to adulthood, while others are sceptical andhave no ideas on what to expect. Initiates travels from differenttowns and cities to be part of this special event. There are muchexpectations, as well as high tension. Parents and family members ofthe initiates are joyous to celebrate their children. On the otherhand, they are also anxious and hope the event will be successful.Once the initiate undergoes this ritual successfully, he brings prideto the family and lineage. The occasion is graced with rituals ofpurification, dances, songs, and cleansing of the family. The boysgather as children, they then undergo the transformatory process(rite of passage), and later emerge as adult men. This makes anindelible mark and the boys are then identified as adults with fullmembership of the community. This ceremony is a very prominent and ispassed from one generation to another. They take the practise veryseriously and ensure every adolescent boy undergoes the rite. Tenyears ago, I was one of the boys who underwent the ceremony.

Riteof passage is important in ensuring the continuity of the community.In most communities, the event comprises of other practises. Forexample, in my community, people belief that the ceremonies relate uswith our ancestors who are known to offer protection and giveblessing to the initiates and the whole community. According to Young(101), rituals reveals values and people express their values anddefine who they are. In Yao, a man is a reflection of the society wayof life and the rite define his acceptance in manhood.

Inmy case, since the rite is mandatory to all male adolescent, then Icould not be an exceptional. However, I was also my pride to be eventof the ritual. After the rite, my life greatly changed. For instance,I lost some of my friends who did not undergo the ritual. Accordingto my community, once a person becomes an adult man, you cannotcontinue hanging out with boys. Nevertheless, majority of boys whoundergoes the ritual are still young hence, it is not easy for themto relate with elder men. In addition, my values, tastes, principles,and beliefs also transformed. During the process, I underwent everystage with a lot of curiosity and anxiety. At the end of the process,I had made some positive outcomes. I had learnt how to be healthy,stay safe, achieve economic well-being, and make a positivecontribution. During the event, participants are taught how to life ahealthy lifestyles, how to engage in decision making, positivebehaviours, positive relationships, as well as developself-confidence to significantly deal with challenges in life. Rightnow, I have now regret as to why underwent the ritual.

Inthis era, there are several changes in the ceremony of theses. Unlikein the olden days, people are very busy to attend the ceremonies. Inaddition, some people see no need to under the rituals and theyconsider them as outdated activities. Globalisation and rural-urbanmigration has also contributed to the rites losing their meaning.Once people move to urban areas, they mix with people from othercommunities and they tend to forget their tradition.

Inconclusion, the rite of passage from childhood to adulthood is acritical aspect for every individual. It acknowledges that a personhas grown up and can take responsibility over their life. Researchshow that lacks of acknowledgement to womanhood or manhood, theparticipant divert to other ways to should the changes. These riteare important to the individual and community development. Werner,Emmy,and Ruth (56) postthat the people should take the process with seriousness. It is notautomatic that people grow and become responsible adults.


Firstof all, this is one of the exciting assignments that I have done.Narrating my own experience was awesome. Prior staring thisassignment, I flashed back ten years when I was a participant in theritual. I remembered very aspect and every occurrence that happenedback then. I contemplated the most important issues that I wouldinclude in the essay. I also planned the essay from the start to theend. The essay had an introduction paragraph, body paragraphs, andconclusion paragraphs. In the introduction paragraph, I gave thesummary of the essay and its thesis. In the body paragraph, I gavedetails information about transition passage from childhood toadulthood. Here, I gave my personal experience. In the conclusionparagraph, I gave a recap for the whole essay

Themain purpose of the essay was to narrate my experience of fromchildhood to adulthood. In addition, the essay gives an overview ofthe rite in my community. Having these main objectives in mind, thenit was easier to work on the whole essay. During peer review, Iconsulted my friends on the best topics to choose. However, most ofmy friends differed in opinion since most of them are from differentcommunities. Finally, I decided to write on my own experience thoughI still bought some ideas from them. At the end of the essay, I washappy with it. I also gave one of my friends to read it through, andshe complemented me for the good work. Indeed, he said how ourtraditional differed from his community. When planning for the finalportfolio, I made the first priorities to select spelling mistakes,sentence structure errors, and punctuations. Actually, the essay hasminimal errors that I corrected. Overall, the whole process ofwriting the essay was good.


Connolly,Barbara H. &quotTransition from childhood to adulthood.&quotPhysical&amp occupational therapy in pediatrics21.4 (2002): 1-2.

Werner,Emmy E., and Ruth S. Smith. Journeysfrom childhood to midlife: Risk, resilience, and recovery.Cornell University Press, 2001.

Young,Richard A. Transitionto Adulthood: Action, Projects, and Counseling.New York: Springer Verlag, 2011. Print.

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