It always seemed easier to stare from the outside, adults seemed to have it all, freedom, no one to be accountable to, and the ability to spend money as one pleased. However, stepping into their shoes and looking from the inside did not feel like the fairy tale it was posited to be. Responsibilities will be the awakening needed to the new reality. Countries differ on the age of majority and determination of full legal capacity. In countries like Scotland, a 16-year-old is considered to be of full legal capacity while most states approve of the age of 18. How realistic is this law in human assessment; are 16-year-olds equipped mentally, socially, and economically to face the world?

A factor that has been distinctly relied on as a source of validity for the determination of a mature mind is 'education'. Education is a contributing factor that has helped sharpen the intellect of man and quickened the mind, it stands as a major socialization influence that makes up modern man hence birthing rapid economic and social growth. Despite the best that education has to offer, can it truly validate in the general application the point of maturity in humans? It is safe to say that the educational system has been built to teach and equip with knowledge in every sphere of life but the practicality of this knowledge is a different matter. Not all 16 and 18-year-olds are capable of being financially independent despite being educated and declared adults. There is still a need for further guidance and mentorship. The bird should not leave its nest just because it can fly, an adage applies to this situation.

Experience has a different influence on the psychological development of individuals. In certain situations, the specific events that are experienced will shape the extent and speed with which people mature. In other words, not all people of a particular age will be at the same maturity level. The psychological development of a child born in a war-stricken country would be much disparity of a child born in a relatively peaceful nation.

Society has built certain milestones to define the requirements for responsibility in the systems. An instance is shown in the legal system, an adult of full legal capacity will be tied to the full extent of the law for the crime they are charged. Also, in certain countries, an adult at 18 is not allowed to drink until 21 years of age but is only seen as an adult to the extent of a franchise and driving license. The age of consent in most nations like the United States is 16. Scotland's “Children and Young People Act 2014” which has the support of statutory guidance includes young people reaching the age of 18. These are examples that illuminate the terms put into defining people differently in contexts.

Hence, most people are not referred to or recognized as adults solely because of their ability to handle their selves psychologically, financially, and in terms of social interaction but because they meet certain requirements that have been set by the government of society. Professor Peter Jones, a professor at Cambridge University who spoke to the BBC in 2019 explained that, through a scientific investigation, they were able to prove that humans do not become adults till they are 30 years of age based on brain development.

Using Scotland as a case study, is it justiciable for a 16-year-old who is under the “Children and Young People Act 2014” which is supported by statutory guidance to bear the full brunt of the law if found guilty due to the reason of attaining the age of full legal capacity? In the event of the non-availability of safe and secure accommodation in a young offender's institution, a young person can be temporarily detained in an adult correctional facility. This is a question that should serve as a torch to illuminate and guide on a topic juxtaposing the age of legal majority and criminal persecution of juveniles.

Manipulation is an antagonist to emotional intelligence; it is the naivety that follows the inability of a person to comport themselves and handle matters with correctitude. Emotional intelligence is the backbone of financial maturity and aids in social relationships. An individual who lacks emotional intelligence is unable to see through the fog of manipulation and is subject to many pitfalls. To attain the status of adulthood there should be a deliberate effort to become discerned emotionally. An instance is the case of Brittany Navarra, a 16-year-old who was tried in California as an adult due to the horrendous nature of her crime where she masterminded a murder and accordingly manipulated her 18-year-old boyfriend at the time into perpetrating the crime for her. This is a clear case where age was not the question of mental and emotional superiority; the capability of Brittany to act so vilely and commit murder is a shred of evidence to the fact that human ability whether psychological or physical should be determined in isolation to their peculiar circumstance and the exact matter for consideration with this instance stated. It also expresses the fact that an older person as perceived by society does not always have the upper hand when faced with manipulation and the complexities of life in general.

Adults have been defined as fully grown human beings or a person reaching the legal age of maturity. This definition is lacking and unable to answer the question of who is an adult in practicality and to the full extent of its nature. This deficit definition has unfortunately become the standard and has been striving through generations, society, and government. Correcting this misguided and stereotypical conclusion would not be an easy feat.

Given all stated, an adult to the extent of this work is defined as an individual who emerges from society equipped with a sense of maturity in personal finance, social interaction, integration, emotional intelligence, and awareness of self. The definition of an adult must be divorced from the mediocre submission of defining an adult through the attainment of a certain age. To meet the criteria that can form man into an adult is specific to each person, it cannot and should not be generalized. It can be agreed to the fact that attainment of a particular age should set certain limitations or lead to access to certain rights and freedoms but this should not be the basis of accessing and qualifying an adult. Emphasis is to be made on the truth that reaching the legal age of majority does not make one an adult.

It has been established in this work that mental development as a result of various experiences and one's immediate environment is a determining factor, in their growth and eventual adulthood. It is of paramount importance to pay keen notice to the mental development of any child before ascertaining their status as adults. Experience amongst others has further questioned the efficacy of the definition of an adult in this age we live in. Who becomes an adult is tailored to each person and no universal qualification can answer this question.