Category Archives: College

What exactly is adolescence?

What exactly is adolescence?

For many parents, understanding a bit about their teenager’s brain development can be helpful in navigating the sometimes difficult adolescent years.

But first, what exactly are the adolescent years?

What does the term “adolescence” even mean? Researchers and scientists have had a pretty difficult time coming to a consensus definition. Broadly speaking, the term means “to grow up” and refers to the developmental stage between childhood and adulthood.

The beginning of adolescence is usually pretty straightforward. The onset of puberty brings about some physical changes that are easily observed. The end of adolescence is a bit more tricky. When does one become an adult? It turns out, that answer varies significantly across different cultures and even within cultures over time. In the United States, our laws reflect this ambiguity. For example, one can often obtain a driver’s license at age 16, but cannot rent a car until age 25. One can sign a legally binding contract at age 18, but cannot consume alcohol until age 21. It’s almost like the department of motor vehicles, insurance industry, judicial system and FDA all have different definitions of what makes someone an adult.

Why is this?
It may have a bit to do with brain development. The limbic areas of the brain responsible for things like memory and emotion reach full maturity around age 18. However, the upper levels of the brain responsible for our most complex reasoning and decision making (often referred to as “executive function”) don’t reach full maturity until ages 23–25.

This means that many “adult” children aged 18–25 might still need a bit of help with their emotional regulation. This doesn’t mean they’re immature. It just means they haven’t finished developing their upper level brain structures quite yet.

This can be enormously helpful to keep in mind, especially for parents of college-aged students.

Eric McClerren, LAPC
emcclerren @ growcounseling.com

Adjusting to Life Changes

Adjusting to Life Changes

High School Seniors have graduated and are looking forward to heading off to college shortly. Parents are savoring the last few weeks that their children will be under their roofs. This is an exciting and anxiety-inducing time in a student’s life. As students, they are looking forward to exploring their identities, their own ideas, and…

Making Friends Post-College

Making Friends Post-College

Your college years are often an intense, shared experience where you are flooded with peers in the same life-cycle stage, everyone is in a new place, and most people are open to meeting new people and forming new relationships. Bonds are forged over being away from home for the first time, attending the same club…

The College Experience – Learning How to Budget

The College Experience – Learning How to Budget

Experience is a great teacher. We learn though successes, we learn through mistakes, and we even learn from the internet. This summer, we are helping our students learn before their college experience. We have pulled together our experience in working with some of the brightest students, experience from working on college campuses in counseling, student…

The College Experience – Conflict Resolution

The College Experience – Conflict Resolution

Experience is a great teacher. We learn though successes, we learn through mistakes, and we even learn from the internet. This summer, we are helping our students learn before their college experience. We have pulled together our experience in working with some of the brightest students, experience from working on college campuses in counseling, student…

GROW Counseling Office Locations
2964 Peachtree Road, Suite 760 - Atlanta GA 30305
4411 Suwanee Dam Road, Suite 310 - Suwanee GA 30024
200 Westpark Drive, Suite 130 - Peachtree City GA 30269

Contact
Call: 404.345.4149 
Email: info@growcounseling.com