The student news site of Hollis Brookline High School

The CavChron

The student news site of Hollis Brookline High School

The CavChron

The student news site of Hollis Brookline High School

The CavChron

Are Kids Beginning to Mature Slower?

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Jack Andrews
Andrew Eckman ‘24, busy working on his article. He has been called young-looking his entire life. “I feel like I look the same age as all the other seniors,” said Eckman.

 If you have ever looked back at high school photos from the past, you may think that the kids back then looked older or more mature. Is this a product of the way we think, or have people really begun to look younger?

It is no secret that technology is better today than it ever has been throughout history. Through the advancement in medicine, self-care products, food safety, and other conveniences, we have increased the average life expectancy by over 20 years in just the last century. An ongoing study that began in 1980 from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland found that people between the ages of 75 to 80 years in 2017 had seen a significant increase in overall health compared to the 75- to 80-year-old people in 1980. Through their research, they found that men and women between the ages of 75 and 80 years old had shown a significant increase in muscle strength, walking speed, reaction speed, reasoning, working memory, and verbal fluency as compared to people of the same age who were born earlier. 

The way people would style themselves (eg. hair, clothes, glasses) may be associated with old people and thus making us perceive old photos of people at the same age as being older than they really are. However, with the recent resurgence in the 70s era clothing trends, some kids are dressing as their grandparents did yet they still don’t look old. “Kids in my [graduating]high school look like kids now… I am seeing a late 70s, early 80s look [come] very much back,” said Lin Illingworth, a teacher at Hollis-Brookline High School. 

Improved skin and health care have likely played a role in how young people look. With more and more people taking care of their skin through skincare products, they are able to keep a “baby” face and look younger. 

Comparing images of kids in high school 40 years ago compared to today the difference in skin care is clearly visible.As a freshman [in high school] in a new building, people thought I was senior. They usually looked a little younger than me,” said Trevor Duval, a teacher at Hollis-Brookline High School. He claims to have never bothered with any skin care products and could attribute this to looking more mature at a younger age. Not only does skincare play a role, but so does the makeup some choose to apply to their face. Smooth and clean faces are often associated with youth and with more and more people striving to achieve perfect skin, it only makes sense that people may appear younger now. 

The way people act could also play a role in how we perceive maturity. There are certain traits that are associated with higher levels of maturity. To name a few, there is responsibility, patience, independence, being able to process their emotions, shyness, and much more. These traits seem to be declining in the youth as compared to the youth 30 to 40 years ago. “I’d say we act in some ways over our age and in other situations we act under,” says Ryan Cardin ‘24, a student at HBHS. The truth is, it varies from person to person. 

Kids have always been kids; humans haven’t evolved to age at a slower rate. There are always going to be outliers who, when cherry-picked, can make us believe people looked older at the same age in the past. However, there are things we can do to make ourselves appear younger. We can take good care of our skin, dress up to date, and act mature, but people will always look like kids no matter when they were born.

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About the Contributor
Jack Andrews, Staff Writer
Jack Andrews class of '24 is a first year journalism student and an exceptional individual who is most well known for his contribution to the renowned Monument Square Market. He has created a truly one of a kind style of pizza thanks to his experience living in other countries outside of the U.S. (eg. Japan, Germany, and Belgium). He has a true passion for travel and to help fuel this passion, he flies his dad’s airplane on occasion and gets free flight lessons from his ex-Air Force father. He is most interested in becoming an Architect and plans on going to Texas A&M University to pursue a degree in Architectural Design.  Despite this being his first year in Journalism at Hollis Brookline, he is an experienced writer and won “Best Story” in his first grade year back in 2012. He is totally pumped to have a fun and successful year in journalism.  

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