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What is an adult? Share your stories...

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Dana Stevens | 16:24 UK time, Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The BBC Three Adult Season starts today and we want you to tell us what being an adult means to you. Is it something you look forward to or does the idea of having to be responsible scare you? Has something happened in your life that has forced you to grow up and become an adult?

We've asked some friends of BBC Three to share their experiences of becoming an adult which we'll be showing on telly from tonight. And here on the blog we're giving you the chance to watch some extra-special, exclusive versions of their stories. So have a look at what Reggie Yates, Kirsten O'Brien and Stacey Dooley have to say about becoming an adult. And don't forget to share your own stories after you've watched them

Kirsten O'Brien talks about responsibility and the pain of losing a parent:

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Reggie Yates talks about confidence and how his mother's strength inspires him:

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Stacey Dooley shares her thoughts on the kind of adult she wants to be and growing up with a stepdad:

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Share your story now.

The Adult Season starts TONIGHT on BBC Three with Underage and Pregnant at 8.30pm and Danielle Lineker: My New Stepfamily at 9pm.

If you're affected by any of the issues in The Adult Season and you want any help or advice visit the Radio 1 The Surgery website.


Dana Stevens is content producer for BBC Three online.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    An adult doesn't necessarily mean someone over the age of 18 or 21.
    An adult is someone who is grown up!
    And grown up doesn't necessarily mean someone over the age limit!
    I'm 17 years old and i grew up at a tender age of 12
    October 2003 i was almost 11 my cousin was born, my auntie had depression and her life was terrible, she had 2 of her children took off her as she had them at a very young age and couldn't cope!
    My mum decided to take on my baby cousin and he came to live with us!
    I've always loved kids and i helped out all the time..
    Christmas day 2004 my mum passed away and my Nan and Grandad came living with us, my Nan has had 3 strokes so my Grandad is her constant carer..
    The baby was to be looked after by my Grandad and i knew he wouldn't be able to cope so i acted as my 1 year olds cousin mother!
    I'd get up at 6am every morning give him a bath, give him his breakfast, get him ready, take him to nursery and go to school!
    After school i'd pick him up, take him home, give him his tea, amuse him until bedtime, give him a bottle and put him to bed and go to bed myself!
    Weekends i went out with my friends but i didn't like doing because i felt sorry for my poor old Grandad leaving him lumbered with my sick Nan and a child..
    I had no choice but to grow up, people may class me still as a child as i'm not 18 but i'm more grown up than a lot of 21+ people i know x

  • Comment number 2.

    I was a pretty avrage teenager... out to have fun, enjoying life to the full, compleatly care free! When I was 18 I moved out of my folks house and went away to collage... still enjoying partying, drinking, smokeing and doing a few things I probebly shouldn't have! I was far from grown up!
    Only a few months into my new life I found out I was expecting my son, so I had to grow up as soon as I saw the posative resolt in that test! Then a few weeks later my boyfriend started getting abusive, so I was on my own and scared!
    I never imagined it was possible for life to change so quickly and I would have to grow up so fast! But I did it! And I love my life as a mummy even if I am doing it on my own!

  • Comment number 3.

    I told my mum when I was 10 that I would never leave her, I would live with her forever - I remember her telling me I wouldn't feel that way forever.

    At 16 I fell pregnant during my GCSE's and made the tough decision not to keep it, it wouldn't be fair on me, my boyfriend or the baby. I kept it between me and my boyfriend, I didn't want to upset my parents as shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I lost my granddad, a man my mother and I loved very very dearly.
    At 17 I moved out of home and dedicated all of my time to my boyfriend - don't we all with your first love. I lived with him and his parents.
    If only I knew then what I do now.
    I fought tons with my parents who "didn't understand me or support me" if this sounds familiar, then read on. Hopefully you'll then realise quicker than I did how important your parents are.
    So I had abandoned my family, lost a child and my Granddad and lived with my boyfriend.
    I thought I was all grown up and experienced all I could. At 20 I had been and dropped out of uni and got myself a job at a bowling ally, rented a room and thought I had made it.
    After a tough break up with my boyfriend of 7 years I thought I could never recover. At 22 - After another year trying to get over an ex I was still very close too, I decided to go do a ski season, I was already independent - surely.
    I then met my current boyfriend and was enjoying skiing in France. We then decided to do a summer season. A year away from home can be stressful so I was on the phone to my Mum allot, telling her the ups the downs, everything. My relationship with her was finally starting to build again.

    A 23, We came home and got a flat together, my relationship with my boyfriend was fantastic, I was finally happy and NOW I was all grown up - right?

    24 and we were looking for permanent jobs, still building on my relationship with my parents - yet still stubborn to let silly arguments keep me from speaking to them for months on end. All the while it turned my Mum was becoming ill, and I was not always aware as I wouldn't be speaking to them, I was too grown up to be worrying about silly arguments, best ignore them.

    25 and it had been months since I last spoke to my parents after our last big argument. My Dad got a job abroad; my Mum could finally have the house to herself for a while.

    One night I got a phone call from my brother - who said, "Don’t worry too much, but Mum is in hospital with Jaundice. Don't come rushing over now but it would be nice if you would visit her tomorrow"
    Ok I was worried, I reasearched on Jaundice, it didn't seem that serious. I wanted to see her though, if anything were to happen, how could I leave it on such bad terms.

    The next day I went to visit her along with my brother and sister, I remember the big smile on her face. The first thing she said to me was "I'm so much more tanned then you" holding her yellow skin up against mine. I laughed, what a great way to break the ice.
    I missed her.
    After a day with her and knowing my Dad was flying home especially to be with her overnight.
    Visiting times were over, and she was growing tired and she seemed confused, saying things that didn't make much sense.
    We would see her again in the morning.

    My boyfriend and I spent the night with good friends to try and keep our minds occupied. I felt better.
    Very early next morning, I got a phone call from my Dad - Your Mum's taken a turn for the worse, come quickly.
    We did. When we arrived we couldn't see her, she was in intensive care. She lost 70% of her blood and her kidneys and liver were failing rapidly.
    I remember Dad saying, I don't want to talk about the fight - I quickly interrupted and apologised profusely and told him how stupid I felt for letting such a little thing get in the way of a healthy relationship with them for the last 10 years. I knew then not to let anything else get in the way ever again.
    We waited all day for any news.
    Finally we heard, she was also suffering from brain damage. Any kind of recovery would be unlikely, and if there were any chance it was almost certain she would be brain dead.
    How could this be??? Why weren't they doing anything? She's only 54!!

    We waited what seemed an eternity and we were told, we needed to say our goodbyes.

    12.30, me, my dad, my sister and my brother all in a room with her. Her fingers and teeth stained with blood. We weren't ready, but there was no choice. All I remember was screaming to the heavens. My sister at her head grabbing her hand, my brother at her feet and my dad at her other side, with his hand on her forehead. The nurse following me around with a chair. This wasn't happening was it?

    Next thing I knew, I was walking down the long cold hall and fell to my feet when I saw my boyfriend. "She’s gone" He held me and cried with me.

    Surrounded by family and I felt so empty, and angry, and I don't think there are any words to explain how I was really feeling.

    That's when I knew, I have to grow up now. I'm 25, my dad lives and works abroad, my sister and brother hours away and there is just me and my boyfriend. That's when I knew I was an adult, it was time to grow up and make her proud.
    I should have done that earlier.
    1 year later and I have landed my dream job - my Mum paid for a study course for me to get such a job as this.

    Better late than never? I don't know.

    Just don't take your childhood and the unconditional love of your parents.

    You don't know what you've got till it's gone. Cherish it.

  • Comment number 4.

    I always thought that a grown-up was someone who went to work and didn't get handouts from their parents...until after I'd already done that and realised that I was still a kid living under my parents roof. So I moved out thinking that then I'd be an adult but again, still not true as I went running to my parents if anything went wrong or I was broke. It isn't until now that I've realised that to be an adult you need to be yourself, not worry about others' oipinions, get on with life, plan future and if you're lucky, like me, find someone like minded to spend your life with. You'll always be a kid to a degree just more organised and with a better bank balance.

  • Comment number 5.

    I am now 22 and I feel far older than my years but honestly I dont think its necessarily a bad thing. I have come from you average middle class family and up until i was 16 my life was happy and normal. but soon after i started college my mum passed away after 4 years of fighting cancer. I was devastated. as the only female now in my family it was really hard, as i think being 16 is when your just coming into your own as person and you need the protection and assurance of your family, especially your mum. since it happened my dad has become more and more dependant on drink and there have been a few violent arguments and so i moved out of home at 18. when i moved out i was a bit wild and hard to control but now ive found my peice with everything. I have a good job a nice flat and i hope people can read this and realise that while at the time they may feel theres no hope, it will get better. You never forget loved ones but you learn to cope and move forward. it still makes me sad when i think she wont be there on my wedding day etc but the influence she did have has made me the adult i am today x

  • Comment number 6.

    Well to this day even at the age of 18 i dont know what being an adult really is , at the age of 17 i got pregnant with my first child my boyfriend was 15 at the time , i had to make the difficult decision weather to keep her or not its really hard even to this day still just because since the age of 11 i have sufferd with an anxiety disorder which was caused by a bad childhood , when i was pregnant i thought it would be easy , i was so wrong and being a anxiety sufferer its 10X harder then i thought it would be , i had my little girl exacly 2 weeks after my 18th birthday shes now just over 7 weeks old , i do find it hard , and have to admit when i was pregnant i thought it was going to be all happy familys but nobody can prepare you for motherhood its a scary but exciting experience x

  • Comment number 7.

    I know excatly how Gary linicars kids feel, my dad left when I was6, I'm now 18 and I havnt seen him since , it took my dads parents 7years to get back in touch , and when my mums bf came along I hated him! It wasn't till I became ill last year that he accully became a dad to me , and now we get on and our way of bonding is I call him "shrek, the beast, or fat lad" (he's a body builder) and he calls me minger :) it's just a specail thing for us , and even though it took us 9 years to bond I love and respect him like my real dad and im thank ful for every thing he has done for me xxx

  • Comment number 8.

    I always thought that being an adult was providing for yourself, having a job and a family and tbh I have always felt i was more mature for my age, but being mature did not prepare me for motherhood! i got pregnant a week before my 18th birthday and found out when i was 9 weeks gone, i knew straight away i wanted to keep the baby but really didn't have a clue how hard it would be! I knew i would have to give up a lot in my life and thought i was so prepared for it, how wrong was i! haha, my son is now 6 months old and althought i wouldn't change him for the world, being a single mum at only 19 is so hard, harder than i ever thought it would be! I had a very difficult birth and my son wasn't breathing when he was born they took him straight away and he didn't take his first breath till he was 2 minutes old it was the longest 2 minutes of my life! he also had a broken arm and has been in and out of hospital since and i really wouldn't have gotten through it without my mum being there for me. Althought at first i told myself i had to do it all on my own without any help thinking i'm adult and a parent and you shouldn't need help when your an adult, i soon found out i was wrong! and realised no matter how old you are adult or not, you always need help or someone to be there for you.

  • Comment number 9.

    Computer problem and my father
    this moring when i register my Internet ,i find my mouse is broken .IN screen ,the all opretion is prohibited. i tell my father about the information, he re-call and bright computer to shooping center to repair. in car i only worry about my precious machine.After we arriver here, the salseman fastly solve the system problem.when the way to home ,father suddenly stop our owern car and eat wuhan hot-dry noodle. Untill the moment i am just understanding he even sacrifice his working hour to hlep me. ifeel very soory ahout my anxious and fear mentality.
    thanks to my parents i can write thisdaily writting again.

  • Comment number 10.

    I just wanted to say how great i thought your underage and pregnant show was this week.
    Courtnay was amazing the poor girl i cant amagine how she got through this really hard time. her mum is obviously a real strength to her.
    Good luck to her and her baby my thoughts and love are with them.
    I really hope i'm as good a mum as her mum is to her, and i'm sure she will be to her child.
    You really need to show these programs to teenagers in school they are so informative. i can not congratulate you bbc three enough well done.

  • Comment number 11.

    Being grown up is all i have ever known i suppose, i was put into care at a young age because my mum and dad are both heavy herion abusers, they werent the nicest of people, life in care isn't easy constant fight for attention, living with 40 other people you've never met before, everyone wants to be the "best" or "top dog". In care nobody washes your clothes, nobody makes your dinner, nobody loves you.And when you make friends they get moved and taken away, or worse still my best friends Niamh Lafferty (15)and georgia rowe(14) killed themselves in october, things were to hard for them to deal with. You learn to be independentat a young age, you become street wise. Im 16 now, i was discharged of my care order in May, left to my own devices with no one. I was put in a homeless hostel with older alcoholics & drug addicts. it was horrible. i cried myself to sleep. For the first time in my life i wanted my parents, they werent coming. Living on my own with no one made me grow up, you dont have a choice really. things are looking up, i have a flat with a friend in dumfries and i work for my old care home as an admin/ receptionist. I love it. i hope one day to move on to become a care home worker, to help other young girls and boys that were in my position. Being grown up isn't easy, its bloody hard!! young people always say they want there own house and want to live alone, independence is good but running a house and paying bills is hard work. I am proud of myelf, came from nothingand look where i am now. Love Ashleigh Ox

  • Comment number 12.

    i am 20 years old and i know im far older mentally than i should be, but thats a good thing as i like the fact alot of my friends come to me for help and support, i have just passed a three year aprentaship with a law firm, and recently got engaged to my long term boyfriend of 4 years but things havent always been good for me, i currently live with my nan and grandad because my mum had her legal rights as my guardian taken off her 11 years ago, when i was 9 my mum started acting strangly all be it then i didnt really pick up on it untill she go so out of control i went to my doctor and told them what was going on, she gave me a number and said if i ever felt in trouble or felt that my mum may hurt me i was to ring them, and on new years eve 1999 i did, little did i know then i was arranging for my mum to be sectioned and she was and wqas held in a mental institute for a year and i was placed with a foster family miles from my home, school and friends and everything i had ever known, while in care i never saw my mum for a year not for lack of trying it was deemed my mum was too unstable to see me and i was too young to whitness life inside an institute, i finally got to see her when i was 11 and she wasnt my mum anymore and never has been since, to me i have had two mums, the one that i had right up until i was 9 who was loving and caring and just perfect, and my mum now, she is someone who is there but she always looks dead in her eyes she never seems to show emotion much like a zombie just going through the motions, she just lives each day by a routine and hardly leaves her tiny flat, we argue about everything because i am just not used to her she isnt my mum, id love to have my old mum back but thats just not possible shes gone forever, i dont know anyone else who's parents suffer from the same illness and i doubt i ever will i talk about my mums illness quite openly because i am not shamed but for others its not easy, i finally came out of care full time when i was 14 but spend one month of the year in care and every other weekend with a foster family luckily they were the same family and i loved them to bits and we are still in touch i wouldnt change my life for the world because its made me who i am i know thats such a cliche but its so true i dont care what anyone thinks of me i am just happy

  • Comment number 13.

    I am currently 19, but people always mistake me for 25 or older.

    Throughtout my life I have never had the chance to 'act childlike' I have always been mature, this is due to my brother as he has downs syndrome, and my mother being regularly ill. I was expected to be mature and care for the people around me.

    I remember growing up as a child and in recent years, thinking why can't I live without a care in the world? But at the end of day, lying in bed and thinking what I have achieved today, I wouldn't change my life for the world.

    I care for my brother, I protect him from people that are thick headed, stare and make rude comments, because at the end of the day I know, my life is better than theirs, as I know life can never be taken for granted and you should enjoy every second of it, however hard you may think it is.

    Growing up fast, will not have an adverse effect on me because I hope to achieve, what other people my age can't quicker and still be able to care about the people I love and that are in my life.

    Being an adult shouldn't be seen as terrible years, as I feel thats when life really begins. You face challenges and tackle them head on and come out stronger the other side. Then when you are old and grey, you can then look back over your life and be proud of how you have lived it.

  • Comment number 14.

    I'm 17 years old, just lost my dad and the doctors have given my mum 3 years to live, loosing my dad was hard enough, but loosing my mum i think will personally brake me. It will change me as a person, but i think the main thing is to be strong for the sake of your family

  • Comment number 15.

    My parents suuport my living fee and tuition, when my peers are working ,i still a college student. the so-called eating_elder group in china ,which means you are not a independent person. under this competitive society, if you have no knowledge and certification what you can do? some youths open their business such as repairing computer to earn bread.

  • Comment number 16.

    as a child, and still, i have moved around constantly.
    My Parents split up when i was 3, but my mom met my stepdad a while later. i was shipped back and forth to each of my parents houses each week, as they didn't talk at all to each other. it carried on like that until i was 15, then, typical teenage behaviour, i had a lot of problems with my mom, so bad she told me to move to my dads, which we didn't speak for a whole 2 years.
    during the 2 years, i met my first 'boyfriend' and it went well for a few months, he then proposed to me (stupidly early, i sincerely regret it now) and i had arguments with my dad, uncle and grandma whom i lived with at the time, and ran away and moved into my boyfriends with his mother.
    By that time, i was not in contact with any of my family, apart from my cousins whom i hardly seen at all, and me and my boyfriend was basically left to fend for ourselves, as his mother worked all day and night. i had to clean, cook, wash and do basically all the household chores at the age of 16. then my relationship grew violent, towards me, and his mother. a year later i had got back in contact with my mom and dad, and i fund out my boyfriend was cheating on me, so i moved to my moms. my Boyfriend then proceeded to stalk me, at home and at college.
    after just 6 months, i had to move to my best friends, as my mom and two younger sisters were not getting on. i did keep in contact though. i had a job as a bartender and a kitchen help at tat time.
    then just half a year later, i got a very serious kidney infection, and was saved just before i contracted Septicaemia. then just 2 months ago, i caught a very rare disease, Meningococcal Meningitis, which i was saved by a matter of a couple hours by my current Boyfriend and his parents, but nearly Died.
    i have a more peaceful life now, i am fully recovered and i am in a very steady relationship, living back with my dad, and going to University. all my experiences i feel has had a great influence, and made me grow up sincerely. i regret no part of my life, it has learned both me, and others around me.

  • Comment number 17.

    I am turning 30 in a month's time but i still feel young like a teenager, i live every day as it comes, i have noticed recently a few grey hairs creeping in which is a bit concerning as i don't want to turn in to a young looking phillip schofield. Its harder to lose weight as you get older as your metabolic rate slows down, so i try to stay off the late night kebabs after drinking sessions, running up the stairs gives me a stitch.
    Most of my friends are going bald, turning gay, getting married & having kids which is great as they are now at that age where Its the normal thing to do.
    What gets me is that they never want to come out for a beer anymore, i try not to take this personally, but is this what turning 30 is all about?
    Do i set up a pension plan, get extra nector points, look at new knitted cardigans to wear, smoke a pipe & sit in parks & talk to birds with other old people.

    I on the other hand is at a point where i don't know what to do next, i've had sex in different places, i've done drugs, broken the law, travelled to Maguluf on easy jet & used to listen to Phil Collins on my Sony Walkman, what else is there to do.
    I haven't had a serious girlfriend in a long time over a year, i seem to upset them or they seem to upset me so no chemistry there, not even biology.
    i've tried dating sites like Eharmony, match.com, findsharon.com & they really don't work i always get totally the wrong match, like women who don't want kids or who have to many kids,
    i don't want to grow a lonely man but its looking that way, there is certainly more pressure growing up turning in to a grown adult, as you have to think about the future & what its all about.

  • Comment number 18.

    I am pleased that the BBC asks our comments about this subject. In the Adult season, we can see very clearly that it looks like children today grow up fast... when it comes to binge-drinking, having sex and even having children of their own. Are they adults though? I think they are not because on the other hand, a lot of them at 18 cannot boil an egg, do their own laundry, clean their own rooms, let alone pay their own bills and rents.

    For me, an adult is not a youngster who smokes, binge-drinks, has sex, and goes out partying until the morning. An adult is someone who is independant, and does not need to ask anyone for help.
    I am 26, and I don't smoke, or binge drink but I pay for and run my own house, pay my own bills, drive my own car, and have found all my placements and jobs myself, not thanks to mummy and daddy. I think that makes me an adult.

    One topic that I hold to heart is teeange pregnancies. The girls involved call themselves grown up just on the ground that they have their own babies, but for me, few of them really are. In Underage and pregnant, how many of the girls rely on Grandma to take over? In some episodes of last year, not only Grandma looked after baby when mum was at school as she was legally obliged to, but one of the Grandmas (Kim's mother) wanted mum to still enjoy being young by allowing her to have weekly nights out with friends, another (Caroline's mum) was happy to look after baby all evening even after school if mum was having a bad day, and yet another (Chloe's mum) was doing most night feeds even after stating that it was not her job. Does anyone know an "adult" mother who can rely on Grandma to not only pay everything herself, but also baby-sit every Friday so mum can go out all night and get drunk, or do the night-feeds, wake up early to feed hungry baby while mum is having a lie-in, or if mum is having a bad day?
    When you are over 25 and have a child after getting married and buying your own house, you normally are told that boozy nights out are over. Typically, Grandma and Grandad tell you that the children are yours and they don't want to help financially, or do daily childcare. I have lost count how many times I have heard that myself, before even I have had any children. Some adult mothers even have to pay over £35 a day on childcare if they are working, because again Grandma does not want to be used as a free alternative to the nursery.
    I believe that one of the numerous causes of the problem lies there. If we want to tackle teenage pregnancies, it's also up to parents to stop being so permissive.
    The law says that children under 16 are not supposed to have sex. About those who think they are smart enough and mature enough to break the law and have it anyway, I do not want to hear any whinge from them. They have to use contraception properly (I insist on properly, like adults do) and those who become pregnant have 3 options: keeping, adoption or abortion. If they choose to keep the child, they have to do like adult parents, get up early every morning, stay at home at night, and Grandma is not supposed to do more than paying (before mum is 16) and looking after baby during school hours. Grandparents have decided to have a certain number of children for a reason, and it is not fair that their own children impose them more children that they did not ask for.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Listening to Kirsten O'Brien, i know exactly what she means. Im the youngest of four children and are whole lives we've lived with just our dad as our mum left. I know everyone says it about their own Dad but he truely was the best. He did everything for us and did an amazing job of bringing us up on his own.
    Just over a year ago when i was 17, he suffered a heart attack in our home which he didnt survive. Everything seemed like a blur that year, we had a lot of support from family and friends that always kept us busy so its almost like we never really faced up to what had happened, but this year everything has changed. Us four children are still living in our home and reality has sunk in. I get horrible anxiety attacks on my own because im so afraid of growing up without having my dad.

  • Comment number 21.

    I became an adult all 3:11am on the 15th of August 2003 then my gorgeous son was born and I realised that this little person would depend on me for the rest of his life xx

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm 20 nearly 21, and I realised that you do not become an adult automatically at the age of 18. I think it varies and depends on the person when they become mature and an adult. After breaking up with my long term fiance last month, I feel I have finally become an adult and that I am independant and don't need another half to make me.
    There was a time when I was in college that I would just run to drink or find someone else within the week, but I know I am fine being myself and that I have grown as a person.
    I think you also become truly an adult when you experience the worries and responibilities that an adult does. I am a full time University studying Journalism, I am a duty manager of the retail store I work in and I still struggle for money to pay the M.O.T or to go on a night out with friends.
    I think my biggest fear of being an adult is failure. All I have wanted to do since I can remember is what I am studying at University. Now I am graduating next May, a reality kicks in that you have to actually find a job in the subject for which you want to do, which is hard in that business. Luckily I can thank people supporting me and letting me be a Free-Lancer for them and for that I am eternily grateful.
    I think the true definition of being an adult should be the following: You experience responsibility but can cope, you like yourself for who you are and not who you are not. You meet obsticles and can manovuer around problems. When you first don't succeed try again. And the biggest one of all; your not scared to ask for help when you need it!

  • Comment number 23.

    I watched small teen, big world yesterday eve and I am very touched by the beautiful way that Bev mothered her daughter Jasmin. It was very inspiring to see how loved Jasmine is and with how much insight and care Bev surrounds her. It left me completely sobbing. I come from a loveless background, live in London with my 3 daughters and am just divorced from a loveless husband. With my faith every day I have to find the love in my heart to make a difference for these three girls and for myself. I have to invent it while I am doing it, but I am not to give up. People like Bev keep me going and show me the way. Jasmin is a hell of a lucky girl and I hope this reaches Bev, thanks beautiful mother-woman. Love, Jobs

  • Comment number 24.

    im 16 and have litterally had to bring myself up as my mum has had a conition called cusshings syndrome which is all to do with steroid levels in your body mum spent most her time for the past 4 years in hospital so ive had to take on the 'mother' role cooking cleaning shopping medication all houshold chores really the disiese got really bad last year where she was hallucinating and i really thaught i was goint to loose her its distressing to watch your own mother self destruct before your very eyes shes had 2 strokes brain surery to remove the tumor causing the cushings which didnt work so then she had a bilateral adrenalectomy this year so hopefully fingers crossed shes on the mend but sometimes i wish i could relive my childhood as im never going to get the most precious years of my life back it truly is heartwrenching xxx

  • Comment number 25.

    WOW Just watched SMALL TEEN/BIG WORLD. Jas Birkett is an inspiration and what a wonderful upbringing her Mother and extended family have given her. Its to be hoped that some of the so called ADULTS that took to hurtful 'name callin' in the programme will have watched it too but they are probably still watching C BEEBIES. As there were no prior incidences of Bev and Jas's genetic condition the its entirely possible that some of the name callers could have children affected with this genetic disorder. Lets hope and pray that they never have to know how hard it must be for people like Bev and her parents to watch their child be vilified and humiliated over something as insignificant as size. What 'horrible'people there are in this world but then again we meet people like Jas and family and feel proud o be part of the human race again. God Bless you both and your family
    Love Daryl Louise

  • Comment number 26.

    ASHLEIGH OX- May God bless you mightily and help you to live a full and blessed life. My prayers will be with you.
    God Bless
    Daryl Lou

  • Comment number 27.

    even when we become adults GROWING UP continues forever x

  • Comment number 28.

    hi,
    my name is [Personal details removed by Moderator]im 18 years old and have been in care for 6 years im currently in a hostel where i have been there for two years now. im also 6months pregnant and is waiting to be moved into a mother and baby unit as i have to got here first. i personally thing that all the underage pregnancy and young dump and living with mum tv programmes are great but you are just naming us that we can't do any thing and that we are useless. but half of us aren't. some of us do live on our own n do knw how to do alot and trust ull be surpize. ive been caring for myself since i was 12 years old. some of us would like our mums to do everything for us while were pregnant or just plain lazy. and its hard wen ur young,pregnant and living on your own. i think bbcthree need to think about the young adults out there that can do things n praise them nt the ones that cnt do anything x please tell me wot you think it really means alot to me. thanks x

  • Comment number 29.

    Hey im Stacy,
    Two years ago my dad picked his new girlfriend over me, today i contacted him askin if we could fix thigs but he said i have to appologize first, Altho i dont even know what iv done to i told him i wasnt going to appologize and he didnt reply.
    Hes done this mant times before and iv been stupid enought to let him back into my life, hes baught his way back into my life,
    I just wanted to know if any of you have been threw similar situations??


    Stacy xoxox

  • Comment number 30.

    I think an adult is someone who can move themselves out of the centre of the picture long enough to understand someone else's viewpoint. Everyone is a teenager for a few years where they are always number one, but maybe that has to happen while you are sorting out who you are - not the child your parents created - who is it that you are and you want to be.

    Maybe some things speed this up - having a baby definitely did it for me. I love seeing a young girl turn into a woman as she learns to become a mum, but I'm always sad when some of the very young ones struggle to ever out their baby first.

    Anf of course, it doesn't have to be a baby that does it - there are some amazing stories of strength and courage in adults a young as 11 above. Sad as some of the stories are, I bet their capacity for happiness is far higher than many others. I wish them happiness and comfort for their future lives x

  • Comment number 31.

    Just watched "Alice and her six dads"

    A heartwarming story, and one that affects me as a dad who has not seen his two daughters for 15 years now, and not for the want of trying, my attempts to contact my daughters were firmly thrown back in my face on a number of occasions, and finally, after tearing myself apart emotionally, I had to make the decision to stop. The pain and heartache of being rejected at every turn was tearing me apart, and was also affecting my health. Every waking moment was spent wondering what I was going to say when I finally met my daughters again after so many years. The reasons for the unfortunate ending of the relationship between their mother and I are not unusual, and have been heard a million times before, and the decision I made was because I DID love them very much, and did not want them to be a part of a family where arguments and constant bickering would affect their development and well being. In the Programme, Alice finally tracks down her biological father, but he seems reluctant to make a commitment to Alice, for reasons I totally understand. And yet, the last 15 years of my life have been focused on my two teenage daughters, now 17 and 15 years old.......every week I search the internet for recent photos of them, with limited success, but the ones I have found are absolutely priceless to me, each one stored on at least 4 different hard drives, in case of loss. So, here I am, desperate to make contact with my children, but prevented from doing so, and there are children trying to locate their parents, who do not want to know !!!, It,s a funny old world indeed. BUT, maybe in time, my Daughters will understand the reasons for my departure in their early childhood, which haunts me to this very day, and will make the effort to make contact in the future. They are, and always will be, the most important people in my life, and the emptiness I have felt since making that decision to leave both them and their mother will only ever be filled when contact is made. BUT....with the information they have both been given about me, and being fed lies and untruths by a leading person in their lives since they were very young......I believe I will go to the grave without ever having the simple pleasure of conversing with my offspring. Why do people use their children as a weapon to hurt others ?. Rant over, but heart still breaking :-(

  • Comment number 32.

    At an age of 17, i'd already class myself as an adult. i dont know whether this is right o wrong, but no one knows what an adult is, no one knows the clear definition, and i know 30 year olds less mature than some 13 year olds. Lifes not easy for anyone, and maybe i take mine for granted. When i was 15, me and my older brother recieved a phone call telling us our dad had had a serious motorbike accident, not knowing the in's and outs we expected the worse, but nothing could have prepared us for being told another motorcylcist had died in the accident. We had already been through a difficult position with our parents divorcing, having to adapt to two new step families, and at the time of our dads accident, our step mum had 6 weeks previously given birth to our half brother. Our life was in tatters not knowing whether dad will live or die. luckily he made it through, but still two years on, we're still battling through the pain of that one night. our dad is disabled, he struggles to breathe, he has lost the use of his right arm and takes so many drugs its unreal, my step mum is a full time carer of my dad and takes care of my baby brother. since this one night, depression has hit us as a whole family. Luckily i adore my step mum and we get on so so well, but everyone struggles to hold it together. i get annoyed when i hear people complaining about rants with their mum, rows with their boyfriends or girlfriends and fall outs with their friends. i know im not classed as an 'adult' yet, but i dont get treated like a child, and i know that you have to act like an adult to get through situations. i just wish it didnt happen when i was 15, and that things may improve, but if we face the facts, they're going to go downhill rather than up.

  • Comment number 33.

    I enjoy some of your programmes focusing on some of the issues facing people today. However, I for one have to agree with Louise.

    The BBC should start focusing on positive youth, positive people, forward thinking people, ambitious people as well as those with disabilities, pregnancy, bad behaviour or strange illnesses.

    I worked hard to get where I am, I havn't been wrapped in cotton wool, but I have over time found the right paths rather than the wrong. Who are the people creating new business at 15 or studying at private school at 11 or raising awareness of causes or doing something for the greater good because they choose to?

    All I ever see on BBC Three are documentaries looking at people's problems.

    Often these do not reflect the majority, which is why they are shown. At the same time, we are forgetting positive storys about positive people with interesting stories that do not mention disabilitys, pregnancy or bad behaviour.

  • Comment number 34.

    when i turned sixteen i went on holiday to greece with my parents.it was a good holiday until my mum caught me smoking and i was grounnded all week. when we arrived home in england i was taken to hospital because my athsma was getting bad. the doctors were getting concerned. becasue my height was not right for my age and my weight. the doctors examined me and realised that at the age of sixteen i had no visible pubic hairs. i was under tests for a few weeks and later diagnosed with a disease called "constitutional delay, this is a disease that means that i have a slow acting pituitary gland. (the gland that operates puberty and growth) this meant i had low self esteem and struggled getting into a relationship with girls. because i thought they wouldnt understand my problem. i am now a full treatment of testosterone every month and i am seeing visible results. the point im making is that no-matter what your suffering from. it doesnt make you different.

  • Comment number 35.

    When i was 13 my dad had a stroke. He was in hospital for 6 months and has now been left disabled for the rest of his life. He has no use of his right arm, he's very unstable when walking and has difficulty understanding things so having a conversation is hard. My mum is his full time carer as he cannot do hardly anything for himself. As my mum has diabetes, she often has "hypos" which means she has to be taken care of immediatly by either me or my younger brother to prevent her going into a comer. Before my dad had the stroke i was just any ordinary kid. I was a daddy's girl who didn't really want for much. Knowone really knows what coursed the stroke but my dad believes it's something to do with being beaten as a child. So life for my dad has been pretty dull!
    My brother obviously can't do father-son things with my dad like fishing and football anymore and instead of telling people how he feels, he decides to bottle it all up inside, he started hanging out with the wrong crowd aswel but that's another story!
    It's very hard, watching loved ones go through so much but knowone really understands what it feels like until your in that situation so i can't really talk to anyone if i'm ever worried about my family.
    On the plus, my sister recently had a baby :) however her partner walked out while the baby was just 5 weeks old. But that's also another story. Talk about drama!
    For me, being an adult is about knowing and understanding what really goes on in life.
    I know i have a much better life then some people in this world but i also know i don't have the best. All you can is keep your chin up and smile through each day!
    I'd like to give all my love to the people on here who have gone through hard times! Keep smiling :D

  • Comment number 36.

    The young People shown on young, dumb and living off mum should be ashamed of themselves, I've grown up in a working class background with work ethic, morals and the sense of selfworth, Im 21 and I have my own flat, a steady job and a reasonble lifestyle, I have a daughter of 6months and have not asked anyone for a penny parents nor the govement I want back to work just 2 weeks after having my daughter and have done everything I can to support my daughter as has my partner who also has a steady income and doesn't rely on handouts I don't understand how people can feel comfortable sponging off of other people I understand that the current employment rate is poor but there is always work for someone who is willing just because a job isn't glamourous or fun doesn't mean you don't do it I do my job to put a roof over my familys head and to put food on our table and it discusses me that my tax money is paying for lazy, useless louts to sit around all day that money could really make a diffence to people who need it something really needs to be done to get the working class attitude back in to our country...

  • Comment number 37.

    An adult to me is someone who has lived the experiance of responsibility
    My name is Kayleigh, im 21, mother of 2! This is my story of how I became an adult.
    I was a typical teenager that rebelled against anything and everything my parents said, I grew up with a step dad that didnt like me and I didnt like him.
    At the age of 14 i fell pregnant, i didnt tell my parents untill i was 16weeks gone, knowing how they would react.
    I didnt want to abort the life inside of me! during my pregnancy i developed a disease of the liver, a condition that threatened my unborn child. When pregnant-the liver pumps out 14% bile acid, anything over that is considered to be seriously dangerous and doctors informed me that my acid levels wer reaching a whopping 32%! I was put on 12 different medications 4x a day, I was scanned 3x a week as the hospital kept a close eye on my baby. the condition made my feet and legs itch like mad, i used to sit up all night clawing at them till the blood was pouring from me. I was told that if I had gone full term-my baby would be still born! To avoid this i was going to be induced 2weeks prior to my due date, but 7weeks premature, 11 hours labour, my beautiful baby boy was born, weighing a healthy 5lb 8oz. I felt like I had known him all my life and couldnt take my eyes off him, i named him Aiden! He was rushed straight into an incubator in the special care baby unit. After a well earned rest i was wheeled into see him, i bearly recognised him as he was wrapped up in bandages with a machine sitting over his incubator, I was told not to worry as it was just regular procedure to treat jondise, the nurses laughed as they called him a little simpson due to being practically yellow! Aiden had to sleep on his stomache as he struggled to breath on his own, he had to be fed my breast milk through a tube as he couldnt cope with breathing and feeding at the same time. I was told that he had a heart murmour and a simple blood transfusion would solve the problem. After 3transfusions the murmour was still there, it soon dawned on the doctors that this murmour was alot more serious, a hole! At only 2days old as i watched him sleep in his incubator i noticed his leg twitching, showing my concern to the nurse in charge she reassured me that it was nothing to worry about and she would keep a close eye on it. Everyday I sat by him wishing i could hug him, dreaming of what it would be like to have him home, fanticising of my daily routine and watching my friends melt over him, when after 4weeks my dreams were to come true, I was told that if i kept him with me in the ward for the weekend, and if he managed without the need of the incubator, I could finally take him home, I was so delighted! He was the oldest baby in the ward but aslo the smallest, everything went well and on monday morning I was so excited about getting home I packed up everything as fast as I could! He slept as i put a cute little fluffy coat on him and lay him on the bed, i reached for the car seat and when I looked up my baby boy was shaking from limb to limb! Another mum in the ward told me to rush for help as she held him down to the bed, i calmly walked to the nurses station trying my hardest to keep myself from freaking out and informed the nurse about this. She jumped from her seat , hit a button and along with 8other doctors she raced to my bed, aiden was still shaking as they examened him-and rushed him back to his incubator for the next 4months! My breastmilk was exchanged for a specially prescribed formula and every dream I had of getting home was shattered, living at my local hospital for 4months proved to be a living nightmare. he battled with colic and several other common illnesses in premature babies. When he was 4months old he was sent to york hill sick childrens hospital in glasgow, where he was to have major heart surgery. my mum dropped me off at the hospital and headed home due to a family tradgedy-my uncle colin was flattened by a 30ft wall at work! I lived there alone for 2weeks. I held my son as the doctors put him to sleep, soaking him in my tears i kissed him goodbye fearing it would be the last time i saw him. The surgeons told me that without this operation he wouldnt live past the age of 2! He aslo said there was a small percent chance he wouldnt survive the operation. Any percent is enough to scare the life out of any mother , let alone a 15 year old, i was still a child myself! I anxiously waited in the hall way untill my baby came out of theatre petrified that he wouldnt come! He was taken to intensive care and was attached up to several different machines that kept him alive, his face had swollen underneath the tubes taped over his nasal cavity. I slowly pulled his blanket away and was faced with a blood covered scar running down his chest with blue stitches, he had blue tubes coming out from the top of the scar and canula's in both his hands, his groin and his legs but quickly recovered, after 8days he was moved into a ward, no machined except his drip and saturation monitor. My little boy was a fighter and everyday i watched him grow stronger untill one day he started choking, his eyes rolled up inside his head as nurses quickly attached him up to more machines and tried to identify the problem, I soon relised that I was watching my son drown! His heart filled with excess fluid causing stress and pressure to his heart. He was rushed back into theatre where surgeons stuck 2tubes up under his ribs and drained the fluid and saving his life. I soon had my baby boy safe at home with me and finally began to live my life as a mother. On a few occasions as he grew older he took more epileptic fits, i dont think anyone knows how to react when their child s body uncontrolably shakes from head to toe, I was a school drop out I didnt know where to put myself-but instinct took over me!
    A month before my 16th birthday, Aiden only 9months old I had a major breakdown in relationship with my parents, I packed my sons clothes, food, bottles etc and sneaked into the kitchen, I then leaned out the kitchen window (as mum had locked the doors) and lay my baby on the outside step, I climbed out after him and ran away-iv never been back since. The police gathered my belongings and I slept on a friends sofa untill i was old enough to get my own flat.. I had nothing, couldnt afford to decorate, bearly survived off the little benifits I was entitled to at the age of 16 but after 9months of just me and my boy, I met mark.
    I fell pregnant and in love with him instantly, and my whole life changed once again. When I told him about the pregnancy he took me to a small but beautiful town a few miles away, he showed me around a gorgous flat and told me we could bring up our children here together. I couldnt have been happier! My night and shining armour had swept me from my feet, saved me from my dungeon and took me to live happily ever after!
    During my pregnancy I had alot of regular inverstigating scans to find out if this baby was going to have the same problems as my 1st, or any other problems. I had several tests done and was reassured that my baby would be perfectly healthy, no complications! I was at my happiest and started to fanticise about having a baby-at home bathing changing and feeding him or her at only days old. At the age of 17 I prepared myself for the arrival and the pregnancy went smoothly. I remember going into labour and feeling excited, as apposed to scared this time, after nearly 37 hours labour on my last push i saw marks face drop, he started to cry as he informed me that there was something wrong with her eye. i had given birth to my baby girl, Maddelynne, 9lb 2oz, but she wouldnt cry, the doctors were examining her for half an hour but she still wouldnt cry, i started to panic begging to see her and when she was eventually placed in my arms i froze, I couldnt breath! My daughter was born with an oblique cleft eye! She had only half a nose, no eyelid, no cheekbone or surrounding skin, above the effected eye her tiny little skull was caved in, her bones were fused together and she had no soft spot at the top of her head. the doctors diagnosed this as the medical term unicornal synistosis tessier 3! I quickly unwrapped her to count her fingers and toes (as i did with aiden) and was horrified to find that on the same side as her defect, her foot was clubbed although more complicated than common cases. her actual foot was facing the right direction but from half way down her foot, her toes were facing 180 digrees in the wrong direction and her heel was stuck up inside her leg! I had my heart set on the thought of having a healthy child and being as happy as the other mums and the shock of this set my emotions out of propotion. I didnt want to look at her, hold her or feed her, I was scared of what was to come and resentful that once again my dreams have been shattered. I couldnt bond with my own daughter because I wasnt prepared for more heartache. I felt like someone upstairs watching me didnt want me to be happy and made my life a living hell! We were informed that no other doctor in scotland has ever seen her disability and there was only 16 other children in the entire world that has suffered this condition. sadly each and everyone of them had lost thier eye sight due to the eye drying up with no lid to moisturise it, we were also told that we had the chance to save her sight by lubricating the exposed area every single hour, this was vital and we found it easier to not sleep at all than wake every hour! This put serious strain on our relationship and aiden was juggled between my family wile we dealt with this ordeal! We had to take regular trips to london to attend Great Ormond Street Hospital to see some of the best surgeons britain had to offer where she would go under a series of serious operations. Our dreams of being a family turned to nightmares and to this day we take 7hour journeys to london for a 5minute appointments! Maddelynnes 1st operation was to close the exposed area and protect the eye. At only 4months old I stood back and watched them pin her down and put her to sleep. After a few hours of waiting around she pulled through, the doctors had done an amazing job, she had a nose and the whole was closed. there was alot of blood and still no eyelid but this was all got to be done bit by bit.. Her 2nd operation in london was called fronto orbital remodeling (fixing her skull) to do this, they cut across her head from ear to ear, peeled off her face and took out the front of her skull, the broke it into pieces and put it all back together like a jigsaw. Shes now had 12 operations including straightening the foot using metal pins and splints. Maddelynne is now 3years old and is recognising her disability, every morning when im brushing her hair she asks me if shes beautiful and On the way to theatre she asked me if she was going to die! The 1st time I took her out in public I watched people run towards me excited to see my baby and their faces dropped when they saw her, one man looked at her and comment "eeew whats wrong with his face," rumours went around that she was a "mongal" paralised and even had down syndrom. People would stare and point and I used to be affraid to go out in public because of how they react to her. Those who know her lover her to bits, she would melt anyone's heart given half the chance! She is such a clever child too-by the age of 2 she knew her numbers shapes and colours, her dad had her spaeking french, she knows a little sign language and has the attitude of a teenager, she reminds me of myself! Her favourite thing to do is draw-shes quite the artist and she will be 4 in november and is currently learning to read with the help of her big brother. Aiden is now 6, hes in the highest maths, spelling, writing and reading group of his class. He has an obsession with any form of transport, by the agr of 3 aiden could ride his bike without stabilizers, name any different make or model of car and motorbike and could tell you where different parts of a car are! Im now 21 and im the proudest mummy in the world! My babies went through hell and they came out the other end blooming!

  • Comment number 38.

    i am a normal teenager. when i say normal i mean that in a sense that no one is normal and that therefore makes us normal. because i live in hackney, london there is a sense of fear. not because of the people but because of the media. the media make it impossible for us to be children, i feel like i've had to grow up fast. my parents split age 4. mum found a bf. he was a drug user. had my lil sis when i was 7. cos her dad wasnt around i felt like i had to be there. since then i've felt like a parent figure. now 9 years later. i take her and my brother who is 7 out to the park and things. but doing this while coping with stress of school, stress caused by media, body changing (mentally) has become near impossible. suicide enters my mind now more then what uni i am going to. i hardly trust anyone and am now thinkin why should i post this.

  • Comment number 39.

    When i was little i had to act very responsible from the age of 10. My parents split up when i was 4 it was a very rough patch for my family. My mum had to find a job and a childminder for me and my brother we had little money and struggled to pay for day to day things. I didn't see my dad and my mum told me terrible things which made me hate him as we hadn't heard from him in years i thought he was dead. When i was around 9 my dad came to see us, the police were called and it was a very violent scene. My mum got very stressed and later fell ill she had to go to the hospital and i was sent to my auntie's for a while. We have no nearby family they all live in another country so i had to leave school (only for 2 months) and fly over to my family (who i barely knew)i was worried about my mum as she had no-one around her for comfort, and i still to this day do not know what was wrong with her as she would not tell me. When i was 12 my dad got in a car accident it made a dramtaic change to our lifestyles i had to constantly travel to my dads house to look after him (even though i didn't like him i didn't want to be selfish) and i had to be home in time to cook the dinner. During this time i'd found my half brothers on facebook which cause rows between my family. I felt like running away but didn't as i thought that would be a very selfish thing to do. At 13 my family struggled with financial difficulties and i had to try and get a job but no-one would employ me i had to sell my stuff and ask everyone i knew if i could do something to help them out to earn money. I didn't get much money but the money i did get i tried to save for universitie as i knew my nmum was unable to supply enough money for my future and my brothers. I didn't really have a good/fun childhood, my life was full of responsibility/arguments and dissapointment =/ oh well Learn from yesterday, Live for today, Hope for tomorow (:

  • Comment number 40.

    I had to grow up at the age of 9 or should i say even earlier than that, this was due to leaving my mom and having to live with my grandmother in Jamaica. My grandmother then worked Tue-Saturday as a sleep in maid, so i was left with the job of raising my then 3 year old brother. but before i left my mom i had to watch her go through a nervous breakdown and watch my dad walk out on us leaving my mom with 4 kids newly pregnant and no job, my mom then went on to have the baby only for us all to go through starvation, the baby then ended up in hospital for about 6 months because of malnutrition. My dad later brought myself, my brother, and my older sister to England but my life has always been a challenge and continues to be, because i'm now 25 going through a divorce recently bankrupt and living with my 3 year old daughter but, i'm still looking forward to life as an adult even though i had to grow up extremely early, because there are people out there that would beg to have a life like i have so i'm thankful for every day that i have. And if i did not have all those trials i would not be as strong a adult as i am today.

  • Comment number 41.

    Being an adult is a controversial topic. Honestly who is to judge what an adult is? No human on the planet knows everything there is to know, or has learnt every skill under the sun. My personal experience of "Growing Up" has been awful. My mother suffered from severe manic depression throughout my childhood. It became unbearable at age 9, when my 7 year old brother was diagnosed with Epilepsy. My dad was busied with work, trying to earn enough money to pay the mortgage and bills. When Hamish and I weren't at school, my mum constantly favoured him as "the special child". I kind of just accepted it, and brought myself up, but i valued every moment spent with my dad. The marriage of my parents was always very rocky, there were a lot of arguments and i was always so confused as to why. All the while my grandparents and other family would frown upon my bad language and rebellious attitude towards everyone.

    5 years later, when i turned 14 my mother moved out and it was then that i was told that she'd had multiple affairs. It's all fair and well to dub a teenager a child, when you constantly blind them from the world, but, if you act like this, then your child will do their utmost to find out what the world is like for themselves. This is a concept my mother never understood. When she moved out i became the "mother figure" of our home, not by choice or nomination. I never had what other kids my age had, and to be honest i didn't want it. I went to a school outside of my home town, and everybody was from a very different general background from me. It was hard to fit in but i guess you just learn.

    The most "adult" i can guess i have been to date, was probably about 18 months ago, my dad had a cavanova, which is similar to a brain tumor, but not cancerous. I think if you have no choice then your instinct just really kicks in, i was 15 and learning to pay bills and keep my family above water on 25 pounds a week. Life is liveable, the world is horrible. Yet, parents still pamper their kids like they are idiots. Nobody is stupid. Nobody needs that kind of care. It's appalling frankly, that 25 year olds still rely on their parents, but not for essentials, which would be understandable, they want the best of the best without lifting a finger. One day the world will chew them up and spit them out.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    its had growing up,but even more so when at 15 you overnight have to become a adult.my parents divorced when i was 11,and i stayed with my dad,as my mother was a very bad drinker,my father brought all three off us up and did a great job.he had a heart attack when i was 14 and he went on medication,i never thought for one mommnt he would a year later be leaving me.at the age off 15 my dad died aged 42 off a massive heart attack,my whole world fell apart,i was just a child i didnt wont to be alone.i ended up staying on different mates floors and i tryed to get help as my brother was only 14,he went to my mum but she put him in care and he just went off the rails getting in to trouble with the police,while i was the looking afder him trying to survie.i ended up in my own flat at 16 and trying to be a mum to my younger brother.i so wish i had that time back to be a child again and have him back.but i have my own kids now at 40 its helped me to be a good parent,and becoming a adult so quick has made me deal with the troubles life brings us growing up,by becoming street wise.i have a lot off life experiances to offer

  • Comment number 44.

    I think what most people have said here is true... what really is an adult? What age can you truly say someone has grown up enough to be classed as an adult? And yeah 18 might be what the law considers and adult but I know people who are much younger than that who have been through more things than any 'adult' will ever have to suffer.

    Take me for example, who recently turned 18, but it feels like I've been living as an adult ever since I first became aware of how different my life was to my friends... you see, my mum suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and although she doesn't suffer from the worst form, we're never sure when she may have an attack. And these attacks can range from minor to serious where she has to be admitted to hospital, leaving me wondering whether she'll make it out again. Aged 8 I was caught in midst of one of her attacks where an ambulance was called and me, along with my brothers (7 and 10 years older than myself) were left wondering would she get better. And other attacks when she's been left unable to even climb the stairs by herself or get out of bed. We have my dad, who is her carer, but with me moving away to uni this September it will become his full responsibility when she is ill. It makes me feel guilty but I know that I need to lead my own life, just like she is always telling me to.

    I have to admit, I don't have it as hard as some teenagers who have lost parents or whose parents have life threatening illnesses but compared to most of my friends, I've matured much more in the last few years than they will probably ever do. And also, watching the Underage and Pregnant show tonight got my riled, with these kids blaming their parents for their own mistakes. These are the people that like to think their adults but really, how can you say you're mature enough to look after yourself, never mind a poor baby.

    I know people will have different experiences in life and maybe my mum's illness doesn't stop me from being a young person, enjoying life and its oppurtunites but it's made me more aware and more thoughtful.

    At the end of the day it easy growing up but I guess it isn't being an adult either.

  • Comment number 45.

    I am 17 years old and maybe to some people I am not an adult beacuse I am not 18 but I class myself as one.
    When I was 8 years old my younger sister was born with severe special needs meaning that she cannot talk, walk, she has to be tube fed, she cannot communicate with us so it is guess work and she is now 10 and she believes in herself that she is only a year old.
    I had to grow up faster than most children because of this as she was hositalised for 2 years and it was very hard on my parents who at one oint amost couldn't cope. So this was hard as my mother suffered from depression and I had to help so I had to skip a lot of school. So I had to take over a carer role for my sister a lot of the time whilst my mother tried to cope with everything and because of this I was left behind a year in school however I wouldn't change anything.

    I guess my sisters speacial needs have stopped me from doing some of the things I would have wanted to and I guess I was expected to grow up quickly to not put extra strain and stress on my mum. However, I was quite young when my sister was born so I became used to the idea that I had to grow up quickly and the responsibility I have can be hard but my sister means the world to me.

    SO to me an adult is not based on age it is nased on them taking responsibiity and acting and reacting to the different aspects of life.

  • Comment number 46.

    Being an adult mean a lot of different things to me. I've had to grow up very very quickly. When I was born my mother died. Then at the age of six, my grandmother who had been caring for me with my father died. This really effected my dad. he began to drink, and i had to get myself dressed in the morning etc.
    At eight, my father died because of his drinking. I went to live with an Auntie I scarecley knew, and struggled to live with her. I wanted to be independent, and by fifteen I got pregnant. I stayed living with my auntie, but I did struggle. I had my daughter when i was just 16, and decided to get a councial flat of my own. I have had to grow up quickly, and struggled with it a lot. Being an adult doesn't matter how old you are. Being an adult is about having an independance and standing on your own two feet.

  • Comment number 47.

    I estranged myself from my abusive parents (yep, both of them) at the age of sixteen. I found a live-in job as a stable-hand, and moved across two counties to escape them. Overnight I went from being somebody's child, to a lost teenager trying to be an adult. That made me grow up very fast, but of course I made a lot of mistakes along the way. I am nearly thirty now, and still make mistakes regularly. Three years ago I married an abusive man, following that classic stereotype of 'daughter of abusive man'. I feel much better now I am clear of this relationship, and actually feel that I have really learned a valuable lesson, although I am far from being 100% grown up and wise. In summary, I think we never stop growing. Life is a journey.

  • Comment number 48.

    I thought I'd become an adult when I moved out of my parent's home and made a home for myself. How wrong I was!
    I truly became an adult when I was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder and had to learn to adapt my whole life to my new needs. It was such a wake-up call, having whole new problems to deal with as well as various classes and therapies I have to attend regularly. I am unable to work at the moment, so my partner and I live solely on his income. Whilst my partner is very supportive, I understand that my illness affects us both and we have had to work really hard to make our life together work.
    When I am able to work, I work as a carer and so I realise how lucky I am, as I see people going through such dreadful illnesses and diasablities, and regulary work with people who are termainally ill.
    I don't believe we ever stop growing, but I think that people's life experiences may force them to become an adult before their time, and also some people never truly become an adult. My brother-in-law recently turned 40. He still lives with his parents and refuses to work because he believes he shouldn't have to when he can get benefits. This disgusts me, and I am ashamed to be his sister-in-law. I don't see him as an adult at all.

  • Comment number 49.

    I fell pregnant on my 15th Birthday and had my first baby 3 months before my 16th birthday. I grew up with a bang when my son was born. It was in the mid 70's and unlike today it was not an everyday occassion, my friend were shocked and I was excluded from school. The financial problems were huge because at the time there were no provisions for an under age girl to get any kind of money off the government. My parents were struggling financially as it was, but with me no longer going to school they lost everything.

    I married my babies father 3 months after my 16th birthday and on day 11 I took the first of a long line of beatings at his hands. Life was hard, I was terrorised by my husband and 3 days before my 18th birthday my daughter was born.

    Looking back, I had to grow up very quickly, I had to protect my babies from their heavy fisted father. It was a rude awakening.

    Now my children are all grown up, I have 9 Grandkids two of whom are 17 this year, I am 51.

    I look at photos and I am scandalised that I was not more protected, I believe no one at the age of 15 is old enough to be a parent. I am amazed that I live to tell the tale and that my kids are well balanced and happy.

  • Comment number 50.

    I just watched alice and her six dads and it really hit home for me. I understand that she really wanted to meet her biological father and find out where she came from and eventhough Stuart wasn't overwhelmed to hear from her at least she still had the chance to get in touch with him. My mother and father split up when I was very young. He was a serious alcoholic and the only memories I have of him were him drinking until he passed out of being verbally abusive to my mum. My mum wanted the best life for me and she knew it wouldn't be in that unstable marriage so she took me away from that situation. I never seen my father again after that. A couple of years after my father left my mum met my stepdad and they got married and I now with them and my two amazing sisters but I have always felt like sometimes something is missing. I can't say my stepdad hasn't been the best father figure I have had or that I ever felt an urge to meet my real father but I often feel jealous that my sisters have their biological father there providing for them and I never have. Last april I got news that my father had died.. I wasn't sad because I never knew him, it was like finding out a complete stranger had passed away, but actually I felt anger. He had taken his own life and now I would never have that chance to meet him if I ever wanted to and hear his side of the story as to why he thought it was best not to get in touch with me. It's difficult because now the only memories I have of my dad are bad ones and that's not how I wanted to remember him but now I never have the chance to change that. I love my mum and stepdad and they were so supportive threw that time in my life and it's good to have the support of two parents. Obvioulsy in an ideal world i would have both biological parents with me but I wouldn't have it any other way to be honest.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    ive been adult since i was 3 becouse thats when my mum was told my younger sister was aurtisic she's never been able to look after her slef she onley started talking when she was 14 she's now 16 so not long.
    me and my older bother kieron allway's had to hlep my mum. my dad left us when i was 9 months old and i nver seen him snice. mostly all my famliy members disabled my bother and to sister's all have a from of arutisum and so do i. not onley that have me a grown up at a young age i got pergent at 16 and now live's with my partner with my son so the Q is not what is adult the Q what is a chlid . coz i was onley one for 3 year's

  • Comment number 54.

    when i was 14 my dad was really ill my mum took alot of her time to care for him so me and my brother started to do our own cooking cleaning and laundrywasnt long after we did evewrything for ourselves that my dad passed away i had to grow to be able to start my gcse's and look after myself alot more ever since it was 16 i started working in college i grew up more i tried not to borrow money of my mum after i left college i worked for a year and then decided to change my job i now care for 8 disabled adults i think this had made me grown up so much more but im still young and enjoy my life but i can also be mature and i do everything for myself even if i live at home still doesnt mean you cant be independant and grown up just depends on the way it all happens. i work hard for eveything i have and never borrow money and despite all i went through when i was young i think that i still turned out better than what i couldve done even though i have a serious health problem i still live life to the full and enjoy every day and i enjoy every day at work to knowing im helping people and giving them the best possible life they can have.

  • Comment number 55.

    I can relate to Kirsten O'Brien's video. I am 37 now, I lost my mum from cancer in 1996 (when i was in my early 20's) and my dad in 2001. You really dont know how lucky you are when you are in a family when you are all together, until something happens. I found it particularly hard as I am an only child being thrown into sorting things out and living on my own, friends leave and go their own way, boyfriend left for someone else 5 years ago making it hard to trust anyone, recently been made redundant after 13 years, I am actually hoping things will start to get better again soon, I hope so anyway.

  • Comment number 56.

    When i was little, my real "father" abandoned me so i grew up with my mum. we stand by eachother, untill she was remarried to my broters dad. he was domestically abusive towards her. i saw it all. she finally after ten years plucked up the corage to leave him, wich caused alot of heartake, i had to support my mum and my brother through it all. later on when i was 15 my real dad contacted me, i was harrassed daily by messages. firstly i thourght it was good. untill it all got too much, i felt betrayed by him and anger with myself for feeling this. i was bullied at school, and suffer with paranoia, i decided to stop eating and ended up ill in hospital. when i recovered my life took a turn, my mum was re married and my mood became even lower. i would let people use me for sex and would cut my arms deeply. then one day i decided to take tablets to end it all. the feeling was horrible. i woke up in hospital. cut to shreds and hooked up to a drip i knew i was in a bad way. i was obsessed with drinking cider vodka malibu and wine constantly when i felt low. so i got help, i was on tablets, by arms a mess. i saw a councellor, then months later my life brightened as i came off my tablets and do not need my councellor nomore, as then i decided i could control my life in a happy bright mood get over my depression and be happy. then i knew i could grow up.

  • Comment number 57.

    Being an adult only starts at 18 legelly. I think it should be earlier as kids are doing adult things at a much younger age and (because they are not considered adults)they get away scot free and parents are held responsible by law.
    Beind an adult is all about taking responsibility for your own actions (the bad as well as the good)and not blaming others when you do wrong. (EG parents and government) We live in a nanny state where we expect others to have made things right for us so we cannot come to any harm, so when we do we tend to blame others and do not develope any common sence
    Take a look at this

    An Obituary printed in the London Times........ Interesting and perhaps sadly rather true.

    'Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

    Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

    Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

    His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouth wash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

    Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

    It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

    Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

    Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement .

    Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility, his son, Reason

    He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now; Someone Else Is To Blame; I'm A Victim

    Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.


    I think it says it all

  • Comment number 58.

    It also means living with the consequences of all your decisions (The bad ones as well as the good ones)

  • Comment number 59.

    I think an being an adult is defined by when you feel personal responsibility. Not necessarily financially but when you are accountable for your actions, to others and more importantly to yourself. So many teenagers and children have more self awareness and compassion for others than a lot of 18+ people i know.
    My younger brothers are 13 and 16 and have seen some of the worst in human behaviour and how dysfunctional families can be. They are the kindest, most respectful and decent young boys i know.

    My mother died when i was 9 and my father remarried 18 months later to a woman much younger than himself. My relationship with my father has since been the hardest, most frustrating and emotional relationship I have had with anyone in my 32 years. I have loved him unconditionally, through all of our ups and downs, until the point that I realised that sometimes the love that is supposed to exist from a parent for their child, doesn't. I recently decided that it's just too hard and so incredibly painful and so I'm not going to do it anymore. I now have a freedom from him that has brought me much more peace than constantly being hurt and wondering what i did to make my father hate me so much.

    In Reggies story, he says that being an adult means facing up to your responsibilities, dealing with them and moving on. I feel like so many things in my life have been on pause for such a long time, while I was trying to fix something that was never going to to mend. By letting go of a destructive, painful relationship, I have now allowed myself the space to start becoming the person who i want to be. I feel I can now address certain responsibilities to myself, to start grieving for my mother - 23 years later and feel like a grown-up inside, not just on the outside. I have felt for such a long time like I am going through the motions of being a responsible adult, working, travelling, living my life - all the while feeling like a little girl whose mother died and somethings broken inside. It's now time for me to take responsibility for my emotions rather than making my Father responsible for how i feel. This is what I think that being an adult is all about - accepting who you are, taking responsibility for your actions and emotions and not making them someone elses problem. Realising that we have such an impact on other people's lives and choosing to be a positive influence. I have hope that soon I will truly be a fully functioning adult, capable of taking on the world!

  • Comment number 60.

    Not long ago i got adused by an older man,
    it tought me that and adult is someone that can forgive and act responsibly. i also believe that it's someone that can admit to what they have done wrong and deal with the consequences and share the way they feel in a away that will not affend others.

  • Comment number 61.

    To me being an adult doesent have anything to do with age, being an adult is all about taking responsability and acting like an adult. when i was 11 my dad died from cancer, and it had a really bad effect on me and my family, i started doing drugs, but within a few months i realised that it was making me a bad person. i decided that my mum and my family would be better off if i stopped thinking of myself and helped them, i stopped doing the drugs and started helping my mum as much as i could. since all of that happened i feel like i have more peoples respect and trust. i feel that an aduld dosend matter how old you are but how you treat others, what your atitude is like and weather you take responsability for your actions.

  • Comment number 62.

    I thought for a while I grew up on May 13th 2003, at the age of ten, when my dad died of a blood clot in his lung. I'd only seen him once a year for all my life because of my controlling stepmother and when I found out he was dead I thought that was me grown.

    It wasn't.

    I really grew up in August of 2004, aged eleven. That was when my little half-brother's dad was murdered by his new girlfriend's son. Except, that was only really the start of it. I had to grow up after that, because my mother broke down mentally and less than a week later I was due to start at boarding school, which I did. When you're raw and hurting and suddenly thrust into a new enviroment with 800 people you've never met before, you grow up fast, because it's the only way to survive.

    I'm seventeen now. I've been through depression and being suicidal, coped with the knowledge that I have the same disease that eventually killed my dad, survived six years of unpopularity in boarding school and coached my mother and three of my best friends through manic depression.

    I'm still here.

    I'm almost happy, most of the time.

    I'm an adult.

  • Comment number 63.

    I grew up in a council estate in Norwich, my Dad left when I was six years old and I didn't visit him much, so I was brought up by my Mum and her many different partners, one of which, who she is now with, although he is extremly violent and aggressive and difficult to get along with.
    I was bullied at school and I barely had any friends, the friends I did have decided to join the bullies. I didn't want to stay at home or go to school anymore. I was tormented at school and then at home by my Mums partner and my Mum drank heavily. I left school at 14.
    My sister left home at 15 (she is six years older than me), and moved in with her partner, I was pamled off onto her alot and dragged around watching her smoking cannibas and it lead to me following her path.
    I decided to leave home, I was sofa surfing and boyfriend swapping, until I met my partner who I became pregnant by after five months into our relationship.
    I had no where to live and I couldn't live with him due to complications from his ex partner who he also had another child with and he didn't tell anyone on his side of the family that he was with me, let alone tell them he was having another child. ( He told his family he had another schild when my son was three weeks old!)
    I moved in with my sister at five months pregnant.
    I gave birth with my partner in hospital 11days overdue. My beautiful baby boy weighed 8lb and I have never exprienced so much pain in my life! I was in labour two days and only used gas and air.
    When I held him, I knew how loved really felt. xxxxx
    I had to share a room with my child because my sister had two other children and there wasn't alot of space, but I am so glad she took me in as I couldn't get housed until I was 18, but I found a local housing association where you could move in at 16.
    I moved out of my sister's into a one bedroom flat when my son was 10 weeks old. The housing association was run down and I complained, it took alot of letters and phone calls, but, eventually I was moved onto a gold band and I asked my Dad to be on the tenancy of my council house until I was 18.
    Since then I have been to college for two years and completed three college courses. I have passed my driving test, I had to move house again last year due to difficulties with the neighbours, although I am very happy with my housing situation now and I am becoming an adult more and more everyday.
    I love my son more than anything in the whole world and he has been my angel that I always needed. I want to give him what I never had, prove that not all teenage mothers are bad, I hope he'll look up to me when he's older.

  • Comment number 64.

    To me there are two types of adults. The first type of adult is an adult which is grown up no matter what the age ranging from 16 and above. These adults are always learning from their mistakes. They might be able to use their own inititive but sometimes fail doing so. The second type of adult is someone who is always using their inititive and always making the right decisions bt when they make the right decision or use their inititive it doesn't always workbfor them... Just because somebody is an adult and lived their life doesn't mean that they are perfect because everybody makes mistakes in everyday life.

  • Comment number 65.

    My story was not always as simple I can't say that I got it hard, but it was quite hard to grow up with two brothers and one sister who are all older than you. Even though you could be the youngest you won't always get it as easy as you would think. You would think the youngesr would get most attention but it is not like that. Back when My mum was still with my dad that was when i found it easiest because my dad was there and I could easily get some attention from him. Growing up later on in life was harder since my dad wasnt there anymore. Even thiugh I still had my mum it didnt change the fact that my mum was a single working mum and doing it by herself.
    Now that I am older, 16, I understand what my mum went through looking after my older brothers, sister and I seeing how hard it could be to raise me one child of four. Things havent changed much except from the fact that my mum has now got a partner who is helping her look after us all and the house and everything else. He is a great man and I look up to him and thank him a lot for coming into my mother's life. Just turning 16 this year and finishing school was a great relief off me and my mum. Even though wen I first turned 16 I didn't think nothing of it just that I have grown up a little.
    I am the type of adult that usually learns from my mistakes but at the same time uses my inititive well. What lies in my life I can't tell but if I continue being me then im sure that i will become a true adult

  • Comment number 66.

    i lived with my mum and brother my dad died when i was 2 me and my mum didnt get on at all, at 16 i moved out and went to live with my 2 friends i had to do everything for myself and i had a good job i only lived there for a year then had to move back with my mum. ime now 22 i got married 5months ago and ime expecting my first child and i feel even more grown up now and me and my mum get on well now my husband says its because i have grown up now and shes proud of me

  • Comment number 67.

    My Mum became disabled when i was 5. From then on i became one of her carers. This was including my Dad my Brother and my Sister. My Dad left when i was about 8. My Brother and Sister started growing up getting jobs going out more so at the age of 8 caring for my mum became part of my day-to-day life. Altogether i missed out on about a years worth of school due to being at home caring for my Mum when she had rough days. My Mum was on 18 tablets a day, and managing these weren't an easy job. I had to make sure that she was taking the right ones at the right time, some could make her drowsy, and she sleep very often. I then lost my Mum when i was 13. Although i lost her 2 years ago, i felt like i lost her along time ago when she first became disabled. We were like best friends, we did everything together and told eachother everything. I felt like i missed out on alot, like holding hands with her when we were going round shops, i held her hand now and again whilst walking next to her or pushing her wheelchair. But it wasn't the proper experience i would of liked. I don't blame her for any of this, because she did the best she could for all of her kids. She had a very rough life. People say i've missed out on my childhood, and sometimes the way i act is the child that got lost along the way and got pushed to the back, trying to break out. Me and my Mum always said that we'd stick to eachothers side, and if one of us had passed away, the other would join them. At first i felt guilt and that i'd let my Mum down, but as time went on i suddenly realised that she wouldn't of wanted that and that she'd want me to carry on life and to achieve things for myself, and be a success in what i do. I know she'll be looking down at me smiling and she'll be rpoud of me no matter what. I'm 16 now, and thanks to my Mum i'm who i am today, i couldn't of got here, being the person i am today without her.

  • Comment number 68.

    I have been a young carer since i was 7 years old...i am now 18. I care for my mother who is mentally and physically disabled. Me and my mother live on our own just the two of us and through out my years of caring it has been a struggle to help her and give her what she needs along side my own problems and worries. I grew up in my home alot as i was not allowed outside as my mum was scared something would happen to me as i was the only thing she had. I have grown up caring and loving my mother and trying my best to look after her. I used to attend Cynon Valley Young Carers project and i attended this project from start to finish. It closed and got taken over by another children's project and i don't want to go there anymore. It is very hard to give up things and start new ones when it means leaving others you love behind. I have been very upset over this as i had to lose friends along the way. All i have to do now is move on and get through the next couple of years. I love my mother loads and am glad i have got her. Cynon Valley Young Carers has been a great help to me and i don't know what i would do without them. x

  • Comment number 69.

    I grew up very quickly when my mam died when i was 13. She had been ill with lung cancer for some time but it was still a bit shock as neither me or my brother, 2 years older than me had been told that she was terminally ill. I think it is really important to keep children involved and informed in the care of their parents or other family members as they need to be able to say goodbye too. Our family was never the same and now when i look back i can see how tough it was for my dad being left with two kids when he was only 39. He had to see a psychiatrist for a while but we were never offered any help to come to terms with our loss and he then went on to start a new relationship with someone we didnt get on with and hope he is happy. Neither me nor my brother have had any contact with our dad for a long time and i think our family unit died when my mam died.

  • Comment number 70.

    an adult isnt something you decide, its something that jsut happens. im 17 and from the age of 9 ive had to grow up fast, ive grown up with two families my mums and my dads but when i was 9 my dad past away in a car crash, which changed my life, nine months after my mum was dignoised with M.E and CFS which made my life change even more, i had to learn now to help bring up my lil sister, cook, clean and help my mum with her meds and doctors appointments at some points of my econdary school education, i failed to turn up or just ditch most weeks, but then my mum started to show signs of improvement which helped me realise i needed to go to get my education, so then i reached year 11 and done my gcses and got good grades,


    so ove the past years ive had to grow up alot faster than my friends, i couldnt do everything i did and didnt go out as much but i feel that has helped me become who i am, with out my past i wouldnt know half the stuff i do now.
    i feel i am an adult due my past and everyones different and the change from young adult to adult is different for everyone.
    with bbc3 showing how didnt people have didnt lives is really good its shows clebs have the same kind of lifes as we do and that helps.
    young carers is something ive done since i was 9 and have really helped everyone needs different support.
    shannan
    17
    x

  • Comment number 71.

    There have been many times I thought I'd finally cracked it. Things such as passing my GCSE's, smoking (how pathetic looking back on that now!!) my first boyfriend, moving out and starting university, each time one of these things happened I officially felt like an adult, yet until very recently nothing had prepared me for becoming an adult, not really.

    Six weeks ago I found out I was pregnant.
    Four weeks ago the father of my child left me claiming I had ruined his life, trapped him and that he hated me.
    We had been friends for years, I'd been head over heels in love with him, we spent most of our time together, in short he was literally my everything and I trusted him with my life.
    Within just a matter of days he had decided to completely walk away and I was never to see him again.

    I am in my final year of a four year course at university. I have a passion for the occupation I am working towards and I love me life.
    I made the choice to keep this baby even though I will be a single parent, struggling through my final year and possibly not doing as well as I may have done had I not been pregnant.

    I have experienced an unbelievable amount of prejudice and very little support due to the decision I have made, yet I realised from watching the programs on BBC3 that I have had to become an adult over night in an almost sink or swim situation.

    Anytime I felt I had become an adult before now has faded into submission. I come from a safe and very secure family unit. I have a mum and a dad who love me very much so It's hard to imagion not having that, yet thats what my child will face, knowing he or she will always be minus one of those sets of love, a Father.

    I can deal with the lack of support, being a single Mother, even the huge change my life is about to under go, however having to grow up and become an adult is still registering.

    I praise ANYONE for which EVER reason when you have be be the adult within your family or suddenly grow up and take the world on your shoulders almost over night.
    For myself and the hundreds of people who have recently or in their life time been in the position of becoming an Adult before your time, give your self a pat on the back because you really are great :)

  • Comment number 72.

    I'm 36 years old, apparently I am middle aged now, an adult, a grown up, someone who should be 'sorted' by now. My perception of an adult is when you wake up, and, after everything that has happened, think, I'm here, today, this morning, going to work, getting my daughter ready for school and feeling a sense of self worth and determination. It's taken a while, and, while I've spent the last decade mocking those who conform, water their flower boxes at 7am and embrace the day, I'm doing it now, and I love it. My childhood was nothing but amazing, blissful memories of holidays in Spain and Greece, family occasions, happy parents and wanted for nothing. At 18 years old I decided to explore my mum's root's in Cyprus. Two years of cocktail waiting, studied Beauty Therapy and qualified,I met a 'great' man, I had a blast. 1996 I came back with the future father of my child, we lived with my mum and dad and saved for a mortgage. All good so far. 1996 I became pregnant and was told the baby had a genetic disorder that would cause the child to have an very short life, I chose, maybe not rightly to end the pregnancy. March 1997 I became pregnant again, with a healthy baby, great!.In the same month my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, by Christmas he was dead. On 4th December 1997 as he passed away he put his hands on my stomach, knowing he would never meet the grandchild so close to being born. My daughter was born on 10th December 1997, just six days after he died. My labour was very traumatic as I had not been able to eat since his death and had no energy to give birth. When my daughter was 2years old I left her father, a decision which took 2 years, after suffering mental abuse from him, call it what you like, he was not a nice person to me. Fast forward a while, I contracted Meningitis,twice, got attacked by two men in the street,almost losing my left eye, got involved with bad men, on Cocaine, completely lost myself, partying, drinking and being irresponsible, but all the while trying to be a good mum and keeping a job a all costs. Depression reared it's ugly head by 2007, I was a single mum, homeless, going to weekly therapy and on antidepressants.naturally! I decided to upgrade my beauty qualifications while living at mum's I had to achieve something or go under. I managed to pass my A level in Anatomy and Physiology and Holistic Massage, and by 2008 we were given a lovely two bedroom flat. We've been here for two years now, I'm taking mild medication to keep me positive, but my daughter is doing great at senior school, I've been promoted at work and I've got a healthy and happy relationship with a good man. I think this makes me an adult!

  • Comment number 73.

    I'm not sure what an "adult" is (not referring to the age differentiator), I am aware of my responsibilities etc and I have been for a while maybe it's how I've matured to accept and adapt to the challenges of life and move forward that maybe makes me an adult.

    Having watched some of the shows in the "Adult Season" I've watched people go through much of what I went through and I must admit I wish I could help some of these people. I'm very lucky considering where I started from. Almost all my childhood friends and the people in my area I would interact with have been to prison. Growing up I had issues at home (mum psychologically unwell) and school (bullying etc). The NHS just don't want to help my mum so it's good to know they have been helping others.

    Around the time when I was 13-14 yrs old, various events at home forced me to reflect on what was happening in my family and although it's unfortunate to say I realised my family just didn't give a damn about what would happen to me. I love my family, looking back I can see why I was treated the way I was, some of it culture, some of it poor parenting, etc. It's not right but it helps to see that it was not my fault or I was the cause of it. During this time I was also being bullied which was hard to deal with as I found no place to escape, books were helpful with this.

    Around this time I found my religion gave me guidance and taught me what I should do in my situation, to be honest when I was in my early teens I'd say this is what saved me. I promised myself that I would not let my environment and the situation I was in destroy my life. It was the first time I thought of myself it was very weird and it help me push at school, the bullying stopped during the last 2 years of school. But then I had teachers behaving very negative around me, constantly putting me down. I finished school with good grades, persevering and being stubborn helped me get through school.

    Between 16-17 various things kicked off causing my attention to focus on my family and I ended up getting drawn into problems due to friends. Where I grew up it was impossible to avoid trouble no matter how much I tried, and I was not about to betray my friends. I screwed up my first year of college which lead to poor A-Levels. I'm not blaming what happened at home for my college results, simply put I messed up and I learned from it, stuff happens and I didn't deal with it.

    At 18 I got thinking again about what to do now that college was over, I set myself a goal of getting into university and planned the steps of getting there. I did various courses in IT and after 2 years I go into university. During my first year at uni I met someone that went thru problems it helped me put stuff into perspective as it was the first time I met someone that had gone thru issues. It still gets to me I couldn't help him more. 4 years later in 2008 I graduated with a 2:1 and a year later I started my first "career" role (where I am now) with probably the largest IT company in the world. Would love to meet those teachers now!

    I look back often thinking where I started and how, due to a ridiculous amount of luck, my stubbornness and my faith I was able to get to where I am. If anyone cares I am a Muslim, it taught me everything I am now and kept me out of trouble and guided me to where I am now. I have a better relationship with my family. Things at home haven't changed much but somehow I managed to get things done for myself and help my family.

    Looking forward I know there will be many challenges that will take me to places that I will not like, but I just need to deal with it and move forward. I know I will need my self-belief (I've got thru it before so I can again), my faith, and my stubbornness during difficult times.

    Sometimes I tell my work colleagues some of the stuff that happened growing up and the look of shock is always funny.

    For those that are going through struggles I wish and hope they will ease. Keep moving forward and never give up, I don't want to sound like I am preaching but one thing I want to say is never give up no matter how bad it gets never ever give up. I wish everyone all the best.

    Peace

  • Comment number 74.

    What being an adult means to me is being there for my nieces and nephew and for them to look up to me if they are having problems either at school or at home.

  • Comment number 75.

    I know there's no definite age when you become an adult. I know there's people who are well into their twenty's who still act like a stroppy teenager (hence Young, Dumb and Living off Mum) and yet there are some 12 year olds who are the soul carers for their family.

    I know I'm not an adult quite yet, there's still stuff for me to lean about life and I'll admit that but I figure I'm a bit further on in the process than quite a few people I know. This is due to the fact that my mum developed sever asthma when I was young, I don't remember a definite age because it had always been gradually getting worse and so I'd just learned to live with it. However it wasn't long before I became the main carer in our household, because I was the oldest sibling. My mum found it really hard to do a lot at all and I usually ended up cooking dinner and helping out all I could, along with helping mum also and fetching and carrying things for her.

    Hospital visits lost their scare because they were something of a regularity and to most people the idea that their mum is in hospital would worry them to bits but I just sort of accepted it as something that needed to be done in order for her to get better. I must've been about 12 or 13 the first time I was left alone to look after my little brother while my dad visited my mum in the evening while she was in hospital.

    Things have never really been brilliant, mum's still not great, still struggles to be out for more than an hour or so, gets tired and out of breath doing things like cleaning, and still relies on me a lot. Though oddly enough I never wished for a different childhood because to be honest, I didn't know a different one to wish for, it wasn't like my childhood was suddenly snatched away, it just sort of adapted as mum's illness adapted and so before I knew it I was helping out a lot but didn't really see a contrast until I visited friends houses and saw their lifestyle and realised mine was different.

    So the reason I think I feel more like an adult is the fact that I know what it's like to have someone dependant on you, I can also cook which I feel add's something, I mean I could at least survive on my own if needs be which is a comforting thought. I don't have a 'screw you' attitude to life that some teenagers do, I care about other people and can be mature if the situation demands it and not just lose my head. I also don't have that childish view that they're 'invincible' and that nothing can harm them. I've seen first hand what cigarette can do to someone (the cause of my mum's asthma) and I'm considerate enough to never dream of smoking because of how it would effect her. I'm also the responsible one at party's and, when I can drive, will probably be the designated driver. This doesn't mean I don't have fun, but I feel it's in a more adult way because I can do it wouldn't the need to be off my face or high.

    I don't know if anyone will bother reading this, but it was nice to have the chance to type it all out, not something I do very often and if you do read it, thanks for listening to my story. :)

  • Comment number 76.

    Hi,
    I just watched SMALL TEEN/BIG WORLD, and hoped that this would be the right place to leave a comment that Jas Birkett might see.
    I really enjoyed the programme and I wanted to congratulate Jas for doing it.
    I just wanted to say that it's great to see how strong a person she is and just how lovely and sweet.
    I really wanted to say a word about the people who make comments and upset her.
    I know this will sound patronising and it's really not meant to, I've never commented on anything like this before but I just wanted you to know that other people go through the same kind of thing, although I know it is a totally individual experience and different circumstances.
    I'm physically disabled, also from birth although in quite a different way, I was born with no hands and only one leg. I'm now 25, like you I was brought up by my strong and fantastic mum and great family.
    The thing you have to realise is that people will stare, ask silly questions, that kind of thing, I'm sorry but it's just human nature, you see something different and look, mostly it's just curiosity "oh…. how does she do this... do that...blah blah blah" it gets boring very quickly, especially when it's already happened 400 times that day and yeah there are most definitely days when that'll drive you crazy. It’s even harder when you’re going through the whole teenage stage of things too, there’s already so much going on and things to think about.
    My thing is that you can't let it stop you doing anything, experiencing everythings and just living your life. When I was younger I wasted quite a bit of energy getting annoyed and angry and really taking it personally, but the thing is they are unfortunately just ignorant people who see something different or novel and react, most of the time it’s without thinking how that would affect you. I have to say I was maybe lucky but I didn't really have problems at school with other pupils and I don't get a huge amount of hurtful comments.
    I just think that you have to just live your live, do absolutely everything you want to do, achieve everything you want and be happy, not in spite of your disability or because of it, but because that's what it's all about in the end and you should not worry about what people think of you, say to you or stare at you, ultimately they don't know the actual you, and if they were lucky enough to get that chance they'd see how great you are for being you.
    unless it's people you know and love who are upsetting you I would honestly just rise above, ignore, smile, work out mechanisms to deal with them (personally I go with humour, show them that you are comfortable with yourself etc) and don't ever let it affect what you want to do!
    sorry if this sounds a bit ranty or like I'm lecturing you, it's not meant to, I really enjoyed the programme and thought you were a fantastic girl, you just shouldn’t be getting hurt or upset by something like that.
    Anyway, I hope you enjoy your course and everything goes well and you’re happy.

  • Comment number 77.

    As a child I found it to be very difficult to fit in being a young child with mental health issues, the main two difficulties I have are Aspergers Syndrome and Epilepsy, I never understood back then why people treated me so different and children bullied me expecting me to be the stereotypical mentally ill person,this had a negetive affect on me because eventually I found that I couldn't take the bullying any longer, so I started to run away from everyone and try to find a place on my own where no one could bother me, but I always got picked up by the police and taken home, so at one point I found it so difficult to put up with that, I tried to take my own life (multiple different times), then I set my self a few goals in life to give myself something to live for (such as having children one day). as time went on I started to doubt that this was going to be possible for me so I self harmed again. Then when I turned 14 the family had a fast PC for xmas, and I started to develop hobbies on the computer such as modifying video games, and since the PC was in a room that was pretty much unused, when I was on the PC I had the personal space that I wanted whilst developing loads of computer based hobbies. when I turned 16 I was kicked out of my parents house and a friends family taken me in and helped me to get a place of my own, once I moved into my first flat, after a few weeks, I started to feel that I cant continue to be childish, and so I built my own computer and got the internet and then started to research my mental health issues, and when I found how many symptoms of aspergers actually affected me, I was quite shocked, and since then I have been working on controlling my aspergers symptoms, and I feel that now, I can go out and talk to friends without as many of the communication problems I had when I was younger, and that has been very beneficial to me. My epilepsy still affects me, but luckilly, I only have sezuires during the time that I am asleep... even though I only have sezuires during my sleep, they still cause muscle aches and headaches. Now I am juat hoping that I can control the difficult mental health issues soon.

  • Comment number 78.

    Just watched Tulisa from NDUBS & she has inspired me to write this. i've never written about my life before!!
    Wow being an adult to me is dealing with huge responsibilities. when i was younger i always said i couldn't wait to become an adult & make my own choices... reason being that my mum was an alcoholic even though she when out to work everyday, life at home was hard.
    Throughout my childhood my mum was always a drinker so at the time it seemed normal for me. My mother & father were divorced from when i was 2 years old & we never saw our dad. I became an adult the day my mother died of alcohol abuse. i was 18 years old & i will never forget the drama that unfolded that day. now i am 35years & i think back to my childhood & now realise my mother also had may have had mental health issues eg. depression, hallusenations, anger problems etc. at the time of my mum's death & now eventhough i was sad i was also very angry, because her death was self inflicted.
    I was always the kind of person to have a huge smile on the outside but was always crying on the inside, i had alot of friends but was never aloud to stray away from home with my friends so i spent most of my time in my room.
    A year before my mum passed away my dad came back in to our lives, he moved in to our house to help me look after mum. 9 years after mum died my father then had a stroke. he then became my responsibility. in and out of hospital, then having to find a nursing home for him. to date my father has lived in 3 different nursing homes due to neglect, had 2 strokes, has epilepsy, an amputated leg, is fed by a gastro tube and has limited speech... my father is always constantly on my mind, his stress & anger is always directed at me because i am the 1 who is always by his side & who has made all the choices.
    Being an adult can be so hard & distressing. a huge amount of responsibility has been passed on to me from a young age but it makes it almost unbareable when you are not an only child........
    I have an older sister (5yrs between us) but she has chosen to blockout other peoples problems & walked her own path.
    I am now a mother & i constantly wonder what my childs life will be like. As a mother i want the best for my child but the future does scare me. i wonder if i will pick up some of my mothers faults.






  • Comment number 79.

    to me an adult is someone who is resoponsible for them selves and others around them. for me in 15 and by the age of 9 i lost both of my grandads this was upsetting yet made me think as they both died due to cancer from smocking i now and never going to smoke in my life. the worst thing that has happened now is the my nan has just been diagnosed with alzimers now i have to see my nan who has always been there for me deteriate. the worst thing about this is that she has 4 sons and 6 real grandchildren incuding me and 2 older step grand kids, i was her first grandchild in the last month my aunties have been putting things on facebook i don't think they relize how upsetting this can get for me as i am friends with them. they also leave my parents and my dads twin brother out of the loop when its conserning my nan this means that when we go and see her we can never tell how shes getting on i don't know what to do about this situation i feel like i want to cry but if my dear nan does pass away i'm sure that i will end up having to deal with the aganizing pain of a loss of a grandparent and all my cosions will be upset but some of them won't completly undersatnd whats really happening as the youngest is 4 which at a funeral is know place for him i just have know i deal with thses emotionjs i am bottling up inside as i feel that they are just going to explode when i see anything else. does any one know how i can deal with all my emotions and problems. :'(

  • Comment number 80.

    To me an adult is someone who has the ability to really understand that some things you can change and others you can't.
    I had a decent childhood because I felt secure and protected which was probably because of my dad. He died when I was 9 and I remember being told that he had died in the waiting room of the hospital with my sister and mum.
    Six years after this had happened, my mum was diagnosed with cancer. When she went in for treatment, my sister and me had to fend for ourselves. This wasn't as major as what happened previously but it still was a shock to the system because now we had to be more responsible for ourselves.
    I'm now nearly 18 and have learned that I can't go back and change those things that have happened because that's just life and even though I am still devastated that my dad has died, I know that I can't bring him back and I can't change that, however I can change the way I view life and the obstacles along the way.

  • Comment number 81.

    To be an adult to used to mean going out to work, earning a wage and then coming home to your own house. I thought that up until a year when my mother started drinking extremely heavy. Because my dad worked night shifts, it wasn't uncommon for me to have to make dinner for my two younger sisters, get them ready for bed and get up with them during the night. I was fourteen. In the morning, I would get them up and dressed for school before catching my bus. Then I would come home, to find my mum, who works part time, already stuck into her bottle of wine. I dealt with it fine; mum was always there in case of any real emergency but then she decided to take to her bed without telling me leaving me worrying about, not only my sisters, but my inebriated mother also.
    My sister, who has a problems with her stomach which gets worse under stress, would come and ask if her mummy was going to wake up in the morning.
    I would get left at home to act like a mother to my little sisters, the youngest being four.
    So when my friends ask me to go out now, I have to say no; I've got the kids. I was a grown up before I hit my fifteenth birthday, my only day off being a Saturday when my dad is at home from his night shift.I can't actually remember the last time I felt home was a safe and stable environment; I go to school to get a break.
    If I was to go through a rebellious stage like the stereotypical teenager should, the only people who would suffer would be my sisters.

  • Comment number 82.

    [Personal details removed by Moderator] An adult is what as known as a person who has grown out of adolescence into the world of responsibility. I have Mosaic Down Syndrome. Granted its not as servere as Down Syndrome however I still have my difficulties. I am proud to say now Im an adult as I have grown up a lot. I have only just moved out of my mothers house of which I rented and have my own place away from her. Its very difficult because my comprehension is low and I dont understand much about the adult world. I'm trying so hard though. I'm now doing things that I've always wanted to do. I'm now at University doing Media Production and I love it. I have just turned 32 and think I've done well to achieve what I have. Its took a lot out of me emotionally. I still have a few issues, doesnt anyone. I've been through a lot too, I'm divorced and have been steralised. I had to take care of myself and make some really big decisions. But now I can say that they are in the past. And now I'm moving on at what I want to do in life.

  • Comment number 83.

    Heyyy my name is Sue, Im 17 years old, I Ended up being an adult at the age of 14,
    I would go to help my older sister with her children by babysitting,Helping her shopping, Then at the age of 15 my Nana died, Which basically destroyed my family, She was the glue of the family, She would always help us or send her love if we were upset. In January 2009 my parents split up and it went down hill from there. My mum moved away from Wales, And ended up living in Shropshire, Which meant i was living with my dad. But my dad would go to his girlfriends from Thursday afternoon til monday morning or tuesday afternoon so i was on my own from then on. And in March 2010 my house got repossed, which meant i had to move out. By then i was settled with my wonderful Boyfriend Sean. And then the bad news hit me. I had to get a flat at the age of 17. You may think thats was easy, But it was horrible. I Didnt understand half of the things, I have no job, yet im the happiest girl, I have no money, Yet im loved by loads. I Have to pay £325 every month to live there. No i have to feed myself and put eletric in. And to this day, I cant stand living on my own. But luckily I have my fantastic boyfriend who has been helping me for 9 an half months! And my mum is living with me aswell! Which is great! But soon enough me and my boyfriend are going to be getting a flat together which i cant wait :) x

  • Comment number 84.

    I don't beilive that someone has to be 18 ro be grown up
    i admit it took me some time to grow up and mature
    Im 17 and I see how people around me begin to change
    Once when i lived in my previous home i didnt enjoy it
    I had been bullied for some years and experianced many family problems
    At 14-15 i began to see how the world was changing around me and i adapted around it
    Also living england being someone from wales you get alot of abuse for being different but i have come to the time when i admit and i am proud of being welsh and i the people who see it funny to abuse me are just immature and i learn to ignore it.
    But now at my age i am coming to discover who i really am
    and growing up allows me to find more things in life interesting
    you dont have to grow at 18-21 you grow when you feel is your time
    and this is how i see things happening.

  • Comment number 85.

    All depending on your up-bringing and your personal experiances alot of people have either been rushed into changing the way they look on life, how they act. or have been forced because they wern't given a choice. I always felt that i had a strong mentality, to not be predictable like the other teenager's i've grown up around. I didn't want to be like the rest, so i chose to 'become an adult' at an earlier age, just because i wanted that for myself and i thought it would be the right thing to do. I don't regret it at all. Even after all the hurtful things I've been called, just for being confident, independant and have more maturity than my class mates. I can't say that I've had the easiest teenage years, because I haven't. I've only just got over having depression for 2 years and believe me, it's worse than alot of people could imagine. I didn't have the support, so i delt with everything by myself, no exageration. My family consisting of 3 brothers, 3 sisters, 1 half brother and my parents, well they weren't my family to me and my friends were never true to me. I was bullied through primary school which had a huge effect on the way I lived my life through high school because I was afraid of being myself. Infact, i didn't want to be myself. I was scared of life, scared of being judged by the people around me. Being part of a big family and being the middle child, I also noticed the favoritism. I was average intelligence and my older sister got alot of praise for being really clever, to a point where I felt like I wasn't getting praise at all, not even notcied. So, I became a very difficult child, retaliated a lot and didn't have a lot of respect for my parent's. but the reasons behind it all were much more than they saw. I was sworn to silence all my thoughts, feelings and emotions from them. I self-harmed alot, I blamed myself, I hated myself. Convincing myself I was worthless, ugly and my life had no point. After losing my great granddad, who I was really close to, It made me realise how much life was changing and that I couldn't turn back the time. He had Alzheimers and watching him forget everything and everyone around him, including me, well It broke my heart. He was such an inspiration and I miss him dearly. I haven't always had a stable home, I've had to move from place to place leaving behind people I love. Moving from school to school and Losing people In the process because I didn't have the power to be with them anymore, because I was forced away. I'm proud of myself though, I didn't retaliate when I got rasist remarks from the Welsh for being English (as I moved from England to Wales) I don't see different racial backgrounds as a problem. I've had alot of health issues In the process, I'd make myself really ill all the time over worry and being frightened and I'd have panic attacks for no reason. My head was a mess. Due to all the stress I've suffered with a stomach problem which quite frankly Is agony and I have to be careful to control my mood as of not to bring back the pain. But by being In situations like that, made me realise over time who I was and what i wanted to be. I wanted to prove that I was a strong individual and was able to get past all the emotional pain that I was faced with.
    What Is an adult? An adult Is being aware of life, standing on your own feet and getting on with whatever responcibilities that you have. Accepting yourself and not being afraid to show the world who you are. That's why I feel like an adult, because I've acheived that, by myself. It makes you a stonger person and more self aware of what life involves.
    After experiancing everything I already have, I've realised what Is right and what Is wrong, how I can make a change In my life. My family, are my family now and they've brought me up to know what's acceptable, how to behave and treat everyone around me. But really, I think It's takes your own self to truely have the determination to stay focused and not just grow up too fast and make all the wrong decisions, because alot of people have debated that teenagers act more like adults when they shouldn't. Yes, alot of teenagers do, In the wrong ways. They have to decide what Is the right way to go about situations and do It with maturity.

  • Comment number 86.

    Hiya I think personally that being an adult is losing your parents at such a young age and having to deal with problems on a daily basis without some one there to look to or ask a simple question. Having lost my father at ten years of age, I didn't really understood what happened but 7 years after that I lost my mother and I fully understood. In such a short space now that I am 22, I have grown up so much and moved away from home to attend university and over this small period my independence has increased but when my mother passed away I thought I was never going to do anything. So just a wee message to say having lost both parents isn't the worst thing that can happen in your life. So have the confidence in yourselves to continue on in your life and I know times will be hard but keep your head held high. :)

  • Comment number 87.

    I am 19 years old, and would be considered very young by many. However, last year I embarked on my higher eduction. All of my mates went off to universities, looking forward to three lectures a week, parties every night and loads of socialising. I went and auditioned for Drama School, and achieved a place at a top college. This took persuading as far as my parents were concerned in the first place, convincing them that I needed to follow my passions and desparately wanted to take it into the uncertain professional world of Musical Theatre. As soon as I got my place my friends and parents were over the moon for me, and I couldn't wait to go. I knew it would be difficult, but now - a year on, I can tell you honestly that is it the most amazing and thorough journey, and I still have two years left to go before I graduate.
    The course is full on and physical - classes every weekday from 8.50am - 6pm, often longer if needed. This means I put so much pressure on myself. I had so many fantastic times during my first year, but hit a low around Easter. I began to doubt why I was there, my abilities and my appearance. I became teary alot of the time, felt down and stopped eating and sleeping properly. I started looking ill and making myself physically ill in the process of trying to be better and look better, but all the time making things worse. I couldn't see this, friends started getting worried, tried talking gently and then not so gently as time went on. In the end I knew I had to take a brave step and actively try to turn things around. I looked around me at my friends, family and my wonderful boyfriend, who all the time had been fantastic, and I began to try harder.
    Drama college so far has been the most difficult thing I've ever done, but by far the most rewarding and the most exciting. Now I know that being an adult takes looking after yourself, keeping things in perspective, and sometimes taking a risk and hoping it changes something for you. I've also truly learnt that hard work and perseverance does pay off. I don't regret anything, as I became a more interesting, sensitive and braver person at the end, but when people think that your university years are for having an easy time, I can tell you that it's not always the case!

  • Comment number 88.

    people see me still as a child pushing a 7 month old,even tho ive just turned 20! but they have no idea how much ive had to grow up in the past 2 years,

    when i was 17 me and my boyfriend moved 200 miles away, 3 weeks after i started work and fell pregnant, but misscarried, everyone looked at me like i was a silly child,

    then at xmas 2007 we moved back to our hometown because our work contracts ended and we wanted to be closer to our family, after months of no periods and endless negative pregnancy tests i finaly went to hospital after pains for them to do a pregnancy test, which finaly came back posative, the pregnancy went well up too 24+6weeks, were i went into extreme premature labour and our son was born at 1.30pm that morning, which made me 25 weeks pregnant, he was sent to another hospital an hour away from our home because our local hospital didnt have the equitment to look after him, he survived a week but on his 7th day he died in me and his daddys arms,
    we organised his funeral without any help from anyone other than the undertakers,
    2 weeks after his funeral we moved away again and on his duedate i started working at a food superstore, two weeks after i started i found out i was pregnant again, 2 weeks later i lost that baby 2, after losing all hope and still grieving the babys we had lost i missed a period again, so i done another test and found out i was pregnant again, but sadly 4 days later,i misscarried again,

    after months of talking about whats best, we decided to try again, this time everything went well, they kept a close eye on me every 2 weeks id have a scan and blood tests, at 39+1weeks i went into labour and gave birth to a beautiful girl, without everything i been through i dont think i would of been grown up enough to bring her up,

    now im going to college to studdy health and nursing so i can go into uni to study midwifery, im also looking into setting up my own charity to help familys that have been bereved because of premature births,

    without everything id still be out everynight sitting in a bus stop, drinking everyweekend, but now id rather stay in with my little girl and boyfriend and take flowers to my sons grave,

    even some "Adults" doesnt do half of them things, young people dont have credits were credits due and it isnt fair that they paint everyone of us with the same brush!!

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    When I was younger I used to jump around with a group of mates. We thought we owned the town. We were all young & stupid, always getting into trouble with the police. However at the age of 17 I became pregnant with my first child & 18 when I gave birth. That is when I grew up and became an adult. I had to because suddenly I was responsable for another human being. In all honesty having my son when I was so young was the best thing that could hve happened to me. This made me grow up. If it wasn't for him I would have continued with a life of crime & spent years in & out of Cornton Vale prison. My son is now 16 years old & has just started in s5 at school. I also have 3 daughters aged 14, 7 & 3.
    Not only did I have to grow up fast when I discovered that i was pregnant but my son & oldest daughter also had to grow up fast when their little sister was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. It was heartbreaking to find out that my little girl was very poorly, not only for myself & my partner but also for the other children (my 3 year old was not born at this point) as they were both still very young at the time. My son was 10 & eldest daughter 8, still children themselves. My 7 year old is a bubbly little girl & takes everything in her stride. even though her cancer is not in remission & she still receives chemotherapy for it. She really is a cedit to us all. As are the rest of our children.
    Being an adult isn't just about the age a person is or how good a job they have or even how much money they have saved up in the bank. Being an adult is about life experience & how you deal with what life throws at you.

  • Comment number 91.

    First time i felt like a adult is when i have my baby girl ruby when i first put her in my arms i sed to myself am a adult i have got to look after this baby and care for it and that day made me a adult but sometime i still be a kid aswell !!

  • Comment number 92.

    My names Chris Davies and im a nineteen your old boy currently living alone in Romford Essex, this isnt where my journey into adulthood begun though. I was born to an army family in colchester. My dad was a sargent in the signals and my mother was from northern ireland. after breifly touring army barracks across europe. My parents divorced and i moved with my mum to Lisburn, Northern Ireland. Whilst here i recieved vary degrees of abuse through being an english soildiers son by loyalist children and catholic children who knew to be angry, yet not quite sure what to be angry at. My mother was a good women with a kind heart who sadly suffered chronically at the hands of alchohol, a trait that i feel myself slipping closer to daily.Her drinking came to the stage where social services had to divide a difficult but loving home. My brother and i were both handfulls and in hindsight lost our innocence to cynicism.

    I moved at this stage to Romford to live with my nan and grandad. At the end of year six i was awarded a scholership to a boarding shool in Wiltshire. Once here i went about planning and conducting countless methods to get expelled. In year 10 my Mum commited suicide, my efforts increased considerably.After five years of consistent fights with staff and pupils, jokes that verged on bullying, alchohol and drugs I eventually managed expullsion through misbehaviour with a bb gun.

    From here I came to Romford, back to nans. Romford is a town lost in its on confusion, a town i relate to. its distinctly trying on a public front to be presentable but the public crave the east london image. This is the place where i truley loved and lost, threw away all opportunitys for the buzz of drugs and petty crime, all whilst living alone since 17 and stayin in various different colleges until tutors finally wised up to the fact i wasnt going to do any work no mattter how much i promised. this continued until my brothers death from epilepsy. THis is where i grew up and left my troubles behind me, I decided i wasnt going to repeat my mistakes again and lose more years of my life in a numerous narcotic haze's. I draw strength from their loss now and have finally acheived a sense of motivation.

    I still believe i have a long way to go until i acheive adulthood. But to my cynical mind life is mostly a series of events that define your character until the day you die. You only need worry about what being an adult really is when it suits you or your current employer. We all enjoy a nostalgic trip down the toy isle in tescos! Who hasnt watched a sneaky episode of tom and jerry on a sunday hangover?

    I realise now you should live life intense as possible no matter what do it with passion beacause the worst that can happen is you may die, but your not gonna know about it. Why worry.

    Peace and Love.

  • Comment number 93.

    since the age of 15 ive always acted older than i should, most of my friends were older than me, i would stay out late and drink and get into trouble. When i turned 16 and met by boyfriend i spent most of my time with him and as he is older i would act older, i became pregnant at the end of july 2009 and then i started to act like a grown up i wouldnt eat anything i shouldnt i wood never go out with friends just incase something happened, i took my pregnacey so serious. i then gave birth 2 me beautiful daughter lexi in june 2010. i couldnt hold her first of all as couldnt belive she was mine, wen i did hold her i felt so grown up and couldnt belive i was a mum and that i would have lexi to depend on me 24/7. After the first couple of weeks it reli hit me that now i would have to change not just for my sake but for lexi too. People my age and don't have children think its so easy and it's all about looking good pushing a pram and having a lil one to show off to. but they dont relise how hard it is e.g. gettin ready to go out u cant just walk out the door u ahve to remmeber to have all the babies things and blankets ect. Gettin up at night times is the hardest. All those times i thought i was acting older is nothing compared to how i feel and act now. i start college soon and cant wait im not just doing it for me but doing it for lexi.

 

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