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Most people confuse maturity with adulthood. Maturity deserves a close look, since it contributes to your success in studies; if under-developed, the low degree of maturity may hold you back.

Maturity is the ability to see the connection between today’s actions and tomorrow’s results. This eliminates the question of one’s age. Usually maturity improves with age, but not always. If a child can modify his behavior today on the promise of what will happen next week, and an adult cannot, it is correct to say the child is more mature than the adult. If one high school pupil can spend part of each evening at homework help while the other neglects his, watching television programs which are not educational, the former is the more mature.

Notice that it is incorrect to say that someone “lacks maturity” if we agree to this definition. Maturity is a matter of degree. A person may lack the degree of maturity we expect for his or her age.

How does maturity apply to studying and taking exams? Obviously, the person who can look ahead and foresee that the examination is a real thing, and who can realize that failing the exam or even getting a low grade will enter his permanent record and bring about an extremely bad situation and mental anguish, is acting in a mature way. In contrast, a person who postpones the preparation, or thinks his luck will carry him through, or imagines that the exam may turn out to be easy is acting in an immature way.

The reason maturity and adulthood are often confused is because most of us do not learn to plan ahead without many bitter experiences first. Once we have learned a lesson the hard way it stays with us; many such experiences usually bring about maturity. But there are easier ways, and one of them is to learn from observing the experiences of others, or listening to those whose opinions we respect. Until you reject the assumption that you are an exception to the rules, you will remain below your deserved level of maturity.

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