We grow older with every passing second. Whether we want to or not, we are always aging just ever so slightly. And, before we know it, we’ll have graduated and soon, start out in the workforce. The adult life seems so far away, and yet is it already an impending doom. When we think of growing older, we imagine having to be self-sufficient, dealing with taxes, and ridding ourselves of our childish mindset. However, does growing older equate to growing up?Good morning Mr Gwee and fellow classmates. I am Cherie, and I am here today to discuss our physical versus our mental and emotional growth. Where do you imagine yourself in 10, 20, or even 40 years? Do you imagine yourself with a stable job and income, working hard for your family? Those are usually the first images that come into our minds when we think of our future selves. However, what we usually don’t think of is how we would be acting at that age. Just because we look more mature doesn’t mean that we *are* more mature. For example, racism and sexism are still huge problems in society. “Why is this so, in this ever-changing day and age?”, you ask? Such issues should no longer plague us. Well, this is because of a percentage of our population that can’t seem to understand the concept of equality, and doesn’t share the view that all humans should be treated as equals, regardless of gender or colour. A fair number of them are adults, who are likely to pass their flawed thinking to the younger generation. As such, we can see that not all people who are older are more cultured. Recently, as I’m sure some of you would know, while an Asian-American was briefing President Trump about the hostage situation in Pakistan, he asked her a seemingly unrelated question, “Where are you from?”, to which she replied New York. Unsatisfied, he asked again, and she offered that she was from the same hometown as the President, Michigan. However, he wanted to know where, as some officials quote, “your people” are from, and she revealed that her parents are Korean. President Trump then voiced his concern on why the “pretty Korean lady” isn’t negotiating with North Korea on the administration’s behalf. On this occasion, the President had implied that immigrants could never truly be from America, as well as reduced a professional woman to her physical appearance.President Trump, who is aged 71, is an illustration of, for a lack of better words, an immature adult. Children sometimes exhibit childish behavior by calling each other names. Adults seek to understand issues. Adults do not make ad hominem attacks, that is, attacks directed at a person rather than the position they are maintaining. Instead of disrespecting others, those who are truly mature regard the feelings of others and analyse a situation rationally. As such, one who degrades another based on factors beyond their control is not a mature person, and we should always regard others without prejudice.So, if growing older doesn’t necessarily help one to grow up, what should one do? It is simple. Failures are setbacks that every person encounters in life. Carol Bartz, former president and CEO of Yahoo once said, “We should accept failure and learn from it. Failure is part of life, it’s part of every career, and you have to know how to take advantage of it. One of my fondest sayings is fail, fast, forward. Recognize you’ve failed, try to do it fast, learn from it, build on it, and move forward. Embrace failure, have it be part of your persona.” How we handle failures is important. We should not dwell on them too much, instead using our mistakes as learning experiences as well as opportunities. For instance, they help us to grow into more empathetic people. It is incredibly easy to blame the failure of a project on another member’s mistake, but when we understand how we felt during our own failures, we can treat the situation with more care. Furthermore, failures force us to work even harder, helping us to develop a stronger work ethic. At the most basic level, adulthood is not reaching a certain age, ticking off boxes on a checklist, or even things that seem quintessentially adult, like having children. There is a reason people say “grow up” instead of “grow old.” It’s a conscious change you must be willing to make within yourself. The only difference between growing up and growing older is choosing to make the effort to create your future, instead of simply allowing it to happen to you. Thus, I hope that we will all grow up, and not just grow older. Thank you.