Many teenagers I have worked with are in a serious hurry to grow up. They want to do all the things that adults do. They want to be able to smoke, drink, have sex, and go to parties. However, it looks like research has shown that engaging in these behaviors without the accompanying responsibilities is not just bad for kids in the short run, it has long-term consequences. This article outlines some of those potential consequences. I have always told the kids that I work with that they do NOT want to peak in middle/high school. You do not want those years to be the best time of your life because that means that at 18 your life just goes downhill. I'm not saying that you want middle and high school to be miserable, but it looks like waiting to become an adult until you are really ready has its benefits. So enjoy middle and high school, but recognize that your best years are still ahead of you.