The phrase "late-bloomer" may apply to a person who acquires significant intellectual interests in their 20s or 30s and enrolls in college, where he or she performs very well and then builds a professional career. This term can be applied to individuals who show an interest in and achieve success with activities that typically are pursued by people in their 20s or 30s.
People don't usually refer to themselves as late-bloomers; instead, they say they were early-to-mid-20s students. (In fact, the average age of undergraduate students across the United States is 25 years old.) But if you're one of these rare individuals who didn't start thinking about college until your mid-20s or later, then you might be called a late-bloomer.
Being a late-bloomer can have its advantages as well as its disadvantages. The main advantage is that you have time to pursue other interests before focusing all your energy on your career. The disadvantage is that there aren't many others like you - because most early-to-mid-20s students are still developing themselves professionally while late-bloomers are already working jobs they probably shouldn't have yet.
There are several reasons why someone might be labeled a late-bloomer.
A late bloomer is someone whose qualities or abilities do not become apparent to others until considerably later than typical. The term is usually applied to women, but it can also apply to men. Women typically show an early interest in things such as sports or music, which are known as "early blooming" traits. Later in life they may develop other interests such as fashion or art, which are called "late blooming" traits.
People differ in the traits that interest them earliest in life. Some people are always interested in tools, for example, while others seem to be initially interested in people. Still other people appear to be most interested in games and adventure right from the start. These traits tend to stay interests for most people throughout their lives.
As we get older, many of us begin to feel more secure about who we are and what we want out of life. We no longer need to prove ourselves to others by getting involved in risky activities or making bold moves. We feel comfortable in our own skin and are no longer afraid to make decisions independently. This is why many late bloomers feel more confident later in life than they did earlier in life when they were still developing.
Because we anticipate to live longer than the current average life span of 78 years, at 25, you may legitimately consider yourself to be a quarter of the way through your life. This is a newer word than the traditional mid-life crisis. So, what about people who achieve success later in life—those who are late bloomers? Is it preferable to be a late bloomer or an early achiever?
The truth is that both outcomes are acceptable. You should never feel guilty for being successful after many years have passed; however, you should also keep in mind that many people struggle their entire lives without ever reaching their potential. There is no right or wrong here; it's all about how you choose to look at things.
Now, if you were to ask me which option I would pick, I would have to say that being a late bloomer is easier than going straight into adulthood as an early achiever. No one expects much of you when you're young so there is no pressure to perform at a high level. You can learn everything you need to know and more during those teenage years when your brain is still developing.
When you reach adulthood, however, everything changes now. Jobs and responsibilities come with their own set of challenges so you cannot just stay in school forever. Whether you are trying to make it in the world of business or sports, there is always going to be someone who is willing to take advantage of your inexperience and use it against you.
Parenting Late Bloomers: Place an Emphasis on Skill Development. Your child may be a late bloomer if he is an average athlete or lags behind his friends. Parents, coaches, and classmates provide far less social support and reinforcement to late bloomers. They often feel like outsiders because of their lack of physical development or participation in sports. Therefore, late bloomers tend to stay home alone after school or skip school altogether.
Parents of early bloomers: If your child shows an interest in sports at a young age, she likely won't be a late bloomer. An early interest in sports can be further developed through play dates, camps, and other opportunities that are available for children's activities.
Late bloomers who want to participate in sports should do so as soon as possible because physical development is important for success in athletics. Training and practice sessions can help late bloomers develop their skills and become more competitive against their peers.
The term is used metaphorically to describe a child or adolescent who develops slowly compared to others their age, but eventually catches up and, in some cases, overtakes their peers, or an adult whose talent or genius in a particular field appears later in life than is normal—in some cases, only in old age. Late blooming may also be used to describe plants that do not produce flowers until after other plants have finished flowering for the season.
Late bloomers tend to have longer periods of development and growth before they reach their full potential. This can mean that they have more time to learn new skills and develop into mature adults with greater intelligence and physical strength than people of similar age. They may also have better memories for events that happen during these years.
People vary in how long they remain late-blooming adults. Some late developers find themselves developing skills at a rate faster than their peers as young adults, while others never catch up and remain immature adults forever. There are several factors that may influence when someone reaches their full maturity: their IQ, memory capacity, body size, health, and social environment are just a few examples.
In general, people who stay late-developing adults tend to live longer than those who don't. The average American male remains healthy for about 80 years, while women can expect to live about 90 years.
Late bloomers develop resilience as well. They grow adept at dealing with setbacks, planning ahead of time, and regulating their own expectations. It is for this reason that late bloomers are frequently happier and more successful than their contemporaries who achieved early achievement.
Experts believe that by the age of three, most children have caught up with one another, leaving little difference between the early and late bloomers. Once kids reach the age of 5, it's unlikely that you'd notice a late bloomer if you fell over one.
It is believed to be the result of a genetically inherited neurological difference from "normal" offspring, and it has been detected in persons of various intellect levels. Late bloomers, by definition, account for 20% to 35% of all entrepreneurs in the United States and the United Kingdom. Some researchers believe that more than 100 million people worldwide are late bloomers.
They differ from normal adults in that they have an innate ability to develop skills later in life. These skills usually relate to creative thinking or problem solving. However many late bloomers remain unaware of their abilities until someone challenges them to perform tasks that use these skills. Only then do they realize how well they can function even though they appear to be younger than their age peers.
The term was first used in reference to Charles Darwin's grandson, Francis Galton, who at age 21 had no academic qualifications but went on to become a distinguished scientist.
Darwin wrote about his grandson's case in His autobiography, The Life of Charles Darwin, Vol.