Respectability takes many forms. When you grow up a certain way, it's expected that you'll travel a certain path: serve on boards, go to cocktail parties, attend important conferences, maybe even give a TED talk if you really have made it (after all, what could possibly be more important?) I grew up on that path, but deviated from it, first because of circumstances, then by choice.
For decades the common wisdom of parenting manuals was that teenagers feel invulnerable, immortal, and simply perceive less peril in dicey situations and believe they have much more control than they actually do. In short, they underestimate life's very real risks and dangers. But scientists who study adolescent decision making now dispute this common parenting wisdom.