Friday, April 13, 2012
Love Notes, Walks of Shame, and Maturation Epiphanies
Sitting in education classes, we often discuss the hormones of high schoolers. We discuss the focus placed on appearance that fuels what used to be "Do You Like Me? Check Yes, No, Maybe" notes stuffed in lockers, the worry about image that spawns fad diets and nervousness, and the social pariah fear that results from not being asked to the dance. I am always amused by this conversation, because the hormonal cycle doesn't end in four years. It continues in college! However, it is a bit different. The "Check Yes, No, Maybe" notes are replaced with texts asking to "meet up at a party this weekend or somethin'..." The awkward, "My mom can take us to the mall and we can, like, walk around and stuff," moments have been replaced with "walks of shame." We often say these high school students are "immature," "focused on the present," and "hormonal," but have we really changed? Are "booty calls" more mature than punching your 'crush' in the arm on the playground? How many undergraduates really focus on the future, rather than the party this Friday night, or the homework assignment due tomorrow? I'm not saying all college students are promiscuous, running around doing, as they say in Crossroads, "God knows what with God knows who..." but I am saying that we're not much better than the high school kids we're about to teach. We never really get better. Adults still gossip. They still have their awkward Christmas parties where one secretary gets a little too tipsy on the "holiday punch" and disappears for awhile with the copy guy. Adults still have the "popular lunch spot" near the water cooler. We can scoff and roll our eyes all we want, but we were those high schoolers. We still are, just four years later. Sure, we have time and experiences these high schoolers haven't had... and that's why we're going back to teach them. I just think it's important to note that we haven't had some maturation epiphany. If you're still spending your Friday nights texting that certain someone "heyyy" and analyzing how many 'y's' he or she included... then you're not too far from checking yes, no, or maybe.