I have never gone to the grocery and purchased a vegetable.
They – being the parents, advisors, tour guides – attempt to put the transition from high school to college into perspective for young, aspiring students.
They warn of the responsibility that accompanies the great step from the comforts of the ‘school-at-8, home-at-3’ routine. They try with all their might to get it through our pubescent skulls that Mom won’t be there in the morning to strip your bed of its comforter if you fail to set your alarm.
There is no longer a need to fake sick. They prepare us in all the ways they can conceive, perhaps over-prepare us for certain endeavors that aren’t as prevalent as they remember, and they do all this so we won’t have to aimlessly decipher the hardships of independent living ourselves.
For the most part, they do a great job – but I have never bought a vegetable. I am more independent than I’ve been at any other point in my life, that is without question.
But am I an adult?
I wake up at 7, and make it to my class at 8 with my homework done. If I have a cough, I take Robitussin that I remembered to buy on my own. If I get a bad grade on an essay, I email the professor and I find out why.
I’m living an adult lifestyle, right?
As I walk out of my dorm each day I wave to the community advisor on duty, the babysitter of every resident. It is his job to make sure I’m an adult even when I don’t want to be.
Then I go to the dining hall, the “Mom’s kitchen” of the university. I eat whatever they’ve made. I don’t run errands, besides the biweekly “crap, I need deodorant” or the refill of my Cheez-It bunker.
My house is a room, my commute is a walk, and my professors can’t fire me. It’s adulthood with very few duties. It is a filtered form of adulthood. I realize that my pseudo-mature lifestyle is not by choice nor by lack of trying. It is simply the design of the place where we all reside.
While we have responsibilities at the university, we are granted conveniences. Whether they be too many or too few, you be the judge. The school provides us with what we need so we can more easily obtain what we want: a degree, an understanding.
I am not upset by this, but I need remind myself regularly that I am not yet an adult in the truest sense. I’ve still not bought a vegetable … but I think it’s time that I do.