College Equals Transition to Adulthood

By General Education Advice

Through the years of giving presentations to students along Shoreline, Connecticut, I often ask:

“When do you become an adult in America?”

“18” a few mumble.

I then ask if they’ll still be living at home at 18 and continue with the obvious point that not much will really change in their lives on when they become a legal adult.

I then note that the moment the car door closes with your parents inside as they drive away from college drop-off is really the moment that they will become adults.

I realize that parents reading that point may feel immediate poignancy.  I’m sorry about that…

But presumably, you are reading this article in the hopes that you can help your children.  The practical implications related to college are usually front and center in discussions with children about college.  But much like your FEELING state might have shifted when you thought about leaving your child, your children’s feeling state will often shift if they understand that college is the American transition to adulthood.

Indeed, when I look around the room, I notice most eyes are transfixed when I continue that the moment of leaving home is not only the biggest moment that most 18 year olds will have had at that point in their lives but also among the biggest moments of their entire lives.  At my age, the biggest singular moments would have the top line filled with the birth of each of my three children; my marital day; my departure to college… and, as a parent, the departure of each of my three children to college.