When I first read this article in the NY Times Magazine about how 20-somethings are delaying the supposed markers of adulthood---marriage, kids, financial independence---longer than they had in the past, I thought that the main flaw of it was that it didn’t address why financial independence was so hard to achieve. By casting the entire situation as a matter of desire and choice, the author missed the big picture, which is that people delay adulthood because the ability to be an adult requires a certain amount of privilege increasingly unavailable to young people. I tweeted about it at the time, noting the answer to the question, “Why don’t people grow up faster?” is incredibly, stupidly simple---because they are no longer any jobs for people in their early 20s that provide the means to be a full adult. Full stop.
Which is why I saw red when I read this smarmy, self-righteous screed from some Baby Boomer. It’s a classic example of being born on third and thinking you hit a triple. She assumes that her ability to pay rent with her first job out of college is strictly because she’s so much more fucking awesome than you spoiled kids these days, and her parents were so much more responsible than the softies of today. For a millisecond, she ponders the possibility that things have changed because of financial constraints, but then dismisses that possibility with a handwave. It’s so much more fun to be self-righteous!
With very limited use of her arms and legs, Kelsey Rozema has needed her parents' help with most daily tasks — getting out of bed, showering, putting on a coat and even opening a water bottle. In 18 years, they've been apart for only six nights.
So moving into a college dorm this week — and away from the reliance on her family — is even more of a milestone for Rozema than for the thousands of other wide-eyed freshmen arriving this week at the University of Illinois
I really start to lose patience with the parent when I get the worried or controlling calls about normal college stuff during the student’s first year. And that’s when I try to cut the parent off, by politely deflecting them while offering cheerfully to talk directly with the kid, all the while hoping the parent doesn’t go ballistic and try to get me fired.
My father was utterly delighted to cut me loose at age 18. He also refused to pay to send me to music school, which is what I wanted to do. So, I just moved out and got a job. He pretty much left me to my own devices after that, and when he died, he didn't leave me one fuckin red cent. So, um, what do you call that kind of parent? Certainly not a helicopter. I guess he was, let's see... a... I dunno, I can't think of an appropriate vehicle, aerial or otherwise.
If your parents smoked pot and moshed to punk rock, rebellion is going to be a lot less sharply defined.
Where do you think Young Republicans come from?
As of 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, for example, the parents of Princeton freshmen learn from the move-in schedule, “subsequent orientation events are intended for students only.” The language was added in recent years to draw a clear line, said Thomas Dunne, the associate dean of undergraduates. “It’s easy for students to point to this notation and say, ‘Hey, Mom, I think you’re supposed to be gone now,’ ” he said. “It’s obviously a hard conversation for students to have with parents.”
[One parent], a kindergarten teacher, said Grinnell’s message that at 4 p.m. college was starting and parents must go reminded her of what she tells the mothers and fathers of her pupils on the first day of school: “Say goodbye and just leave, because the kids calm down.”
This doesn't excuse everything they do, but I think that there's a limit of how much independence you can claim while receiving an allowance.
However, our experience was that Ferpa permits the student to allow his or her parents some access to his or her college records. ("Have your child complete a consent form that authorizes the release of his/her education records to the parents". )
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