Dear SCSU Freshmen: Welcome to Adulthood

This is not going to be one of those sappy but poignant blog entries where I tell you all about my best experiences at this university. This will not be one of those lectures on what it was like for my generation and how “kids these days” don’t know how to act. To assume that people who are ten years younger than I am, are capable of acting the same way as I do is silly. We are not from the same backgrounds, neighborhoods, schools, cities or even countries.

Congratulations, most of you have reached the milestone of turning 18. By legal standards, you are no longer a minor. Your parents no longer have legal custody over you, are not entitled to your health records, financial records or school records, etc. You have been given the responsibility to take care of yourself and your own life. However, turning 18 does not make you an adult. Being an adult means you have the maturity to properly conduct yourself in society.

There are certain things we do in society that are considerate of other people, and these things are never limited by your age.

For past three years I have been eating food in the Adanti Student Center cafeteria. And for those same three years, I have watched countless students, who are freshmen more often than not, leave garbage, half eaten food, hair and various other disgusting things on the tables and walk away like nothing happened. You have left these messes for the cleaning staff to deal with. Just because they are paid to clean the cafeteria, does not mean that you have the right to leave such filth for these people. In addition, I will not sit at a filthy table, nor will I clean it, because I don’t clean up after other people who are fully capable of doing it themselves. I do not understand how someone can make it to 18 years of age, and not know how to wipe off a table. I realize that we don’t always have enough time between classes to eat comfortably. If you do not have the time to wipe down a table, then don’t make a mess to begin with.

Between the times of 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, this same cafeteria becomes horribly crowded. I typically grab whatever food I can get my hands on that’s on the shelves and get in line to pay as quickly as possible. Like most students here, I don’t have time to stand in line for a half an hour to order a hotdog. Weaving myself through the sea of people to get to these food shelves, is a nightmare. I have to yell “Excuse me!” several times at the same person, tap on their shoulders and even resort to pushing people out of my way because they ignore me and refuse to move. When in your life has it ever been okay for you to refuse to move out of someone’s way when they say “excuse me”? No student at this university at any age or college level should have to put up with behavior like that.

In seems that the new influx of students have taken to OPENING the plastic food containers that are on display. These containers are see-through, so there is absolutely no reason why you should ever try to or open these containers and touch the food that is inside. This is something that five year olds do in the grocery store do when mommy or daddy aren’t looking, NOT college students.

Stop leaving the lids on the Au Bon Pain soup cookers open after you get your soup. People will breathe, cough and sneeze on uncovered food. There are students here that have compromised immune systems, and they do not deserve to be sick because you were careless.

When someone holds the door for you, the polite thing to do is say thank you. Time and time again I have held a door for someone, and the response has been silence. Hold the door for the person behind you as well. I’ve taken to letting go of the door when people don’t say thank you, so if you ever encounter a student who does that, guess who!

I am fully aware that 18 year olds are 18, and at that age the brain is still growing and maturing. I am also aware that people come from a variety of upbringings, backgrounds, etc.There is no way that you have been able to do all of the rude behaviors I listed for 18 years without ever being scolded. No one who acts this way thinks it is okay. It is a severe lack of empathy, and an over-abundance of apathy. It’s time to embrace adulthood.

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