Monday, July 27, 2009

Gap Years

I am told quite often that I seem a great deal more mature then my age. It's a nice thought, and I think that in many ways it's true, but at least once every few months I get a sharp reminder of my own immaturity, and I begin to think about gap years.

Lets run for a moment with the theory that most of us finish puberty and reach the cusp of physical maturity around the age of eighteen. We also finish high school at the age of eighteen, and for a lot of people I know, because I have the fortune to be born into the upper middle class of a first world nation, this means heading off to college to get your first real taste of independence.

I think that's a disastrously bad idea. I think this because we're giving independence the wrong way. These kids go off to college, they have room and board and tuition paid for them, and I assume they have some money on the side, probably given to them as well. They're given freedom, but they're still, in many ways, dependant.

Looking back on things I first tasted independence during Project Exodus. Independence is seeing the thousand tiny cruelties of life, and toughening yourself against them. Independence is about being responsible for yourself, and maturity is when you can actually pull off being independent.


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