Saturday, March 31, 2012

Identity Crisis

            If you think about it, adulthood kind of shows up so abruptly, how is anyone supposed to really know what to do?  Up through high school we were treated as kids. Many were spoiled, especially in this age of technology. We had clothes, electricity, food, transportation, and many other things provided for us and we rarely gave it a second thought. I know that some people had a rougher childhood than others, but, speaking for myself, even though I knew my family didn't have much money, I still took things for granted. When we came close to graduation, many of us were preparing for college or a career and some were even planning weddings. Maybe taking care of pets, babysitting, chores, and part-time jobs helped us develop some sense of responsibility, but were we really ready?  The decisions we made as teenagers could impact the rest of our lives. 

            Those of us who went to college may have extended this charade. Staying in dorms, eating at the cafeteria, and following the class syllabus kept us on a schedule that pretty much set itself.  At some point before entering college or after finishing the basic classes, we must decide on a major. "What do you want to spend the rest of your life doing?" is a pretty tough question for an 18-20 year old. I think of James Marcia's identity statuses (see chart) that I studied in one of my classes.  I sometimes feel as though I fit into "identity foreclosure" because I made a commitment without exploring other options. I went straight to college and majored in education because I thought I was pretty good with little kids. I have a friend who was in a state of "moratorium" until her fourth year of college! Many of us choose our career paths before we face the "real world."

            And now I'll go back to my original point: at a young age we are thrust out into the world. We are independent young adults with plans and dreams, only we soon discover that life isn't as easy as we thought it was...

To be continued...

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