OPINION: Students, grow up.


Madison Nance, Opinion Writer

The changes that occur during college can be incredibly overwhelming, and mark a period in students’ lives where they truly begin to see themselves and others turning into full-blown adults. Entering college allows and requires new forms of independence that many students either maintained previously, or had never experienced beforehand. 

For those who were never forced to develop independence at home, it can be quite obvious to others. The lack of independence within certain students, especially with incoming freshmen, can inconvenience others in ridiculous amounts. It is hard to imagine why some students have not developed very basic adult skills before entering an environment where they have to function without assistance. Students need to grow up.

One of the most commonly recognizable characteristics of a student that did not develop responsibilities and independence is a student that fails to clean up after themselves. They cannot clean a dish, throw their trash away or keep clutter off of the floor. Surely college students have heard the horror stories about “that roommate” that anyone would hate to have, and one can only hope they don’t get paired with “that roommate.” The inability to clean becomes an issue when it starts to affect others, with irresponsible students leaving enough trash in their room to grow an army of bacteria large enough to wipe out an entire residence hall floor. Across campus, residence hall kitchen and laundry room trash cans are sometimes overfilled to the point that trash meets the floor, and students occasionally lose access to both of those rooms. 

The actions of people who cannot understand that their garbage does not belong to the public does nothing besides annoy and anger those around them, becoming both an inconvenience and an issue. Leaving behind garbage can be incredibly frustrating for others, as it was not theirs in the first place. Nobody enjoys being met with trash and having to clean up after somebody else.  

Another notable feature of the irresponsible student is their complete and utter inability to do laundry properly. How does somebody make it through 18 years of life without ever doing their own load of laundry? There is also little courtesy seen in campus laundry rooms, with spilled detergent and fabric softener never being cleaned, lint never removed from the dryers and clothes left sitting for hours in machines that others need to use. People will also remove each other’s clothes from dryers or washers and proceed to throw them on the floor to use the machines as if that was not somebody’s clean laundry. 

Following laundry-related responsibilities, some students are unable to manage their time when attempting to complete classwork by due dates and, of course, show up to class. But how could students possibly be shocked by failing grades from incomplete assignments and lack of attendance when they choose to go to weekday parties instead of keeping up with their work? There is always an extent to which grades and attendance are out of one’s own control, but part of it will still fall on the student. College is for studying before socializing. 

Students need to understand the importance of respecting others in their spaces, cleaning up after themselves and managing their time and several other unmentioned adultlike responsibilities. College is a student’s first step into the adult world, so how could they possibly be “grown” when they behave as if their parents are still behind them and doing everything for them? Everyone has their moments where mistakes are made. But in the end, everyone has to grow up at some point.