The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

68° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    We haven’t grown up yet

    “”Mean Girls”” may not be a cinematic masterpiece, but the 2004 film is memorable for skewering the foibles of our immature high school years.

    In our early years, we all knew mean-spirited and childish young men and women like those in the film and felt relieved to cut them off after high school graduation.

    Central to the plot of “”Mean Girls”” is the burn book, a journal of malicious gossip and cruelty toward the main characters’ classmates. Fun plot device – but it seemed unrealistic and exaggerated that anyone close to adulthood would waste their time writing horrible things about other people in a notebook.

    Yet as it turns out, the burn book is not an urban legend, but very real, even in college. It is not only accessible to more than four girls like in the film, but to the entire World Wide web on Web sites like JuicyCampus.com and TheDirty.com.

    Juicy Campus describes itself as an enabler of “”online anonymous free speech on college campuses.”” The JuicyCampus site contains rumors for 59 colleges and universities, including the UA. Similarly, TheDirty.com promotes anonymous speech and includes provocative photographs and videos of other students that have the potential to do a lot more damage than a written online rumor is capable of.

    College students often credit themselves as sophisticated and past their adolescent years of immaturity, yet gladly speak disparagingly about their classmates on a Web site. The idea of a book of hatred was disturbing in high school, but the fact that grown men and women get pleasure engaging in such hurtful activity indicates these university students haven’t grown up.

    Online gossip may be the least conspicuous of college students’ bad habits, but it is only a minor example of many college students’ inability to fully let go of sophomoric behavior once high school is over. The anonymity of JuicyCampus.com allows students to hide that they have not grown out of harassing others.

    The time close to a student’s departure for a four-year university is especially exciting because they are reassured by many that they are growing into the person they will forever be by moving away for school. Even if students develop poor eating and sleeping habits, drink irresponsibly, have promiscuous sex with strangers or acquaintances, skip their classes and instead partake in online rumors, they are still perceived as adults simply because they have left home for college.

    Before we can advance and really grow, we sometimes stoop lower than we were before.

    According to a study by Duke University, students’ overall grade point averages are clearly negatively correlated with the amount they drink. The same study found that half of the participating students report having their studying or sleep disrupted by someone else’s alcohol use. The College Drinking Prevention Web site reports 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries. More than 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having unprotected sex and having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to it.

    Although these students are surviving without the guidance of their parents, such behavior is not demonstrative of responsible adults. Instead of following the law and waiting three years, students join pointless Facebook groups that support lowering the drinking age and purchase fake identification cards. Even though skipping a day of work at a professional job is absolutely unacceptable, students constantly whine about mandatory class attendance policies and act as if they have a right to blow off their teachers and their education because they are paying to be in college.

    Even the most basic chores can be done for the modern college student. Laundry is an unnecessary concern for UA students because Moms Campus Cleaners is a laundry and dry cleaning delivery service on campus. Although we (hopefully) knew how to do our own laundry in high school, Moms believes that “”the burden of laundry is a necessary time consuming chore that takes away from your studies.”” Within a day, Moms will have your laundry collected, on location, professionally washed and folded, packaged and delivered in a Moms laundry bag. This service is a great convenience for dry cleaning, but the college students that give in to this purchase have not proven to be the independent adults they pride themselves as – they can’t even do their own laundry.

    Yet not all students have to hit rock bottom before wising up. There are certainly students who don’t succumb to the temptations of the above activities in order to mature, but it’s not uncommon for many college students to arrogantly assume that they have entered true adulthood by being in college alone even though they likely receive the same amount of financial support from their parents and their bad behavior increases. Wait until you can successfully do your own laundry, avoid gossip Web sites, quit fighting necessary authority and develop healthy habits to decide how mature and wise you have become in early adulthood.

    Laura Donovan is a creative writing

    sophomore. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search