MEGAN MILLER / THE STATESMAN
“If we were trying to act like responsible adults, Stony Brook would not think of us as people who need reminders to pay attention while crossing roads.” MEGAN MILLER / THE STATESMAN

If you have not noticed already because you were too busy texting, Stony Brook has decided to take the fatherly role of reminding us to put away our phone so we do not get hit by a car.

In the crosswalk border between the steps to isolated Tabler Quad and the rest of Stony Brook’s campus, now there is a nice big “LOOK” sign written on the ground. Administration plans to implement this in many more major intersections throughout campus.

The proposal is an interesting and helpful one; in general, people have become so dependent on others and technology recently that the school feels obligated to remind us that the outside world (like traffic and roads) exists and can be dangerous.

Who knows, maybe they will provide us with crossing guards that hold our hands while we cross the road and help us even more.

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As thoughtful as Stony Brook is in this situation, if they really need to put warning signs for crossing a road, how are we living up to our new role as “adults?”

We are in the stage where we leave our parents’ home and go to school to learn a trade so we can provide for ourselves in the future. If we cannot even put away our cell phones when crossing the road, our generation’s future looks pretty bleak.

In the past, college was seen as a rite of passage to adulthood, where we grow as people and become the builders of society.

The dorming option was implemented to make it easier for people to learn the valuable life skill of independence. However, for the recent generations, this plan backfired. Now, we feel more entitled; we are given everything and only have to study, which many of us do not even do.

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There are no worries for food and shelter and we assume we have nice jobs waiting for us right after graduation. We have fleeting relationships and hookups to fulfill our desire for significant others. We have begun to feel like high-schoolers again, except with the new privilege of being by ourselves.

This brings about a generation of people who take things for granted and feel like they do not need to work for anything. We have no role models, no one to look to as a symbol of struggle and accomplishment. Before doing something, our only line of reasoning lies in if this action will give us some sort of pleasure. We give in to the temptations of relaxing and having fun in meaningless ways. These effects multiplied over the past couple decades, and now more and more people are embodying this hedonistic mindset of entitlement and carelessness.

The world outside of the college sphere started to evolve as well. With the influx of hard-working immigrants who would take part-time classes and work for survival at the same time, the privileged and entitled fell behind. What happened to the bright future they assumed they would have? These people have started to think of college as a failed investment, thousands of dollars gone down the drain with little return of investment.

We are reaching adulthood later and later with every generation; we might look like adults, but we sure do not act like adults. If we were trying to act like responsible adults, Stony Brook would not think of us as people who need reminders to pay attention while crossing roads.

To show how far we are from responsible, the idea of a 18-year old-man getting married, working 12 hour shifts daily and having kids is repulsive and scary to us. However, that  hard-working man would look at an average American 25-year-old guy “in between jobs,” living for the Friday and Saturday nights when he can hit the club and sleeping around with many women disparagingly.

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Guess what? Our ancestors had lives more similarly to the 18-year old man, and apparently we are taught that we are better than people of the past. Are we really? How long can this modern hedonistic lifestyle play out, until we burn out? This warning to look while crossing the street only encourages this careless, entitled mindset.

Maturity is seen as a state of mind that is reached after a person has gone through immense struggle and pain that makes them realize their true purpose in life.

Is it any wonder that our great-grandparents, grandparents or even our parents married and started working much earlier than we did? They matured earlier because of the struggles they had to go through.

Are we even reaching maturity? Are we really mature adults ready to embark on a life journey of dedication and perseverance, like marriage, jobs, kids and other commitments? Or is this collegiate stage an illusion of independence, failing to prepare us for the hard life that is ahead of us?

The school telling us stop texting so we do not get hit by a car is only a metaphor for this sad state our peers are in nowadays.

We are being slowly rocked to sleep in our cradle covered by a pink woolen blanket while there is so much outside that we are kept ignorant of. College nowadays keeps us sheltered and oblivious to the world outside, which is tough and filled with struggle and turmoil.

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We think we will be able to lead good lives after college as long as we “follow our heart and do what we love.” However, with struggle taken out of the collegiate equation, we have more struggle setup for us ahead with little preparation for it.

We have not seen the real world yet and the reality is clouded with our pursuits of pleasure.The warning sign for crossing the road is another example of the university system babying us. We need to take responsibility for our lives, actions and commitments.

Even though the school had good intentions behind this action, this is a reminder for us that our childlike behaviors are only becoming more prevalent, and not in the good “child-at-heart” type of way.

If we can not even be careful when we cross a road, too involved in the cyber world of keeping tabs of other people, how will we be careful with the rest of our own lives?

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