I am starting my 12th year of youth ministry. I will be working with high school students again. This is one of my favorite groups. I like their energy, the chaos (from hormones and such), and most of all their passion.
When I have a student turn 18 I sometimes go on a bit of a rant when they don’t take turning 18 seriously. Why is this such a pet peeve? I think I’m tired of meeting people in their 20s who are behaving like they are 15.
Here are some of the key points to my rant:
1. You are 18. You are an adult. Behave like one.
2. You are responsible for all your choices now. If life isn’t going well, then start making choices towards changing things. If you are succeeding, then you get to celebrate. It’s all you.
3. If you CHOOSE to live at home (and from here on out it is a choice) then you can’t whine about it. You have to be thankful to your parents for letting you stay, and you need to accept their house rules. It’s their house.
4. Being uncomfortable isn’t the end of the world. If the cost of living (I live in California) is too much for you to live the way you want, consider another state (yes, with different weather). You don’t have to have the nicest car, or maybe you could use public transportation. You can share an apartment with others. Shop for clothes at a 2nd hand store.
5. There are no jobs that are beneath you. You are starting out and should be willing to start at the bottom. But be creative with your search. Don’t just go to the mall and apply to all the Starbucks (I once worked as a receptionist at an acupuncturist ~ that was unique).
OK, so those are the top 5 of my rant. I sometimes keep going and get rather heated in my need for the students to understand they need to grow up. It really makes me cringe when I meet a 23 year old and they are uncomfortable with the title of “adult”. My reaction is always, “Yeah, you’ve been an adult for 5 years. What are you waiting for?”
I could also go into how parents enable their kids to behave as juveniles, but the truth is, as an adult we need to stop pointing the finger at our parents. The onus is now on us, the adults, to take ownership of our own lives. So go out there and GROW UP!