Rituals that I believe are important in U.S life include the following: Registering to vote/ signing up for the draft, weddings, funerals, graduation parties (high school & college), turning 21/ drinking legally and getting your driver’s license. One that I really want to emphasize is turning 21. There is such an expected trend of celebrating this milestone in the United States (as well as in many other parts of the world). There is expectation that everyone has to go to the bar and drink themselves silly once they are legal. In terms of becoming 18, I do believe that voting and registering for the draft is considered to be patriotic in the United States. Graduation parties and receiving your license goes hand in hand with being more independent. Usually, weddings in the United States celebrate the union of two people, and a funeral in the United States celebrate the life of a loved one.
Rituals that I believe are important in my own culture include the following: Baptisms, confirmations, communions & circumcisions. In my culture, a baptism frees someone from sin. It is a foundation of my culture as well as a form of initiation. Confirmation is the second step in my culture which signifies that I have a stronger sense of faith. The last step is communion. This is when someone in my culture finally eats “the body” and drinks “the blood” of Christ. All of these show that I am progressing spiritually within my culture, and that I am getting closer to God.
I personally have been baptized. I have gone through my confirmation ceremony, and I have had my first communion. Moreover, every male in my family has been circumcised. When I was baptized, I was extremely young, so I do not remember my thoughts on the ritual. Same goes to the circumcision, but during my first communion and my confirmation ceremonies, I was actually not thinking of much. At the time, I had felt like I was going through the motions. I did not feel much change after the ceremonies either. Now, I am very grateful that I went through all of these rituals as they help define who I am today, and because they are all very important for my own cultural beliefs.
Up to this point, I truly see how the idea of belonging-liminality-belonging applies to my college experience. I am a senior nearing the end, but I would still consider myself to be in the liminality stage. The reason why I say this is because I definitely am not a full grown & fully educated adult with a full time job that has to pay all of their bills. Neither am I an uneducated highschool student who still lives at home & who pays no bills at all. Instead, I am responsible for some bills, and I am in the process of getting educated. I agree with the example in lecture about attitude, rules & drinking. When you go away to college, you most likely are no longer under the strict rules of your parents. Instead, you have a new sense of independence, but you are also not completely independent. In other words, you are “not quite ready to follow adult rules.” This includes the example of becoming a responsible drinker which was also mentioned in lecture. In college, it is acceptable to drink all of the time, but once you are an adult, it is no longer acceptable. Adults do not not day drink and if they do then they are alcoholics. Also, students tend to get away with a lot of things that normal adults usually would not get away with. For example, if a college student calls in sick for work, but in reality they are just studying or drinking, it is often overlooked, but if this were to happen in a Fortune 500 company, I doubt the same rules would apply. During college, you begin to make a lot of new decisions & take a variety of paths, but these paths do not mean that we are adults. Instead, these paths are stepping stones on the way of becoming true adults. I feel like in college, every decision we make influences how fast we become adults and how well of adults we actually become.
Overtime, I have received implicit as well as explicit messages about how college students behave. Implicit messages on college men and how they should behave includes that they should all be very masculine. Moreover, when they drink, they should be able to drink a lot without a chaser, and if they fail to comply then they are no longer considered masculine. This goes hand & hand with how college men are only masculine if they sleep around. This plays a similar role for women. Girls get a horrible correlation to being “eye candy” in college, and based on how they comply, positive or negative labels can be made. Explicit messages that I have heard about college women include that they need to be more cautious when it comes to walking around campus at night or while drinking because it has been assumed that girls are more likely to be assaulted over college men. This includes that these women should be aware of their surroundings and women should have their own pepper spray or some type of defense mechanism.