I personally do not think rituals of transition are important, however there are a few in U.S. life that hold significance. For example, getting married is a big one. Getting married holds a lot of weight and it is a big deal to not only the couple getting married, but also to friends, family, and sometimes the society depending on the social status of the individuals. There is so much that goes into a wedding and takes time to execute because everything is expected to be perfect for the big day. I think the transition comes into play when when the bride officially takes the last name of the groom. Another big one in the Unites States would be registering to vote after turning 18 and also graduating high school and going to college. Voting is seen as a very big deal in the United States and shows a lot of patriotism. It’s one of the very first things a lot of teens do as soon as they turn 18, in order to be apart of elections and make their voice heard. Going to college is such a huge tradition because this is when a young adult is given complete freedom to take care of themselves and all their responsibilities.
The big transition I have gone through is beginning menstruation as a young girl, but that was obviously out of my control. Although my mother did describe that frightening time as my “welcome to womanhood,” it did not hold as much significance as it does in other counties. As a young girl, I was embarrassed when the “time” came for me. Looking back now, I actually wish my mother, sister, and other women in my family would have hosted a celebration. There is a poem by Dominique Christina on YouTube, called “The Period Poem,” in which she describes my experience and how this important time of life should be taught to young girls and explained to everyone else. One transition that was more significant in my life was graduating from high school and going to college. I am a first-generation college student; therefore, a lot of my family members hold me to high expectations, but some of them do not offer help or support. I am grateful for those who were there with me from my transition from high school to college and I was very much appreciate of the gifts I received. The ritual aspect was having an open house to receive gifts and celebrate the transition. However, looking back now, I feel that the celebration didn’t prepare me or give insight for the new chapter of my life that I was extremely nervous to begin. Looking back, it was really just a party to say congratulations, eat, and take pictures. Another was also getting my first job in high school. My mother didn’t allow me to get a job until I was 17, going on 18 years old. It was my transition into beginning to handle my own responsibilities and pay for my own things from that day forward. Looking back on that, I appreciate her allowing me to focus on school and not having worry about a job at a young age. When I started working, that is when I transitioned into paying for my own things and started learning how to be independent.
My college experience is a lot different from a lot of students, being that I don’t party much nor do i like drinking, however i still have receievd a lot of message about how students behave, or how they are supposed to. My freshman year I was told by a lot of people about partying at MSU, getting drunk, and how it is pretty much the norm to get drunk whenever partying. I think these explicit messages make some students conform to the social norm. Some implicit messages relating to partying were about how women dressed themselves going out and how wearing less or the type of outfit implies some kind of negativity or unwanted attention from men. Recently, my roommate explained to me why she doesn’t wear certain pieces going out because of the message it sends out about her. I think explicit and implicit messages definitely mold the college experience for many students.