Week 2 Blog Post

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.

2 thoughts on “Week 2 Blog Post

  1. Hello Ashley,

    I enjoy your feedback on marriage and how it is a transitional stage for people. I understand that we all are kind of looking at this from the perspective of women for the most part. I can’t help but wonder what is significant for the male when considering marriage as a transitional phase because they do not have to change their last names. They just have a relationship status change that might be considered significant, but so do women.

    I also like your position on a woman’s menstrual cycle. I personally have also heard The Period Poem and see where you are coming from when you discuss that periods should be celebrated. It seems very odd to me that in the US we make the word “period” and “time of the month” into such negative connotations. I also felt really embarrassed when my period first started because I had no idea how to handle it. Even after talking to my mom, it seemed like such a dirty topic to discuss with friends, even asking for tampons at such a young age from friends was embarrassing. This whole thought makes me wonder if in the US we truly value all of the transitions that women go through? I also wonder if there is some way to make people value it more.

  2. While I see your point about having your first job, I have mixed thoughts on the timing. It’s nice to focus on school and not worry about a job, but I think having a job at an earlier age is helpful because of some personal experiences. I started working on a family friend’s vegetable farm when I was around 13 (mostly as a helping hand) and I’ve had part-time jobs all through high school and college. Not only have I learned the value of money and how to manage it, but also about time management and what it means to have a strong work ethic. I’m stuck in the middle on this because it’s not impossible to learn about those things without working at an earlier age. There are other opportunities to learn about time/money management and the value of income, but I certainly think it was more impactful having these concepts instilled earlier on. Another thing that puts me on the fence is; when is it too early? At what age should it be inappropriate to begin working? I guess it’s a grey area depending on the type of work, but it’s another thing to be considered.

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