As a person who is 18 twice over (and then some), I should be able to drive as fast as my car will go. I should be able to drive on the sidewalk to avoid traffic jams. I should be able to leave my trash wherever I please. I should be able to live in my home without city inspectors requiring that my lawn be cut, my dogs be fenced, my cars not be parked on my lawn, etc. I really hate that if I fail to comply with any of these limitations, I can and will be fined to the full extent of the law.And about food – it is so unrighteous for fast food chains and coffee procurers to create a product, trademark that product, make it irresistibly tasty, then charge a price I feel is too high, all the while maintaining a monopoly on that product.
Bottom line: Limits exist in all phases of life, in all places and in all times. It is part of growing up and assuming responsibility for one’s choices. Choices not only offer limitations but also benefits.
Yes, at times choices are limited. Do you want salad, pizza, sushi, sandwiches, soup, grilled cheese, hamburgers, chicken strips, pasta, meatless entree, Asian, Mexican or main course entree? Do you want to eat on campus or off campus? Do you want to pay outrageous prices to shop in Frog Bytes or take a short walk to Albertson’s? Do you want to live in the on-campus apartments or residence halls? Do you want to live on campus (after your required time) or live off campus? Did you want to attend TCU or another university?
In my varied and lengthy collegiate experience, I found the amount of limits is directly related to the amount of safety and concern for the maximum number of community members. Drinking in the dorms is not conducive to the mission of TCU. What positive benefit does smoking offer either to the smoker or to the others subjected to the second-hand smoke? While pets are fun and adoring, do they enhance the goal of a college education? Does their presence help or hinder the educational environment? Would the pet be happy living in a community without the freedom a full-sized apartment or home offers, to say nothing of the lack of time most students have to adequately interact with the animal? As for overnight guests, I have seen the dorm rooms, and they are not roomy! Where would you put an overnight guest? Who is responsible for the behavior of the guest or the possible repercussions of the guest’s visit such as contagious illnesses, accident or injury to self or others, damage or destruction of property?
The reality in the “big, bad” world outside the TCU bubble is you will have more limitations, not much more freedom, less choices due to a greater variety of constraints and will be paying more in time, money and sacrifices. It is time to grow up, accept the limitations and be joyful (yes joyful!) that you do indeed have choices, in spite of the responsibilities and realities of those choices.
Annette Smith, third-year Brite Divinity School student