When I graduated high school, adults would get this glassy look in their eyes and tell me how lucky I was to be heading off to college. “These will be the best years of your life”, they’d say with a wistful smile and in some ways, I guess that was true. It was a time of discovery and fun and even though I’d left home, I really wasn’t completely independent. Although there was no one reminding me to wake up for my eight o’clock class, and no one to make sure I ate right or I got any sleep, there was still the comfort of knowing I had my parents to fall back on. I had a strong safety net to catch me if I fell, invisible to me at the time but always there.
Now my youngest is preparing to leave for college. She’s texting her new roommate, gathering her belongings and begging me to take her to Bed Bath & Beyond before all her dorm “necessities” sell out. I’ve seen a huge transformation in her and I can feel her excitement and a little fear as she thinks about what’s ahead.
I remember that feeling. I lived with my sister freshman year in a basement dorm with walls resembling those of a prison cell. Like everyone else, we went straight to a campus store and bought clever posters to cover them. Some bought the poster of a cat holding onto a bar with the saying “Hang in There Baby” written above it and many of the boys went straight for the Cheryl Tiegs or Farah Fawcet pin up posters. Wanting to be different, I chose what I felt to be the intellectual poster of a pig drawn by a popular cartoonist, Sandra Boynton with a quote by a sarcastic Thomas Gray above it saying, “Where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise”.
We brought our shower caddies and new comforters but there were no cell phones or laptops to bring. The biggest technology was a dial up phone in beige used once a week to call or get calls from my parents. We existed in a protected bubble with no outside noise and we were completely out of touch with true reality but this made us feel safe and in control. We only processed the news we chose to read in the student paper yet as we got to be juniors and seniors, we slowly opened ourselves to what was happening in the “real world”. Ronald Reagan became president, AIDS became a deadly epidemic and Margaret Thatcher was serving as the first female prime minister of Britain.
Now my youngest is heading out and I wonder if she’ll feel as if she’s in a protected bubble. She’ll be faced with all the challenges and joys of being a college freshman living on her own, but will she have to worry about all the stuff we’re bombarded with today? Mass shootings, suicide bombings, global warming and all the other dire news we receive thru our technology non-stop, 24/7.
I’m not saying I want my college bound daughter to be uninformed. I’m just hoping she can have a couple more years to enjoy her new found independence while still feeling sort of safe doing it. Of course she is getting all the lectures from us titled, Don’t Walk Home Alone, Don’t Drink Anything You Don’t Pour, and Never Leave a Friend Behind but she’s also getting slammed with the noise from her phone, her laptop and media screens hanging in every public venue.
Technology has been a terrific addition for us but to me, it has also brought the end of innocence. Today’s college freshmen must grow up faster and like the melting glaciers, that protective bubble is thinning more quickly, exposing our children to the problems our world faces at a younger age. As an adult, I am wistful thinking of my college years and I am thrilled about what’s ahead for my daughter but I know her experience will be different from mine. She’ll come face to face with reality fast and she will be hit with the global issues only “mature” adults used to deal with.
Of course, I want her to become a full-fledged independent person but I’m hoping she can focus a couple more years on herself and have some time to think about what she wants to do to contribute to the world and not what she has to do to save it.
My hope is she will be able to turn off her phone and soak up her environment, meeting and interacting with friends and discovering her passion so she can slowly move into a career she loves. I realize this sounds naive’ and I agree college is the place to learn about world problems but it would be great if she could avoid being bombarded by them for just a bit longer. The onslaught of information tends to pull us away from “real” life where lots of good things happen and “real” connections are made. So like my daughter, I hope we all remember “ignorance is bliss” and avoiding the onslaught of “knowledge” being fed to us on a constant basis may be the best way to learn how to truly cope with the “real” world.
– Germaine Caprio, Company Owner & Designer
We’re going back to the basics! At MAJAMAS we try to stay as conscious and connected as possible while still keeping our optimism and natural roots. Sticking to these basic principles helps us in everything we do, especially in designing our clothes. We focus on feeling beautiful everyday – mind, body, & soul, so you can take on the world with confidence and make your own positive impact on our planet.
Check out some of our favorite ESSENTIALS for Fall that will make you feel inspired for back-to-school time!