When it comes to responsibility, you’d think most of us on campus would have it down by now. But recent events in my life have shown me that’s not necessarily true.
This past week, for instance, I missed a flight home because I had spent the entire night packing, got three hours of sleep and slept through my alarm. Luckily, I was able to catch a later flight after my father pulled some strings on my behalf.
Had there not been someone to swoop in and save me, I probably would have been stuck in Bloomington, wondering how in God’s name I would make it to a Miami port for a cruise to the ?Bahamas on Monday.
Scoldings from family members weren’t necessary at this point — I felt bad enough for missing a flight I had planned for days in advance and missed because of a few Z’s. I’ve never even missed class because I slept in, so this misfortune ?happened much to my ?chagrin.
But like most of my peers, failures in the responsibility department are not uncommon. Just this week alone, I misplaced one of my prized possessions, forgot a souvenir somewhere between the Bahamas and Bloomington and even made the mistake of not reapplying sunscreen to my feet.
Scatterbrained is a characteristic used to describe me by those who know me well and like to poke fun at my ?forgetfulness.
But it’s not just a lack of focus — sometimes, I drop the ball. There’s no excuse for it, but it’s really that simple.
However, I’ve never felt like the oddball when it comes to this unflattering trait. I hear from friends all the time about deadlines they’ve missed and obligations they’ve shrugged off, not to mention the reckless choices pertaining to health.
Most of the time, these issues are met with an indifferent attitude and a few laughs from friends about the ?stupidity of the situation.
I don’t ever want to give off a holier-than-thou vibe because it’s not the way I conduct myself. I’m human and I make mistakes, just like everyone else on this ?campus.
But college students like to use the phrase “Shit happens” a little too often to describe their mishaps for my taste. Shit didn’t happen, your irresponsibility did.
It’s times like these when we should come clean. Sure, it sounds like a Hilary Duff song circa early 2000, but it works.
Own up to your mistakes and your irresponsible habits. If you make excuses for yourself, it’s that much easier to continue to skate by and avoid the looming obligations in your life. Believe it or not, it catches up to you.
That’s how people miss planes. That’s how people miss deadlines. That’s how people don’t graduate on time.
College is a transitional territory and responsibility, or a lack of it, is the hallmark of adulthood. If we can’t take those steps to accountability, we’ve missed the pivotal point.
So take this as a warning from someone who’s been there and done that. The chickens will, eventually, come home to roost and we need to be ready to make good on our promises.