I'm reminded of some obvservations by New Gingrich that "adolescence" is a relatively new phenomenon in human history. Until the mid-19th century, boys were expected to either start learning a trade, go to work on the farm, or go to the university at 13-14 years old. This is why the Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation are done at that age. Today, we do not expect our children to act as adults until they are well into their 20's. For at least half of college students, that four (or more) year adventure is nothing more than an expensive extension of irresponsible adolescence.
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