Have you heard the term “emerging adult”? It’s a concept that refers to the human developmental period between the ages of 18 and 29 years old. The thought is that in the United States teens do not transition directly to adulthood as was perceived fifty years ago. Instead, there’s a period of time in which individuals gradually make that transition, in which they “emerge” as adults.
What makes an individual an adult? That is the $100,000 question. Unlike adolescence, which is marked by the onset of puberty, adulthood seems more fluid and determined by ones perception of independence. Marriage, once a primary mark of adulthood, is now viewed that way by just 4% of the 18 – 29 year-old set. So then what is the new marker for adulthood? The 2012 Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults says it’s “accepting responsibility for yourself” and “becoming financially independent.”1 With 30% of 18 – 29 year-olds living with their parents, it’s not surprising many view themselves as “not quite adults.”
This transition to adulthood is a tough one. Christian Smith, author of Souls in Transition: The Religious & Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults, says the process is defined by “intense identity exploration, instability, a focus on the self, feeling in limbo or in transition or ‘in between.’”2 Seventy-two percent of those polled by Clark University say this time in their life is stressful and 56% say they often feel anxious.3 This is not surprising as they are wrestling with discovering their purpose and calling, while also trying to figure out where to live, how to find a job, and how to make friends.
Parents, you can play a significant role in helping your son or daughter navigate this precarious time. It will require you, however, to transition from parenting an adolescent to walking alongside an emerging adult. What does that look like? Here are some suggestions:
1. Let your son or daughter face important decisions as an adult. Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” You’ve had eighteen years to train them. Let them now have the opportunity to think through and make important decisions. This is hard, because they won’t always make the best decision. However they have your godly training to rely on as well as your support, and the ability to learn from mistakes.
2. Earn the right to speak into their decisions by honoring their boundaries. Giving your son or daughter the gift of facing important decisions will communicate your confidence in them. And when your emerging adult feels supported by you, they will see you as a safe person in which to discuss their thoughts, feelings, options and decisions.
3. Be prepared for your emerging adult to follow their own vocational goals, not the goals you have for them. Often we have an idea of what our children will grow up to do based on what we know of them. And often our children will not agree with our assessment. Point out the qualities and gifting you see in them, but refrain from telling them what vocation to choose. Instead focus on how they live and for whom they live their lives.
4. Provide opportunities for your son or daughter to reflect on their experiences. Technology is so much a part of this generation’s life that a “here and now” mentality usurps any opportunity for reflection. You can help them reflect on what they are learning in chapel, in economics class or in their relationships by simply asking them questions:
• What has God been teaching you lately?
• How has your economics class caused you to think differently about your role in society?
• What have you learned about yourself through your roommate situation?
“As parents, our responsibility to help our children listen to God’s call is one that never ends. It simply changes in the way we serve as supporting agents in the divinely inspired process we call life.”4
May God bless you and your family as you walk in Him.
2 Christian Smith and Patricia Snell, Souls in Transition: The Religious & Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), p.6.
4 Todd C. Ream, Timothy W. Herrmann, C. Skip Trudeau, A Parent’s Guide to the Christian College. (Abilene Christian University Press, 2011) p. 186.
Parents, the following information is being communicated to your student from the Biola Emergency Response Team:
The National Weather Service has forecasted strong El Nino winter conditions, which may result in a higher probability of increased rainfall in Southern California. The increased rainfall could cause large scale flooding. It is difficult to predict exactly how strong this winter season could become, but it is important to be aware of possible impacts and plan accordingly.
The Biola University Emergency Response Team held a session to outline critical actions the university will need to take to address any issues. Some of the critical actions identified include pre staging sandbags/other supplies, forecasting, evacuation (people/cars), restricting access to portions of campus, communication with students and employees, medical aid, and power loss.
• Review the campus flood hazard map here.
• Sign up for the Biola Emergency Notification System. Students and employees will be notified via the ENS if emergency information needs to be communicated.
• Create an emergency kit, which should include medication, flashlight, important documents, clothing, shoes, and hygiene supplies.
• Consider obtaining flood insurance or renters insurance that includes flood/water damage to personal items. Biola does not cover any personal property damage as a result of flooding. Click here for information about obtaining student renter's insurance (available to all students, faculty, and staff).
• If you live on the first floor and your dorm is in the flood plain (see the campus flood plain map), before leaving for winter break, ensure that valuables are stored in an elevated location (bed/desk).
• If you are leaving your vehicle on campus over the winter break, it cannot be parked in front of Blackstone Hall, first floor of the parking structure K, Horton Hall parking area, parking lot M, N, R, first floor of parking structure S, and parking lot G. These areas have a high potential for flooding. Students who wish to leave their vehicles on campus may complete a liability waiver form and park on the top two levels of parking lot S or K.
• Stay away from the creek that runs north to south of campus.
• If you observe a person in distress or acting recklessly, call Campus Safety or 9-1-1
• Be prepared to evacuate to a designated location if required.
• If driving, do not cross-flooded areas.
• If you are off campus, stay away from flood channels.
• Be alert when driving. Roads may become blocked or closed due to hazards.
How to Contact Campus Safety
• 562-903-6000 (General line) 562-777-4000 (Emergency Line)
• 562-903-4724 (Emergency Information Hotline)
• 562-903-4897 (Questions About Flood Plan Map)
For questions please contact Chief Ojeisekhoba at firstname.lastname@example.org
Every advent season Biola University’s Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts provides The Advent Project, an online resource that offers a rich selection of scripture, devotionals, art, video and music. Check the site daily, Sunday, November 29 through Wednesday, January 6, 2016 for inspiration as we remember the mystery of the incarnation where the Word was made flesh.
Watch the Christmas Tree Lighting Live!
Biola’s annual tree lighting ceremony is a much cherished and anticipated event on campus. We would love for you to be present with us for this beloved tradition! Don’t live nearby? Then please join us for the live webcast when the festivities kick-off at 7:00pm PST on Monday, November 30!
Visit the site to sign up for a viewing reminder! The program will feature worship, prayer, scripture, a reading of the Christmas story from Luke and the lighting of the Christmas tree. We look forward to celebrating with you wherever you are!
~ One Day, $100K, $100% for Students ~
On Tuesday, December 1, national Giving Tuesday, Biola is hosting a 24-hour giving challenge to try and raise $100,000 for student scholarships, 100% of which will be given out to students in a special scholarship for the 2016-2017 school year.
We hope you will mark your calendars and plan to join Biola on December 1, because the impact of your generosity will be doubled that day. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, all donations towards the #GivingTuesday scholarship will be matched, dollar for dollar up to $50,000. Click here to give.
Ever wish you could be a Biola student, sit in on classes and learn from some of the most brilliant theologians and teachers of our time? You can!
iTunes U has a wealth of video and audio classes, chapels, lectures and conference series, all free! Simply go to iTunes.com, select iTunes U in the drop down menu and search Biola University. Take a course on interpreting scripture with Dr. Walt Russell in CSAP 527: Hermeneutics and Bible Study Methods. Learn about the impact of gender on communication from Dr. Tim Muehlhoff in COMM 474: Advanced Studies in Gender Communication. Develop an understanding of Spiritual Formation from Dr. John Coe in TTSF 501: Introduction to Spiritual Formation.
Check out iTunes U>Biola University for all our free online offerings!