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Child/Adult Remix: How Far Do We Have to Go to Prove Ourselves?

If you haven’t already read my original blog post on being a child versus being an adult, I might suggest you read it before reading my most recent opinion on the matter.

If you have ever been in a situation where an older adult was helping you, you most likely know exactly what I will be talking about in this post. This is unfortunate, because it means that the concept of superiority will never fade, regardless of how old you are. If you’ve never experienced what I am about to discuss, then I want to live your life. By the way, you know how much I love to tell stories, so this story leads into my point. 

GW has decided, for the fifth semester in a row, to put a hold on my account without telling me why, let alone telling me it existed at all. Now I am partially at fault, because I hadn’t even bothered to check the fall registration dates until my friend texted me about how mad she was that she would have to wake up at 6 am. I don’t blame her. It’s a little ridiculous that we’re paying so much money to have to virtually fight each other for classes. Anyway, when I logged onto banweb the night before registration, I noticed the hold on my account. 

My father has recently become a migrant. He has a really hard time staying in one place (something we have in common). Right now, he is living it up in Mexico getting his tan on at the beach, while I am sitting in my three-hour block class biting my nails about my tuition payment. Today, it was up to me to make sure that my tuition was paid. 

My tuition gets paid through the bank. GW mails the paper statement to the bank, and they wire the money to GW Accounts. Or so I thought. This has changed. How does GW decide to tell me this? Through a GW Infomail. NO ONE READS THEM. Send me an e-mail that says “Urgent Information about your Student Account Bills”. Apparently, GW does not send paper statements anymore, so if I am not paying the bill myself, I need to authorize to have e-bills sent to my source of tuition payment.

This morning, during my cancelled class-time, I marched over to Colonial Central, with a not so happy attitude. However, when I walked to the cashier, I decided, “I am going to be nice. Being nice is a better and more pleasant way of getting what I want”. So I was really nice to the woman at the cashier. She was not so nice to me. She acted like explaining the tuition process to me was a chore. Sorry that I don’t work in the student accounts office, okay? Do you want me to bake you cookies? Will that make it better?

After leaving the cashier, I walked over to a bench in Kogan and called the woman who is in charge of my tuition payments at the bank. Once again, I decided I would be nice. “Hi Karen, this is Nicole. You’ve been in touch with my father, I believe he e-mailed you about my tuition payments”. She was not so nice to me. “I spoke to GW and they told me that they sent you an e-mail about switching to online billing”. Defending herself, naturally. My Dad had previously written her a not-so-nice e-mail, but I am not my father. She told me to send her the statement, so I sent her the e-bill that GW sent through my email. 

She calls me and asks me what I just sent her, and sneers, “I can’t pay this way, I don’t have your username or password”. So I said, “Karen, I just sent you the wiring information and the tuition amount that is due”. She responds, “Honey, I need the actual statement. There’s no way I can pay your tuition without it. I have to present this sort of stuff to the committee. This is not my decision”. Once again, she was not so nice about it. Sorry I don’t know the process in which you present my tuition payments? Sorry I don’t work at a bank? 

So after explaining to her that I don’t own a fax machine because I wasn’t born in the 60’s, she bosses me around and tells me, “Go, get on your computer and send me the PDF”. So I try that. Eventually, I end up going to Kinko’s to fax it. Once again, I call her to be sure she received it, and she says, “I don’t know, Nic. Let me check. Mmmhm, I got it, thanks”, and hangs up. Rude. 

Now I’m not sure if you can tell the attitude from the dialogue– her sentences were pretty basic. But she was very burdened by the fact that I was calling her and asking her nicely what I needed to do so my tuition would be paid. Once again, sorry I am inconveniencing you. If you’re in customer service, you should try being nicer to your CUSTOMERS. 

I don’t know about you, but the older that I get, the more frustrated I become with the concept of superiority. I may not be 21 years old yet, and I may still be in college, but I am an adult. I live on my own, I have my own job, I have responsibilities, and I am an adult. Do not feel like you can treat me like a child solely because you are a couple of decades older than me, and do NOT treat me like I’m being a snobby princess. I won’t tolerate it.

It’s disrespectful for people who are forty or fifty years old to treat us like we’re children. If we are capable of living on our own and making our own choices, then we are not children. Yes, maybe we’re still dependents, but that does not mean we are unaware of the value of money. Maybe we’re still in school, but that does not mean we do not understand the difference between college and the real world. Maybe we still live with our parents over breaks, but that does not mean we are unaware of the responsibilities that come with living on our own.

So how much is it going to take for us to be taken as serious adults? Do we have to carry around our diplomas or make copies of our apartment leases? Do we have to act just as childish as our “superiors” in order to solidify our place in this country? We are just as much adults as the next bald, forty year old man. Hell, sometimes we’re more valuable. With youth comes a fresh perspective, good health and open knowledge. Yes. I went there.
So don’t let people who are older than you treat you like dirt. I would have given Karen a piece of my mind, but then again, I need my tuition to be paid…

photo credit: http://andrewmuszynski-postsecrets.blogspot.com/2009/11/adult-vs-child.html

Nicole Robert is a senior from North Salem, New York. She transferred from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and this is her third year at The George Washington University. She studies International Affairs with a concentration in Global Public Health, and minors in Public Health. A sister of Delta Gamma, Nicole loves to participate in many community service opportunities. She also interns at Washington Life Magazine and works as a hostess at a local restaurant. When Nicole is not studying or working, she is writing blog posts for The Avant Guide, an up and coming fashion company. She credits Pandora and her personal Tumblr for motivation and a creative outlet. 
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