High school to college. Does immaturity uphold?
Throughout my own day-to-day experiences, I’ve seen Kant’s theory regarding Enlightenment uphold. However, I have only seen it uphold in certain situations. Kant claims enlightenment is when man gets rid of his “self-imposed immaturity”. He goes on to discuss why many people have the inability to emerge from this immaturity. He says if people are told what to do (via guardians), thus being dependent on others, then there’s no need to exert themselves. In relating Kant’s words and theories to modern times, there is a large distinction to be made regarding high school and college. The way of life of a high school student seems to enforce Kant’s ideas about enlightenment. However, the life of a college student seems to pose interesting questions regarding Kant’s words.
High school life has, unfortunately, inhibited students from becoming independent. This lack of independence has led students to rely on others to make decisions for them. It has led to a buildup up student immaturity, which is according to Kant the failure to use one’s own abilities without outside help. In high school, there are rules, bells, announcements, and an abundance of authority figures telling students what to do. Kant argues that by the very nature of constantly being told what to do, people become used to being told what to do and are incapable of acting on their own without this outside help. It seems as if a high school student’s only job is to perform on tests and participate as everything else is done for them. Bells signal the end of class and that its time to leave, announcements inform the student body what is going on, and such authority figures as hall monitors prevent students from acting mischievous in the hallways. This way of life has definitely led student’s to consider being told what to do apart of their nature, thus remaining incapable of making their own decisions.
College life as well seems to heighten Kant’s views yet simultaneously provokes questions regarding his words. When making the transition from high school to college there are undoubtedly many changes going to take place. For example, one becomes completely independent. There is no one telling you to stay in class for the whole time, no one informing you of upcoming activities or events, and no one keeping you in line. You become the boss of yourself in college, therefore having no choice but exert yourself. If in the past one has been immature, then when entering college does one stay this way? You are forced to become your own boss, but how efficient will you be at this new task? There is so say whether you will be able to actually make good decisions on your own. Are you as a student still going to rely on others to do things for you? Will that immaturity you attained from high school still be apparent? How does one make a successful transition?
Kant’s discussion regarding enlightenment seems to uphold to both high school and college life, however, there are several factors that he did not hit on. Is enlightenment only inhibited when one has guardians physically around him? Does immaturity fade if not physically around people telling one what to do? Does one’s previous immaturity stay with one throughout life?