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Rite of Passage Essay

Rites of passage have existed throughout human history and may be a significant factor in the development of a stable adult personality. Broken down into its most basic elements, a rite of passage involves a separation from society, preparation or instruction from an elder, a transition (in the case of adolescence, from child to adult), and a welcoming back into society with acknowledgment of the adolescent’s changed status. (Delaney, 1995)Todays youth have much more advantages than the generations past with the technological advances that have occurred in the world. For the separation process of the rites of passage, I would remove the teenagers from the cell phones, internet, television, and video games. Taking the teens out of his or her normal environment and placing them into an unfamiliar environment that forces them to adapt to the unfamiliar environment. Placing the teens in the wilderness, 100 miles outside of civilization.

In this process the youth are going through a process similar to an infant being born. Once an infant leaves the safety and security of its mothers womb they have enter into an unfamiliar world, and are now forced to adapt to the harsh reality of the real world. In the wilderness the teens would have to learn to adapt to living and providing for his or her self with guidance of an adult.The adolescents would learn to catch , clean and cook their own food. In this process the adolescents learn the importance of providing food for his or her self. This allows the teens to see the advantages that they have had in their lives.

Separating the youth from the only world that they have ever known and forcing them to see that the basic needs in life can be tended to with technology being removed from the equation. In this process the youth can see that it is possibe to communicate with his or her peers through regular conversation and not just through emails, telephone or cellular phones. In respect to per relations the separation period will give the teens the opportunity to truly get to know their peers and the things that they like of dislike. In the life the youth is used to they have so many distractions and life seems to move at a fast pace, the rite of passage will allow the youth to view life from a different perspective.

An initiation for the adolescents and the lessons learned would be a huge celebration amongst their peers. During this celebration each of the adolescents will be broken down into small groups to perform skits discussing the different issues they are face with during their adolescent years. The skits will help explain, from an adolescent point of view, how the media and his or her peers affect their sexual orientation preferences.The skits will allow the adolescents to reveal how certain things make them feel in regard to their sexual preference, ranging from the uncertainties to their experiences. There will be skits to represent the adolescent transitioning into adulthood, the skits will reflect on the female entering womanhood and the males becoming men.

During the initiation period each adolescent will have the privilege to hear from a number of special guests that will share his or her life experiences dealing with street gang, drug abuse, cutting school, and early sexuality. The teens will be given the opportunity to visualize the severity of street gangs through pictures and scars and wounds from the guest speakers. They will learn the importance of staying in school and staying drug free. The teens will hear a true story of how quickly the use of drugs can become addictive and how the addiction becomes so strong that there is no way to surpress it. Also the teens will hear from a young HIV positive mother about premature sexuality and how making the choice to engage in sexual activity can leave facing a number of decisions and major issues. The initiation will give each adolescent a good look into reality, just as they begin his or her journey in the realm of adulthood.

Upon completion of the separation and initiation the adolescents will reenter the lives that they left behind. After one week of being back in their normal environments each participant will come together once again for a ceremony where the adolescents will be presented to his or her family and friends as young men and women who have earned successfully completed their rites of passage into adulthood. Durning the ceremony each adolescent will give a brief account of what he or she learned, the goals they have made for themselves, and how they will go about achieving them. During the ceremony each participant will receive a certificate of accomplishment and a special gift geared toward their future goals.

The adults who headed up the rites of passage will also present statements of growth for each adolescent so the friennds and family members can be made aware of the accomplishments of their young man or woman. Each participant will have his or her certificates presented to them by the Governor.The newly presented young men and women will proudly go home with his or her friends and family members and embrace the new status of young man or young woman and begin the great adventure of adulthood.

The rites of passage will provide each adolescent with a feeling of achievement. Each young man and woman will be ready to conquer the world in his or her own special way. The things that they have learned and accomplished will have as much importance as the typical example of coming of age such as first steps, first job, first boyfriend or girlfriend, first day of school, first day of college, etc.


Adolescence. Rites of passage in adolescence. Retrieved July 16, 2006, from http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2248/is_n120_v30/ai_17856544

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