How Adulthood Happens: Fact Check

Original Article
Marked Up Article

Claim 1:
“As Arum’s and Roksa’s research demonstrates, academic life is of secondary or tertiary importance to most students. Social life comes first.”
– “Meanwhile, colleges have become socially rich, stocked with student centers, student organizations, expensive gyms, concerts and activities.”
– “Students experience college as a place to meet other people and learn to build relationships”.
Fact Check:
True. The two experts Brook’s cites, Arum and Roska, both believe that college has become background noise when compared to social life for many students. Also, Brooks says that this is true for most students. If he had generalized to all students, it would have made his claim untrue, because there are definitely students that put academics above social interactions.

Claim 2:
“When they leave campus, though, most of those social connections and structures are ripped away.”
– “Suddenly fresh alumni are cast out into a world almost without support organizations and compelled to hustle for themselves.”
Fact Check:
Untrue. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the value of college comes from way more than just the degree. The social connections that one makes through college are very important when it comes to starting a career and surviving on your own. Brooks statement that social connections are ripped away after college is untrue, because many people use the connections and skills they’ve built in college to get ahead in life starting right after they graduate.

Claim 3:
“In the meantime, many spend the first few years out of college aspiring but adrift.”
– “They are largely unattached to religious institutions. Two-thirds report that they are not politically engaged. Half the students in Arum’s and Roksa’s recent study reported that they lacked clear goals or a sense of direction two years after graduation.”
Fact Check:
Partly true, but misleading. The facts that recent college graduates aren’t attached to religious institutions and aren’t politically engaged are irrelevant to Brook’s point. Also, he says that many grads are adrift, but the studies that he cites display that half of grads have clear ideas for their future. However, according to The Daily Caller, only 14% of college grads had jobs lined up, which goes to show that while half of grads have plans for the future, they may not be able to implement those plans for a while.

Claim 4:
“By age 30, the vast majority are through it.”
– “The trials and errors of the decade carve contours onto their hearts, so they learn what they love and what they don’t. They develop their own internal criteria to make their own decisions. They fear what other people think less because they learn that other people are not thinking about them; they are busy thinking about themselves.”
Fact Check:
True, but misleading. Brooks is correct in saying that the majority of people have become adults by age 30, but his reasoning is misleading. Many people grow up by the age of 30, because they have stable careers and possibly families. There is no proof that 30 year olds are adults, because they don’t think about what others think of them anymore or because they know what they do and don’t love.

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3 Responses to How Adulthood Happens: Fact Check

  1. Denny Lee says:

    I really like all of your fact checks of the article. Especially your second one. I think you did a great job finding the research that backs up your fact check for the evidence. When the author makes such a claim, he needs to back it up with reliable sources, and in that claim, he doesn’t even use any kind of sources. I also really like the 4th claim, when you said it’s technically true but it’s also misleading. Brooks may be right about people growing up by the age of 30, but there is no way to prove that since having a job or things like that doesn’t necessarily prove you are an adult.

  2. Laura Calderon says:

    Claim: “Today’s young people expect to reach adulthood eventually, and they expect to enjoy their adult lives, but most are in no hurry to get there.”

    Source: “As Jeffrey Jensen Arnett and Elizabeth Fishel write in “Getting to 30,” “The value of youth has risen, and the desirability of adulthood has dropped accordingly.”

    This source is accurate. The book “Getting to 30″ , including research professor of psychology Jensen Arnett (very reliable) as one of its authors mentions this quote exactly, and complements it with a description of why teens take longer to want to be adults. ” In their late teens and early twenties they are wary of the stability it represents, because in their eyes, along with stability comes stagnation. They prefer to spend the early part of their twenties unfettered, having experiences that won’t be open to them once the mantle of adult responsibilities settles on their shoulders.” Even though the quotes included by Brooks are effective to support his argument, I believe that including the explanation of why teens postpone adulthood would have strengthened it much more.

  3. Christopher Josey says:

    Winston, you did good, kid. As far as I’ve seen, you are one of the few who has actually posted a link to his/her marked up version of the article. You also bothered to look up other sources that contend or support the article, so I congratulate you. Next time, make the link to your marked up copy accessible; you still have the document on private mode. Overall, your fact-checking skills are great. You stated whether or not the claims are reliable, and you went a step further by providing evidence. Great job!

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