If you go to Harvard College, they intend to help you discover your true purpose in life.
The meaning of your special snowflake life. Your mission. It hearkens back to the time when America's colleges were basically Congregational seminaries with sciences and liberal arts to help produce well-lettered and knowledgeable preachers and professors.
The assumption now, of course, is that the most privileged kids in the world are helpless infants and idiots. The infantilization of college students continues unabated. Meanwhile those who do not attend colleges grow up right away.
I do not know how to account for this trend. "Extended adolescence"? There was a time when college students considered themselves fully-fledged adults, and were viewed that way too. Age 16, or 18 depending on your background, was it.
Regardless of how long the kids and the higher ed administrators conspire to delay it, everybody confronts reality and is forced to grow up eventually. Sippican's sewer line is a good metaphor.