This I Believe

Beini - Austin, Texas
Entered on January 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Here is what I believe: some rules are pointless and they achieve the opposite effects. So instead of trying to enforce the ineffective rules, why not just abolish them to save everyone the trouble? If there are no rules, then there will be no breaking the rules.

This year, a new rule concerning attendance is completely ridiculous. Just because a student is missing more than nine days of school is not such a serious problem as to make the student go through the burden of the court. Not to mention how much trouble it causes the court for having to deal with teenagers merely for their poor attendance, but what good is this rule suppose to achieve in the first place? To improve attendance? If so, has it served its purpose well? I do not think so. Students who truly care about their education and future will attend school regularly even without any rules. On the other hand, students who choose to waste their life away will not let a few rules get in their way of skipping school. You may question about the students that are between the two extremes. I admit that rules will make these students behave better. However, I believe strongly that young adults who will soon have to take full responsibility of their actions, those rules will retard their maturity. How can you expect teenagers to act like adults while they are not treated like adults? Democracy is all about an individual’s right of doing, saying, and choosing what he wishes given that it does not infringe upon other’s rights. Providing everyone with an equal chance of education is enough, there is no reason to go beyond as in to require each individual to accept the opportunity. Furthermore, the inflexibility and the level of harshness of rules are responsible for various negative effects. Take ISS for example. What is its impression to students? The group of students that visits ISS often takes ISS very light heartily if not joyfully. To them, ISS may be a haven where they can rid the nightmare of attending their classes. It is not an exaggeration to say that certain people actually prefer going to ISS over going to their classes. On the other hand, for students who do not visit ISS often or at all, ISS is like a detrimental devil. Not only does ISS diminish a student’s self-esteem and self-confidence, it is also capable of destroying a student’s future. Some students may start to believe that they are unworthy and give up on themselves. At this point, I would like to share a private experience. Personally, I think I am a decent student, but one morning, as I was late to school, I signed myself a pass to go to class. The result to that was one day in ISS. I have to admit that the incident was a major setback to me and I would be lying to say that I did not care about it at all. However, what I felt more than anything after the incident was: some rules are completely unreasonable. Because of the little mistake I made, I have to put my whole future at risk now that my chance of getting into an outstanding university is greatly lowered. Not to mention all the psychological effects it had on me, but the worst of all is the fact that I do not learn anything from my mistake. If anything, I learn to find better ways to get around things but not to stop doing what I did to cause myself the ISS I received. Rules are meant to give a person who commits a wrongdoing a lesson, not to ruin the person’s life. Otherwise, the backfiring of having rules is worse than not having rules at all.

If teenagers are trusted with a car at the age of 16, the right to buy tobacco at the age of 18, and to live independently at the age of 18, then we should be treated like adults completely. All the rules that restrict teenagers from certain acts should be removed if we are to be expected to become independent adults once we graduate from high school for that there is no time for us to adjust from rules and no rules. The real world is cruel and practical; we must be responsible for ourselves.