There’s no I in Dependence

John - Fairfield, Connecticut
Entered on March 26, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Alike to most things in life, decisions come in different caliber, shapes, and sizes. As a teenager I try not to sweat the small stuff, but growing older has lead to me strongly believe that making decisions for myself is a crucial part of maturing.

At 10 years of age I found it hard to be independent after growing up with so much help from mom and dad. At the dentist I needed my mom to be in the same room as I, and I felt that I couldn’t choose my own fluoride flavor either. Once I reached middle school being so helpless became more of an issue due to the fact that my parents couldn’t support me while I was at school. Soon after the beginning of sixth grade I began to realize that having freedom was necessary, in fact, not having freedom was unacceptable.

The aspects of my life that my parents stressed their power over were not extremely important. However my heart was in a different place on these issues than my parents hearts seemed to be. For example, my friends were very important to me starting especially in middle school. While seeing something in the relationship that I had with my friends, my dad put his foot down, and pressured me to choose another group of friends. I saw this action as unnecessary and revolted against this monarchic decision. I was old enough to find the consequences of the decisions that I make, I needed this in order to mature.

Maybe it would have been better for me to let these small details go, but I couldn’t. Friends were just the beginning in terms of the freedom I was being robbed of. Since the start of eighth grade I have been pressured into taking certain classes. Somehow I have been able to surpass these hurdles along the way, and my parents have learned to trust in my decision making, after I proved myself in one particular instance.

I have been skiing for my entire life. As a diehard skier I would do anything to stay on the mountain as long as possible; even if it comes to shirking school work.

My dad, the controlling parent who feels nothing is more important than school, was aware of a chemistry test that I had the upcoming Monday. He demanded that I go back to the house and study, or skip skiing on Sunday and study for the entire day. This unappealing proposal churned my stomach as I concocted something clever enough to successfully compromise with my stubborn father. I had told him that I would get an A on the test only if I were to make the decision on whether I would study today, tomorrow, or at all for that matter. If this didn’t happen, he would be able to punish me befittingly, resting on the test score. I chose to ski both days, and study for merely an hour before the start of the test. I received a 94 and was let off the hook. I was able to show my dad that I was capable of making my own decisions; in fact I was better off. I met his goal, and I achieved mine.

This recollection reminds me that the freedom you are given as you grow older is a test. If you are to fail the test, it reflects a lack of maturity and tells your parents that you aren’t ready for this freedom. Subsequently, a grounding will be in your future. It’s hard to keep yourself in tact when you first experiment with the freedom of decision making, and it gets more difficult as you grow. For instance, a new driver will have to make many decisions that will affect everyone around them; to the point that the situation is life or death. Therefore, I believe in the freedom of decision making.