This I Believe

Eliza - Hickory, North Carolina
Entered on January 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

I believe that one must be independent in order to truly be a strong individual. As a teenager, I see many of my peers depending on their parents for gas money, clean clothes and a safe environment. While it is acceptable for youth to depend on their parents like this, it is important for them to prepare themselves for the real world.

I realized in order to prepare myself for a real career, I had to take the initiative to find a job in order to learn how to provide for myself and manage money. Finding and keeping a job as a young adult teaches responsibility, independence and self-reliance. Since I got my first job, I have learned the importance of these qualities. When you have a job, no one does your work for you—you have to earn the money you make. Earning money is something young adults often take for granted—much like earning good grades.

However, teenagers today have a tendency to slack off on schoolwork in order to pursue other things such as their social life. Many adolescents expect their classmates to help them cheat in order to pass a class. This is irresponsible because when you engage in these activities, you are risking yourself as well as another classmate. It is important for you to learn how to rely on yourself for everyday tasks because in the real world, you won’t always have a second-hand to help you out. Standing up for yourself is also another task that must be done independently.

As young adults, we need to realize that becoming independent has to happen sometime. There will be certain situations in life where you must stand up for yourself, because if you don’t, no one will. I was thrown into such a situation a few years ago while taking a P.E. class with a group of upperclassmen. I was a freshman at the time, so I was intimidated by these fierce older girls. At first, they accepted and befriended me, but this was short-lived. Because of my association with another girl in the class, of whom they did not approve, these girls decided to play cruel jokes on me such as destroying my things in the locker room. Upon discovering such an incident, I knew that I had to stand up for myself. The torment I was enduring would only go as far as I let it. I decided I had to speak up, because what these girls were doing was childish and extremely unacceptable. I learned to not let people walk all over me, which is something all young people today should learn to do.

As a teenager, I am making the transition from adolescence to adulthood. I have realized how important it is for me to be my own individual—responsible, self-reliant, and independent. This I believe.