It’s My Life

Allyssa - Zimmerman, Minnesota
Entered on March 12, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

“You are a child. You are too young to make your own decisions.”

Ever since high school began, I’ve been thinking about my future. Where will I attend college? Where am I going to live? What will I do with my life? Yet, up until now, my parents have controlled every aspect of my life. I haven’t had the chance to make those decisions, and I think its finally time for that to change.

I believe that I should be able to make my own choices. I should be able to choose a college and career that I enjoy, despite what my parents want me to do. I know that I’m only sixteen, and I’m still a “child”, but these decisions affect my future, not my parents; these decisions are mine.

This year, I transferred from my hometown school to Perpich Center For Arts Education, where I could “major” in a media arts program. My mother was a little worried about me living on campus and going to a new school, but I persuaded her to let me attend anyways. One night, I was typing an RA application in the computer lab. I called my mom to ask her when the application was due, and she responded with “It’s not even worth filling out. You won’t be at that school next year.” I was extremely confused. She replied, “All you do is goof off at that school! You need to get a job. You need to learn that this is the real world.” I didn’t understand. I was getting straight A’s in all of my classes, and I was doing really well in my arts program. Then I realized what she meant.

What she was insinuating was that I wasn’t growing up like she wanted me to. My mother expected me to live my life like she lived hers: get a part time job, graduate from high school, get a full time job, and get married. She had lived a simple life so far, given up her goals in life, and ended up pretty well off. She thought that in order for me to be successful, I would need to sacrifice my dreams like she did.

I’m not being naïve. I understand that my parents have been around a lot longer than I have, and they know more about the real world than I do. The thing is, they know nothing about me and what I want. It’s not like I’m asking for the right to vote at age sixteen or for the drinking age to change; all I’m asking for is the right to do something that I love and that I can succeed in.

I believe that I should be able to control my future. I know myself more than my parents ever could, and I know what’s best for me. I believe in living my dreams.