As I have grown from a child to a teenager to a very young adult, I have learned many things. Some of these things were hard to swallow and hard to accept. Others seem to be so natural, so obvious to me that it also confused me to no end when I would see others do the exact opposite of me. Every single one of our lives is connected to a complex and ever-changing web. To make the world a better place, we must be more kind and understanding towards each other. However, we as a people need to take personal responsibility to create the life that we want. We cannot continue to put the responsibility of creating our own happiness, success, and future on others. We as people owe it to ourselves to create the lives that we want by holding ourselves accountable.
Independence has always been natural for me. Almost like breathing. The thought of, “I can do it by myself” is my response to nearly everything. However, I have not always found that same sentiment in my peers. Even in middle school, I remember hearing my friends say lines like ‘so and so failed me, my mom’s going to call and change that.’ By the time I was in high school, I still heard the same thing about academics, but now athletics were even worse: ‘I’ve been benched this past couple of games, my dad will make sure that won’t happen anymore.’
Hearing these conversations always confused me. I understood the frustration and anger towards teachers and coaches. It’s a natural emotion when you do not receive a grade that you wanted or play as much as you would like. I did not understand, however, how my peers could run to their parents and expect them to fix everything for them. Whenever I would be in the situation of not running a varsity race or not receiving a grade that I wanted, I let myself feel those emotions of anger and frustration, then I turned towards myself and asked, ‘What can I do to be better? What can I do to fix this?’ Even as a sixth grader I found myself finding new studying habits to score better grades, running after practice to run varsity, and never letting my parents fight my battles.
There are negatives to both sides of the spectrum. If one is too independent, they have no one to lean on for support when they need it. If one is too dependent on others, then they do not learn how to stand by themselves. Balance, like everything else in life, is key to taking responsibility for what you want for your life. It is not your parents’ job to make sure that you study enough for your test. You have to have your own accountability and respect for yourself to hold yourself to that standard. Your parents can only guide you so far through life, you have to be mature, responsible, and independent enough to take on your responsibilities to make your life the one you want it to be.