Personal responsibility

Students must take ownership of decisions to mature into adulthood

I asked my mom what she thought of when hearing the words “personal responsibility.” She responded with a list that looked like this: “grades, making sure your room is clean, and honesty.” I then asked my grandmother what she thought of when she heard the words, and she replied with, “by taking account of your actions and standing by them, but knowing when to admit when you are wrong.”

It took me a moment to process that my mother and grandmother had two very similar answers but had a different way of explaining them. 

My mom’s answer was very specific towards me, what she expects of me as her daughter. My grandmother’s answer was a summed up answer for any person no matter the age, gender, or role. 

To me, personal responsibility is making decisions for yourself and trusting that you are making the right ones. 

I think that we often believe we can handle more than we can and we don’t like to admit that at times we need help and don’t accept when people (mainly our parents) tell us no.

The truth is, we don’t know our limit until we’ve reached it and then it’s too late, nor do we think about the consequences before they’ve caught up to us. 

By that point, we have to admit that we’ve abused our personal responsibility because we were too caught up in the feelings of trying to be in control and on our own. When parents or even the school staff put up boundaries, we sometimes fight them because we want that feeling of control to last as long as possible. 

When you really start to narrow it down, being in charge of yourself all the time isn’t what we really make it out to be. We think because we are making our own decisions, we’ve reached the point where we are grown enough to have full responsibility, and our guardians don’t get to have a say. 

In reality, you’re only getting a third of what it means to have that personal responsibility. When you start having to pay the bills, deal with taxes, attend jury duty, and keep up with car payments, it all starts to add up. Not only that, but when you have a job, you can’t talk back to your boss like you do to your parents. If you do, you’ll be out of a job and have to rely on your parents to help you pay your bills. 

We always say that we don’t want to be like our parents or become like them when we have kids, and to a degree I have to agree with that statement. It is one thing to want your kid’s to be safe and not get into life altering mistakes, but it’s another to want to control your kid’s every move. I think the more you are suspicious about your child, the more sneaky they will become; you need to trust your teenager, unless they break that trust, but it is still important to have safety boundaries. Personal responsibility is PERSONAL!!! 

It’s easy to make mistakes, and we are bound to as it’s part of growing up and learning about life, it shows what it has to offer you and shows you that not everything will go your way. Owning up to your actions, good or bad, is a responsibility you hold and in the future will make you a better person and more respected, so even if you are wrong and make some mistakes that you think you’ll never be able to get past, you just have to remember that this is just a tiny part of your life and you have the rest of your life to make up for it.