Living YOLO to solo: Students gain maturity through independence

Erin Garcia

How easy is it to transition from a teenager with the mindset of “you only live once,” to a young adult that asks, “how am I going to get a job?”

Typical teens focus on clothes, relationships, drama, and only themselves, but somewhere along the way they must transition to thinking about class, gaining success, and creating a future. Many of these factors are topics that most young people don’t have on their minds, and I was no exception.

Having to go from an “all-American” teen to a mature adult, made me feel as if I had to change everything about my life as it was. Substituting my friends with books, magazines with essays, and my TV with a computer screen, felt like the end of the world. That is until an assignment was dropped onto my desk, and the low score that no one wants to see written at the top in red ink was printed beside my name. That’s when it finally hit me. Those constant reminders from my elders that growing up was something that I needed to prepare for had conclusively clicked in my mind.

That failing grade allowed me to have an entire new outlook on what it really meant to grow up and become more responsible. I found that putting my education first and setting aside my social life at times, would benefit me in the long run. Come the time that I will be sent out into this sink-or-swim society, I knew I wouldn’t want to have to rely on my parents to hold my hand along the way.

Learning to prioritize time and dedication at a young age is a great quality to posses. Especially as a high school student, where distractions and wrong turns lie behind every corner such as: drugs, alcohol, drama, failing grades, and sex. Believe it or not a student’s actions and reputation now, can and will follow them into the future. So it’s important to realize what can be obtained at the end of the road when high expectations are set.

Now students, don’t take this as a parental demand that every change must be made. Think of it as motivation to not only enjoy a wonderful social life, but learning how to balance an education and responsibilities as well, while also coming to terms with realizing that hanging up the skinny jeans for a pair of slacks, will teach you how to function in reality. If I was able to make the adjustments while still remaining true to myself, so can any other student that is willing to try.

Learn to mix a mature, responsible life with an outgoing social one. Just because growing up can cause changes, doesn’t mean that it will take everything away. It’s just another chapter in life that allows people to further perfect who they already are.