I’M JUST SAYING: Independence comes from teamwork

I rush into the silent, empty entrance of the school, slipping the other side of my backpack over my arm. Once I see the time, I know it’s over. I slowly walk into the office and take up my late pass, sorrowfully walking to class. As I turn it in, I hear the news: I’ve been late so many times, it’s time for lunch detention. Only one thought hangs in my head: what would have happened if I were more independent?

Independence. It’s a word that makes some students dream, but it’s also a word that fills certain students with fear. This is most likely due to how much of a double-edged sword independence is–you gain new experience, but at the same time you’ll most likely struggle in the process.

What makes independence such a coveted goal for so many students? I believe a major factor is due to how mature an independent teenager seems. A student who rolls up in their own, fancy new car can be perceived as more “cool” than a student who drives in with their mom who screams “BYE SWEETIE!” as they leave the parking lot. No offense to moms, you people are amazing. 

Adding on to that, it appears that most students also strive for independence in order to gain an illusion of “free will’. Becoming an adult seems like a fantasy for teenagers–you can have your own house separate from your parents, you don’t have to do math anymore, and you can stay up as long as you want! However, is this really the best for teenagers? Not really.

Independence is cool. I understand. But how would we manage if we were just thrown out into the world as adults without our parents? Most of us don’t  know how to do taxes, and with enough time, we’d be on our parent’s porch begging to be taken care of again. That ecstatic feeling of “I can do anything!” is pushed aside as responsibilities start to invade.

Even though I’m not even a junior yet, I understand this type of situation. I’ll be honest, I’m scared to start driving. I’m terrified of getting a job. Simply thinking of living on my own fills me with panic. Although, at the end of the day, I know these are goals I’m going to need to complete.

Thinking of this and how my parents have reassured me about these things and helped me understand them, it made me realize something: independence from one’s family or friends isn’t what’s necessary–working together is. Remember my issue with being late to school? I’ve been able to put an end to it by helping my mom in the morning so we can get out faster, even if all I’m doing is something as simple as locking up Catrick (my ragdoll cat) in his room.

Working together with my parents and friends is what’s getting me through life. Working together with my teachers and fellow students is what’s getting me through school. One day, working together with my boss and coworkers is what’ll get me through my career. Instead of trying to separate yourself from everyone, connect with them and help them out. Teamwork is the most crucial ingredient to success.