The time for independence

Editor reflects on new responsibilities and freedom that come with transition to junior year

The day before junior year began, I drove to Target to buy school supplies. That was the day I became, in my mind, a full fledged “adult.” I bought everything with my own money and did not forget my debit card at the register! I remember driving home and thinking “wow, it doesn’t get more independent than this.”

Junior year comes as a shock because we simply aren’t used to this freedom in and out of school. Adults begin to trust us more and teach us to be independent because soon, we’ll be on our own.

Now I can leave campus in my free time, I can drive to school, and the best part––I can leave class to hear someone talk about a college I’ll probably never get into.

 It doesn’t stop at school. Now that we’re older we can do things like get Wendy’s at 9:30 on school nights (with some convincing).

I began feeling like I was on a desert island––and enjoying it. I wasn’t relying on anybody and I could do everything myself. Or so I thought. Eventually though, even the most experienced islanders need a call for reinforcement.

A week later, I went to the doctor’s office for a checkup. It felt more like my first day of daycare than a physical. They couldn’t possibly think I belonged in a group with the eight year olds.

As soon as the doctor began talking, my smug look slowly vanished. I knew nothing about my shot records or past blood work and I had absolutely no idea how health insurance works. Had my dad not been there, I would have just sat with my mouth open.

It was then that I realized something: I’m not as independent as I think. I also need to learn about health insurance.

Junior year isn’t just about trying to grow up as fast as we can, or trying to do everything on our own. It’s about finding the balance between being independent and still letting people help you out.

Each year that we get older, we can take care of ourselves more and more. But just because we’re capable of straying away from adults, it doesn’t mean we should.

Let’s appreciate our dependency on people now because soon, we’ll remember how nice it was to not pay for our own checkups.