On Being Independent

In America, being "independent" is one of the building blocks of the American Dream. Millions of people over the decades have flocked to this country to have the opportunity of building a new life and sipping the taste of freedom. Much to their chagrin, however, that freedom didn't taste as great as they had expected. A lot of people gave up, but instead of going back home, they stepped down and became apart of other people's american dream, relying on them to provide them with a decent life. Those who persevered and lived a life of trial and error, on the other hand, were able to achieve their dream, living independently and freely, thus fulfilling what this country was all about. I was fortunate enough to have been raised by people such as them. My mother and father are strong believers in "being independent" and "having the freedom to choose"; attributes directly related to the Constitution and Bill of Rights. At an early age, these privileges seemed quite nice, and when my friends inquired about my upbringing, some of them were jealous of my "free" and "independent" life. However, as I grew older and took on more responsibilities, decision-making became harder and more frustrating, especially when it came to getting a job and going off to college. Soon, I realized I was living the, "trial and error" life I had mentioned previously, and how much of a struggle it actually is to be independent. A prime example of this was a tough situation I found myself in recently that disabled me from moving down to San Francisco to continue college.

I had it all planned out. I was going to finish my online classes for summer semester, then go about getting prepared for moving down to California to start studying on-campus for Fall and Spring Semester. This included: Getting signed up for classes, picking out my dorm room, making my down payment on tuition, and oh yes, getting my student loans taken care of and processed. Now, this is when everything went completely down hill. After the semester ended, which, to give you a time frame, ended August 10th, I immediately called up my Student Adviser to inquire about the next steps in getting ready to move down to campus. As she went down the checklist, I became aware of some steps that I needed to have addressed earlier on in the Summer, such as dorm room applications, and a financial plan that was secured and ready to go.

Growing up having to learn about financial independence required me to think very carefully when making decisions concerning money. College was no different. The money-sucking beast that is college has probably been the most terrifying concept to haunt my childhood brain. So, of course I most definitely had a financial plan that I thought was secured. Unfortunately, however, just like most all plans and decisions I make as an independently free child, fail by trial and error. Little did I know that the student loans I was going to apply for, and the dorm room I was so very excited to select, had to have been taken care of well ahead of time towards the beginning of the Summer. Talk about complete and utter failure. On top of all that, I had just quit my job so I could get ready for my big move! So, as of now, I have no means of being able to move down to campus, and I don't have a job. Sucks right? Yes it did, but I received some words of encouragement from my parents that allowed me to embrace my failure and move on. During that conversation, they reminded me of how much I've come thus far and how I've always learned from my mistakes before and this time is no different. I knew that. Looking back, however, I wish I had had more knowledge and information given to me flat out, instead of me having to find out for myself before it was too late. Beside the point, my mother reassured me that everyone must fall hard in order to become stronger, and in reaching for a higher goal, even independent people like me must be dependent on others to get there.

Even though my ultimate plan had inevitably failed, there is always a good in every bad. In this case, my plan B. By continuing to do online classes for now, I will be giving myself more time to get my financial plan actually in working condition. However, now I just have to get my job back. Will it work? Who knows! But I guess that's the adventure in it. That's what being independent is; knowing where you're going, and using trial and error to get there.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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