It may sound a bit cliché when your parents repeatedly say that being independent makes you grow up and become an adult, but it is entirely accurate. I cannot preach enough that being independent as a young adult is so important.
As for myself, coming from an ordinary family of four, my mom always tells me I'm too independent. She says "too" with emphasis because she thinks I handle many of my problems on my own without her concern about it. While this may be a bit right, and I shouldn't be so reliant on myself to make my decisions all the time, I do think it is important to be able to rely on yourself for most of your everyday issues.
Take this with ease; I don't mean that people should be completely on their own. Out of human nature, people come together to support one another because it is strictly in our blood to magnetize together. More specifically, I mean that once you reach adulthood, you should be able to be healthy, emotionally and mentally without the assistance of others. This is the time for you to find yourself, be confident, and be able to function adequately without your parents or your friends constantly holding your hand.
I may speak with a biased opinion, considering I am used to traveling alone to school, I'm bad at keeping in contact sometimes, and sometimes keep too many things in, because I am a very independent person. For some, it is not easy to mingle with a group of complete strangers and feel entirely comfortable with it. Sometimes, it's not easy for me either, that's why it takes effort. It takes the effort to become a fully healthy and functional human being, but it is more than necessary.
I honestly believe that you cannot characterize someone as independent until they reach their latter years of high school or when they are very close to becoming a legal adult. Yes, we will always have people coming and going throughout our lives, we may have a boyfriend/ girlfriend for a solid period of time in our lives, but at the end of the day, you only have yourself. If you find yourself consistently referring to others for their approval or their thoughts, maybe you need a little self reality-check. I'm not saying this makes you a good or bad person either way, but It is just so crucial and important that people learn this sooner than later.
I for one learned young. I think it was the time my sister went to college when I realized I had to start learning how to do things on my own. It was when I realized I didn't have her clothes to steal every day, or her to play music when we drove home from school. I realized that everything I did was solely based off of her, or at least subconsciously I followed her every move. But this was truly the pivoting point when I realized that I can't be a shadow in my sister's footsteps forever. As much as I didn't mean to be, I just looked up to her. I wanted to be like her. But you are your own, and whether it is a sister, friend, brother, aunt, uncle, mother, father, that you subconsciously follow, you are your own. Don't label yourself.
I indefinitely believe that the sooner you comply to finding yourself, and discovering who you really are, the happier overall you will be. Whether this means taking time alone to do things you like or just taking a step back to realize who you are and what you want to be, it is so important that you take the time to do it. Never let yourself fall in someone else's shadow. You are worth so much more.