Trapped in Childhood, Freed by Age


Anthony Airdo, Columnist

Turning 18 is a big deal. When you hit the magic number, you are now legally responsible for yourself. You can do a number of things that you couldn’t do before, like rent an apartment, or rack up credit card debt. You are suddenly empowered with this enormous responsibility, that you are now personally accountable for yourself. Do you realize this? Are you aware of the powers you have when you turn 18? You can move out of your parents’ house. You could move to a little neighborhood in Delaware if you wanted to. Your destiny is now your hands. I don’t think people understand how much control they gain.

The main problem is getting out of your parents’ grasp. People still feel an obligation to do what their parents tell them to. Am I saying you should go crazy and get arrested on purpose to spite your parents? Of course not, but I’m trying to make you aware that you’re driving the car now, not them. In the end, you have final say over what happens to you. You don’t have to listen to them anymore, and if you disagree with them, why shouldn’t you? I understand that parents are the main source of financial aid when it comes to college for most people, and I respect that, as I’m in the same situation. But I believe your parents need to let you be responsible for yourself. Using the money they’re providing for your education as leverage for getting you to do what they want isn’t fair, nor is it a good idea. For example, my mom won’t let me pierce my ears. Period. Not even open to discussion about it. When I turn 18, I’m getting earrings, and she’s not going to withhold my college fund from me for it, because she understands that my life is my responsibility, and that I’m in charge from then on.

Theoretically, I don’t even have to go to college, so I am the one with the power. I have a steady job, and I could support myself if it came to that. If there’s a will, there’s a way, and this is true for all of you. Whether you know it or not, I believe that you’re in charge of your situation, and I believe that you can find a way to make your goals and ambitions come true. The change starts when you realize you’re the one commanding the situation. If money is the issue, find work, and make it work. I’ve seen people accomplish a lot starting with very little, and I know you can do it too. They key is motivation. Don’t settle for what’s easy. Follow what you really believe in your heart.