A Happy Medium
Maumee, Ohio - Marketing
“I want my freedom, oh
freedom, oh freedom, mmm hmm.”
I have always reached out for freedom, yet, for eighteen years it has
seemed to eldude my grasp. Whenever I thought I finally had a grip on
freedom, it managed to slip through my fingers before I could hold on
tightly enough to keep it. I spent years chasing it, attempting to
acquire it by any possible means – trickery, cunningness, or even
outright stealing it. I have flirted with freedom a few times. I’ve
taken a few trips without my parents, but I still had adult supervision.
I had a part-time job and made my own money, but my parents still made
me save part of my paychecks. I even had a driver’s license and my own
car; of course my parents gave me a cell phone so they could check on me
at all times. Freedom was downright unattainable. On August 20, 2001,
when I least expected it, freedom was dropped into my lap. That would be
the last time in months that I saw my parents, and the last time they
could ever really tell me what to or not to do. With a final “be good”
from my mother and a kiss from my father, I turned and stared freedom
right in the face.
It is now two months since that day,
and how I wish I had evaded freedom for just a little while longer. I am
responsible for my own decisions and actions. If I make the wrong
decision I have no one, under any circumstance, to blame but myself.
Frankly, that’s just it; my decisions are my decisions. If I make the
wrong decision, I no longer have to answer to my mother and father. They
can no longer punish me if I come in late, or if I don’t clean my room;
they can’t punish me for anything. If I decide not to tell them, they
would not even know if I came in at an unreasonable hour or did not
clean my room. For the first time in my life I can do what I want, when
I want, how I want to do it.
Freedom is defined by the Webster’s
Dictionary as “the condition or state of being free; independence . . .
unrestricted access or use. The trick to my survival at Howard is
finding a “happy medium” between using my freedom to my advantage and
taking advantage of my freedom. Just because I have unrestricted use of
my freedom does not mean I should use it without restriction. There is a
fine line between the two. Using freedom to my advantage would be to
schedule all of my classes after eleven in the morning because I know I
have trouble waking up, and I do my best work between tweleve and four
in the afternoon. Taking advantage would be not showing up to class
everyday because, “technically,” I do not have to. With my newfound
freedom came newfound responsibility. I spent so much time daydreaming
about my freedom that it never occurred to me that I would have to be
My most challenging responsibility is
managing money. In high school nobody taught me how to manage money and
keep it throughout an entire week. In college I have learned, quickly,
that if I cannot hold money throughout the week I must find a creative
way to get money on the weekend. I have also learned that every sale at
Pentagon City is not an emergency, pizza three nights a week is not a
necessity (or healthy), and it is easier to save my money then to hunt
for it when I really, truly need it.
College is all about change,
adjustment, and freedom. Living away from home for the first time is a
big change. I don’t have my parents around to punish me, or to run to
when I get into trouble. I have to adjust to living on my own without my
family. I finally have the freedom I spent so much time chasing.