Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Standing Up for Themselves: A series about how our kids learn to stand on their own

In Her Own Words. . . Alyssa

The word “freedom” cannot be completely understood until the first night in college. There are no parents to check in with, no curfews and not nearly as many rules as back at home. I grew up in a very strict household throughout high school. I had to always tell my parents exactly what I would be doing at every minute of my night, which was interrupted by at least 4 or 5 phone calls. Since I’ve gotten here at Loyola University Chicago, I have experienced more freedom than I ever thought possible. I went downtown with a group of people until 1 am and didn’t have to justify to my mother that we were being safe. I walk to go buy a cup of Starbucks coffee without my dad telling me I could feed someone a meal with the money I was going to spend. I’ve done my laundry after midnight some days because I was playing Rockband in a guy’s room with a group of people, which my parents would consider unacceptable.

However, with freedom comes responsibility. There have been nights where I have stayed up until 3 am talking with people—the night before I have class. However, I have done my homework for the night, and still wake up and am attentive in class. Freedom is only a gift if a student accepts the responsibility that goes along with college life. Procrastination is inevitable for most, and I am definitely not the exception. Sometimes ordering Chinese food and watching House seems way more fulfilling than writing an 8 page paper for my Theology class. However, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I can appreciate the freedom more once I have completed all my responsibilities.