“I want to make my own mistakes”

So, from talking to a lot of my peers, it seems college students are still in the teenage rebellious stage of not taking their parents’ advice and wanting to take the world headon on their own. I guess it is important to get in the thick of things and to get your hands dirty before you can call yourself an adult. However, I believe it is one thing to rebel in order to gain life experience and another thing to rebel in order to feel grown up.

Living in the USA, there’s often the illusion that we can take on anything in the world because we do, compared to most of the world, live in a developed society governed by rules and logic. Yet the real world isn’t just limited to our society, and even in our society there are a lot of dangers. Many of these dangers are bad enough that you don’t want to experience them. People get angry when their parents warn them about teen pregnancies, their friends, alcohol and drugs, etc. Alcohol and drugs, for example, seem to young adults to be not as bad as scientists say. Young adults who think so probably just drink at parties or among friends, and just get drunk on the floor or sofa. If these people were ever in a alcohol related accident where people were permanently injured or, worse yet, killed I don’t think they would ever drink again…if they’re still alive.

Getting pregnant and having kids before you’re ready, as another example, also determines the rest of their lives from that point on. Just think, one decision permanently changes your life. A bad test grade or an argument with your boyfriend or girlfriend would not have nearly the same impact. Not even close. Assuming you’re not a bum and things do happen in your life, a test grade or an argument is soon forgotten as other “problems” of your life occupy your short-term memory. But a baby, responsibilities to take care of that baby, is there every moment of every day and changes the options you have.

Wanting to experience these “mistakes” and be your own person is, in a word, stupid. Basically, when your parents or someone older gives you advice, they’re saying “don’t be stupid (like me, probably).” Even someone stupid knows that being stupid is a bad thing. If someone’s retarded, well now that’s a different story…but I’ll refrain from being an ass for now. The human race isn’t what we are today by wanting to make the same big mistakes our ancestors make. If everyone wanted to learn to make fire for themselves, for instance, we’d still be in the stone age.

Similarly, why do people go to school and learn from teachers and professors? Same reason. It’s better to mooch experience and knowledge than to obtain it for yourself, especially when there’s thousands and thousands of years of knowledge before you. Maybe it was ok for the caveman to learn things for himself because he was at the other end of the timeline. Now that we have so much history and knowledge behind us, its more than we can learn in a lifetime or several lifetimes if we want to start from scratch.

Same is with life, but just on a smaller scale. Don’t keep with the “I want to experience everything for myself” or “I want to return to my roots that my parents or grandparents left behind.” It’s good knowledge to know where you come from, but there’s probably a reason why your parents or grandparents left whatever it is they started with or worked towards whatever it is you have today. Going back to the beginning would be just wasting your own time, but most of all, it wastes all the time, hard work, and the life of those who came before you. Make their experiences, failures, and successes mean something- namely the advancement of the human race. If not on such a global scale, at least a better life for your loved ones and your kids and grandkids.

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