Often, teens seek freedom, as a primary reason for attending college. To which, their parents nod knowingly, smiling slyly, complicit in their teen’s seeming act of rebellion, believing that a college education is a coming of age into the freedom of adulthood. However students and parents should reflect on what it means to be free, and free of or from what?
For years, from K-12, teens followed the directions of teachers and coaches and volunteer coordinators and parents—earning A’s, awards, championships, “serving” the community, and satisfying both the implicit and expressed expectations of their families. Thus, they’ve earned the confidence of their parents to fund their frolic with freedom.
Yet, unless students continue “performing to expectations”, many parents both explicitly and implicitly state the cash spigot will be turned off, revoking a teen’s “freedom”. Thus, teenagers, turned college students, may only seem free, instead unwittingly remaining detainees in the prison of hope.
To buck against only the pretense of freedom, a siren song to which many succumb (possibly including their parents), teens must realize they’re inherently free, thus not needing to act out rebelliously, incurring unnecessary costs in the process. The more a teenager discovers and develops confidence in their own indwelling genius, they will spontaneously be paroled from the prison of expectations.
With confidence in one’s inherent ability, people radiate a quiet confidence and joy, attracting others with a natural charisma, effortlessly collaborating with whomever and whenever benefiting others along their journey. Then, economic utility is ever-present and uncontrived, even though not devoid of the complexity of worldly life.
Now with an awareness of innate purpose all experiences are embraced as an opportunity to thrive and continuously improve, not a shameful failure, impugning one’s reputation and station in life. Thus, teens on the cusp of adulthood can, through self-reflection and analysis with trusted, experienced guides, can (re)discover their genius, to then embrace a freedom that has been their’s from the beginning.
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