Student Life

Gaining Independence as a High School Student

Riley Harrison

November 09, 2015

Gaining Independence as a High School Student
Looking for ways to become independent and earn trust from adults in your life?
High school students are often wishing for more freedom and independence. How do teenagers get more freedom? Earn more trust from their parents? Get a later curfew? Go on those picture-perfect “classic” teenage midnight adventures? The truth is, most parents know that teenagers desire more and more freedom as they venture through high school.
1. Focus on what’s important.
In my views and experience, adults perceive teenagers that focus on school and extracurricular activities as more trustworthy. Adults consider school as a kid’s job. School is always the number one priority. If you are involved in athletics or other extracurricular, that’s also usually a priority. Focusing on academics and activities is seen as extremely responsible and will likely earn respect from the adults in your life.
If you’re able to prioritize these aspects of your life on your own, you will become more independent because adults will not feel the need to constantly nag you about doing your homework and going to practice.
2. Be respectful.
Have regular conversations with your parents about your life. In high school, kids can often become disconnected with their parents because they are exploring the world and doing lots of things on their own. I know this because it has happened to me before, but trust me, talking to your parents is much better for you and for them. Don’t create arguments between you and your parents. Arguments only show that you do not respect your parent’s views of certain situations or decisions. If you have a disagreement, it helps to have a calm discussion rather than an argument, which can be viewed as immature.
3. Ask.
Instead of asking, a lot of times teenagers just act. I think that a lot of times, if you are reasonable, parents will say yes if, for example, you ask if you can stay out longer than usual. In my experience, parents get angrier when their child doesn’t even ask for permission to do something, but instead think that they can be sneaky because they automatically think their parent will respond with the standard “no.” This simply leads to trouble and takes away trust. So just ask; you will be happier, less guilty, and more than likely, will be happier with the result. Next time you are looking for ways to become independent and earn trust from adults in your life, remember to focus on what is important, be respectful, and simply communicate your wants and needs.

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