To the People Who Did Everything "Right" Growing Up

One week into my two-week spring break, I booked a flight to visit a guy friend of mine. During the process of booking the flight, I was excited to plan it out and go visit him. But a day or two after booking it, I started feeling guilty and, honestly, a little crazy.

Growing up with a military father and a very worrisome mother, my parents made sure my safety was always number one. That means I followed strict rules--I wasn’t allowed to sleep over anyone’s house that they both didn’t know for a very long time; I had a curfew that I would be reprimanded for if I didn’t come home in time; I could never have friends over (let alone let my friends know where I lived for the longest); and above all was never to be left alone with a boy (group dates only). I was never much of a problem child, and I respected my parents, so I followed their rules. But all this surfaced in my head as the days came near to where I’d be visiting my guy friend, sleeping in the same space as him in a whole ‘nother state. “What am I thinking?” I thought. “My parents would kill me if they found out.”

(Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash)

But, of course, I made the trip. And to be quite frank, I am so happy I went because it was worth every second. Looking at it in retrospect and sharing my concerns with close friends, I came to realize a few things that helped me conclude that I made a good decision.

  • I’m literally an adult. I’m 21. I can drink. I can drive. I can buy a house. Specifically, I can make adult decisions like this based on my experiences and desires without always thinking what my parents will say, even though I respect them dearly.

  • I have known this guy friend for over three years. Due to the way I grew up, there was no way I would have bought a last-minute plane ticket to see someone, especially a guy, that I barely knew! I had to trust my own judgment, which I did.

  • I needed a good getaway. I had a lot of family issues going on last semester that included both my parents and I experienced a break up at the beginning of this year. Plus, I’m a senior and I was in the midst of my midterms.

  • I usually always do the right thing, or what I’m expected to do. I went to college as my parents told me to. I’ve also held down part-time work all four years in order to pay for the remaining balance of my cost of attendance that my financial aid doesn’t cover. I wanted to do this for me.

  • This is probably one of the last times in my life that I’ll be able to do something as “crazy” as this. I’m entering the adult world where I’ll have loads of responsibility soon. As cliche as it sounds, this is one of my last chances to live carefree and with no regrets. And I don’t have a single regret about this decision.

(Photo by IIONA VIRGIN on Unsplash)

I could have definitely over-thought this entire trip. Seriously, it probably wasn’t even that serious for me to break down these five points. Maybe they are serving as justifications for my actions. But then again, looking back at all these points, there's nothing to justify in my opinion. Hell, this trip even cleared my skin (I’ve been battling acne for a few months). I had a great time with a dear friend whom I will most likely see again.

I’m coming in with some cliche quotes again, but I really encourage everyone reading this, especially if you grew up similar to me, to have fun and live your life for you. It’s fine to follow your parents’ rules or do everything “right” and expected of you most of the time, but your life is yours that only you can experience! Do the crazy stuff right now before you have absolutely no time to do it. Plus, you’ll want to tell your grandkids some interesting stories.