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What Do Independence and Freedom Mean for College Students?

During this last Fourth of July, we have been celebrating the idea of independence and freedom of everyone in the country amidst the persisting pandemic. As a college boy, I have been pondering about the many ways we college folks can perceive independence and freedom. 

Is it only about leading independent lives without relying on our parents and family for everything?

One could associate independence in this way as a college student as the act of going to college teaches us to become more self-sufficient and independent when it comes to cooking, cleaning ourselves, driving, and taking care of expenses. Although the pandemic has led many people to move back with their families, being independent comes a long way even when one is home with family as it now means that we can help out with certain household chores, shopping, and many other things our parents used to do more when we were children. Moreover, college life gives us freedom in the form of independence as we take ownership of our lives. Likewise, these can still apply when we are with family, as at home, we now get the opportunity to contribute more to the house and family time. 

Isn’t it awesome?

Secondly, being independent and free is also associated with being able to make wise decisions and recognizing the consequences for the decisions we make. Personally, making decisions on my own considerably contributes to my independence as I get strength from seeing what is best for me and also considering suggestions from others. In turn, it enhances my self-confidence, and I feel more equipped toward problem-solving and facing any kinds of challenges, including the challenges we all continue to face through the pandemic.

Moreover, independence and freedom cannot be a more enriching gift when it comes to living the way one would wish to. Unfortunately, the world still struggles with the tragedy of some who are judged by their values, and beliefs. Why are we still discriminating against some due to the values and beliefs they have? At MSU, we particularly discourage discrimination of anyone due to their beliefs and values, and this is one of the aspects of our community that can have a positive impact on the rest of the world. Being independent and free also means society has the right to choose how they want to live in terms of which religion they believe in and practice, eating what they prefer, and adopting a lifestyle that you find comfortable. 

Can independence and freedom help us make a difference in the lives of others who aren’t as privileged?

Furthermore, our determination to be open-minded and respect each one for how they are, along with the independence gained from developing life skills, can be linked toward changing the world and bringing more positivity. After acquiring our life skills, it would definitely come in handy in helping those in need. For instance, we could provide more opportunities for those whose senses are impaired, such as developing other kinds of devices that can help them continue living a normal life. In this case, independence and freedom are crucial in terms of everyone benefiting other than only one person benefiting. Working, meeting, and collaborating with different kinds of individuals promotes exposure of different perspectives and ideas and how we can come together and have an impact, other than using independence to seize power and dominate. 

Overall, independence opens doors for us as college students as we begin to take ownership of our lives and become stronger and confident when facing challenges. Complied with respecting each individual for who they are, we can even help those who are not as fortunate to lead a normal life and thereby establish freedom for everyone.

I am an undergraduate student at MSU majoring in Landscape Architecture in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Along with my interest in design and creation, I am also passionate about writing and creation through words and language. Writing allows me to express myself and my perspective of everything that goes on in our daily lives and live the joy of creating meaning through diction and other stylistic features.
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