It's Never Too Late for Teenage Rebellion

When I left for college, my father warned me that any tattoo or piercing that I got, he would also get, to punish me. It clearly wasn't a credible threat, because when I told him that I got my nose pierced, he didn't rush to get a matching one. I doubt he thought that I would go through with it. Until it was over, I wasn't even sure that I would go through with it. But I did.

I was never a rebel in high school. There were no speeding tickets, late night sneak-outs, or ditched classes. Aside from the odd eye roll, I was pretty much a perfect never one to shock my parents. But secretly, the nose stud had been something I always wanted. It wasn't professional, but it wasn't permanent, either. In the weeks leading up to my planned nose piercing, I told many of my friends about it and asked their opinions. There were mixed reviews: some of them loved the idea, some of them didn't. What I realized was that I needed to stop caring about the opinions of others. Whether it was my friends or my parents, I decided that this was something I had to do for myself.

Identity for college girls is often a precarious thing. Being away from home challenges so many things about who we think we are, from what we want to do with our life, to the people we meet and friends we make. I look back on where I was at this time during my freshman year of school, and realize how much has changed. For many sophomores, the slump is real,  and I felt it in the beginning, too. I struggled with re-adjusting to life at school and feeling lost and unmoored. Getting your nose pierced seems like a strange thing to do for your own mental health, but I wanted it as a comfort and a reminder. When I look at myself now, I see a more independent person who is starting to learn the importance of doing things for myself and not for other people.

The point of rebellion shouldn't be to get a reaction from others. It should be about yourself, and testing your boundaries. Rebellion means adventure, and doing something a little crazy. It gave me the chance to do something I didn't know if I would be capable of, and I was. Now it reminds me to test myself. There is nothing harder than taking a risk. But I am reminded of a favorite quote of mine, spoken by John Shedd: "A ship in the harbor is safe safe-but that is not what ships are built for." It is up to you to decide what you are built for, and no one else. And it's never too late to be a teenage rebel.