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Pros and cons: Looking to gain new experiences

A student's story

I’m going to begin by saying that I acknowledge I am biased in this situation since I’m an 18-year-old high school student who still lives with my parents, but I have a question. Why do parents say you can’t do something because you are inexperienced, when granting permission would, in fact, offer experience? It’s like getting your first job. What if you went into McDonald’s for a job interview and they say they can’t hire you because of your lack of experience? How are you supposed to get experience if you never get a chance to get experience?

Here’s my personal dilemma: My cousin and I want to drive to Pittsburgh to visit my sister at college. We both have our license, and most of the trip would be highway driving, and we would be with my older sister the whole time. My mom’s main concern is the driving since it would be three hours of driving for the first time without any parents. Now, I know where she is coming from. She’s concerned for my safety. I get the other side of it, too. I am her child and I’m expected to follow her rules as long as I live under her roof. But I don’t agree that she should hold me back from a new learning experience.

I tried to use my age as an argument to be able to go to Pittsburgh, but it backfired. My mom likes to say, “if you want to be an adult I’ll start treating you like an adult. You can start paying rent, you can get a job and you can buy your own food.”

I know this is an empty threat because we both know I am an amazing daughter, but I don’t agree with that reasoning. I’m not asking to be thrown entirely in to adulthood. I know I’m not fully prepared to pay bills and live on my own, but I would appreciate some more independence and responsibility.

I want my parents to acknowledge that I have a history of making good decisions, and that I don’t need them to make all of my decisions for me. I want to be able to sit down and explain things from my point of view before they quickly answer yes or no. They are great at seeing the potential negatives in any situation. I would like the chance to explain the potential benefits and opportunities for growth that I see.

As of right now, my mother is at the “I’m thinking about it” stage. I am hopeful she will consider my past behaviors and decisions as well as the opportunity to gain more driving experience when making her decision.

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