As part of our Project Management module, we were asked to describe what independence meant to us in 300 words.

To me, independence is the ability to do your own thing without the scrutiny of others. To be able to work and live on your own, taking care of your needs without the help of others. Independence is earned at a certain age here in Ireland, usually at the 18th or 21st birthday of the individual concerned. Once these milestones are passed, a person is considered to be able to fend for themselves in the real world, outside of the home nest. When it comes to college, most people become independent by moving to or near the college and start working to feed and clothe themselves. Considering this, college is the independence and freedom a student in the 21st century will usually come across first in their lives.

As exciting as it all may be, independence can be a bad thing, especially concerning the family home. Families can spend lots of time apart from one another, usually reuniting for holidays or large family events such as weddings and, unfortunately, funerals. Independence can strain home relations, which are the most important relations in the world.

For me, with the college being so close, independence means having a weekend here and there where my Mother may leave to go on the odd holliday or a stay over in a friends house. I don’t have a lot of independence or freedom at home (I do pay my way) but I do have a great relationship with all of my family in my town, as a result of my restricted independence. For me, having the best of both worlds is what independence means to me. 

While independence can be important, family relationships and a good bond between friends can be more important than learning to fend for yourself. Obviously you will need to fend for yourself eventually, having help in doing that can also be good.

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