Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Nichole Gibson January 24, 2001 Eng. 112-24 "Moment of Conscience" The Sweet Taste of Freedom A time when I had a moment of conscience was when I first graduated from high school. I was eighteen and I thought I knew it all. I was going to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for beach week with all my friends. The excitement of being without any parents was so new and fresh; I couldn't wait to experience the difference.

After what had seemed like forever, my friends and I finally arrived at our "home away from home" for the week. It was such a shack, but we didn't care. All we could think about was complete freedom. No curfew, No rules, No adult supervision. How much better could it get? The week flew by like a tornado. It was fast and left a big mess. I guess the taste of freedom was too much for me.

After what seemed to be the best week of my life, I came home, back to the rules, the curfew, and the adult supervision. All the things I had been so happy to leave behind. I felt trapped like a lion in a cage. I wanted to be free of it all. Free of rules. I wanted to find out who I was.

A week went on, and my friend, Courtney, decided the taste of freedom was too much for her too. She was moving out in to the world, on her own. She couldn't stand the entrapment either. I wasn't following the rules and I became somewhat of a rebel. My parents finally decided to give me a choice. The choices were to either follow the rules or leave. "Wow!" I said, "My first real adult decision." I was so flabbergasted; I didn't know what to do or what to say.

My first taste of freedom was still ripe at the tip of my tongue. I called Courtney and told her about the decision I had to make and asked for her advice. Boy was that when it all started. She said, "Great, we could finally be roommates! That would be so much fun! It would be like beach week all the time." All I could think about was beach week and the new found fun and excitement I had. I knew what I wanted to do. I ran downstairs being careful not to miss a step. I screamed, "I'm leaving! I'm packing up and moving out!" The room fell silent. My parents couldn't say anything except for; "You are going to regret this. Are you sure you want this to be your first adult decision?" I was so sure. I ran upstairs and began to pack. Everything I owned, I shoved into boxes, bags and into my car. I was ready.

The first week was great. Nothing but party after party. We were decorating our cute little three bedrooms and two bathrooms house the way we wanted. All of our friends were always there. I finally got to the point of aggravation about the fourth week. I wasn't getting any sleep, which I needed for my new job I had just started at Geico. My homework was never done, which wasn't good since it was my first semester at Germanna and I really needed to do well. To top it all off, our cute little house turned into a big drug and alcohol haven! My parents voices were ringing through my head, "You are going to regret this!" Finally I had come to the conclusion that I had to leave. The biggest problem was sharing the news with Courtney. I knew it was the right thing to do. I realized that in the end of this whole situation, I had to choose between right and wrong.

So instead of doing the smart, adult thing, I started staying at my boyfriend, Dana's house every night so my parents wouldn't know about the big mistake I had made. Not only was I staying at Dana's, I was still paying rent at my house because I couldn't get off the lease until I found someone to take my place. I was wasting a ton of money on a house and utilities I wasn't even using. I was still working and going to school full time, and my friendship with Courtney was diminishing by the second. She was really upset that I had decided to move out of the house and wasn't speaking to me. I still thought it was the right thing to do by moving out. She and I had ruined a great friendship. It took a really long time to even speak to each other and even now there are still hard feelings.

While staying at Dana's, I encountered a few more problems. I was right back where I started. I had rules, a curfew, and adult supervision. The only difference now, was that it was the rules of Dana's mother and father. I was too stubborn to ask my parents to come home and tell them the mistake I had made. I just couldn't figure out a way to ask them to come home without having to hear, "I told you so!" for the rest of the time I was going to be living there.

As soon as I thought things couldn't get any worse, Dana and I started fighting a lot. We were like cats and dogs! I just wasn't making any rational or mature decisions. I couldn't take the fighting anymore so I finally sucked it up and begged to come home.

Of course they welcomed me back with open arms, but not without "the lecture." I think any child, (and I was a child) who has made a rash decision like mine has had this lecture. The one about, "You should think before you act", and "you are too young to know what the "real world" is like". This lecture, which I have encountered one too many times, is a very long and tedious discussion. It is one, in which you sit and listen and don't dare say a word. But once it is over, you normally don't have to hear it again for a while.

I had already made so many transitions from living with Courtney and then moving in with Dana, it was really hard to go back to the way things used to be. I all of the sudden didn't feel so grown up and independent, I felt like a big baby, who couldn't live without the support of her mommy and daddy. I felt like a loser.

The next few months were a pain for me. I felt like I wasn't doing anything the way my parents wanted me to and we were always fighting. They didn't really like Dana very much and I was spending all of my spare time with him. My grades went down, I actually probably would have done better if I had dropped out all together and I wasn't going to work.

I was so infatuated with having a boyfriend that I couldn't concentrate on anything but him. I thought he was so great. I thought I had it made.

My parents finally got fed up with my grades, Dana, and my lack of motivation. When I actually did talk to them, all we did was fight about Dana and the way I was spending and wasting my time. I was so aggravated with them. "How could they tell me who was and wasn't good for me? They didn't know him, not the way I knew him at least." Out of rage one night, my father and I got into a heated argument on following the rules and what I could and couldn't do. He then actually told me if I didn't get rid of Dana, I could move out and go back to his house. I couldn't believe that he had said that! So me, being the stubborn person I am, (I think I get that from my father) went upstairs and calmly packed a bag and ventured to Dana's house once again. I came back a week later to get my dressers and the rest of my belongings. My father and I might have spoken two words to each other...and those words were, "Good-bye." I lived with Dana and his family for almost a year before things started heating up with Dana again. Our relationship was and still is like a roller coaster. It goes up and down rapidly. I once again called home and asked to come back. The last week I was living with Dana was great. He was sweet and paid so much attention to me. I was almost sad to go, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

My parents, once again, welcomed me with open arms, but this time I didn't hear a lecture. The one thing that my dad said that will always be in my memory was, "You are an adult and you should be making adult decisions. I am not going to keep moving you in and out. If you leave again, it is the last time you leave. I'm not going to give you any rules or regulations. I just ask that you are courteous and let us know what you are doing. That is all." I am living at home now and I am very happy. My parents have realized that I am a young adult and I need to be treated like one. I have realized that I have made a lot of bad choices in my young life and it is only the beginning. I have learned from the consequences and I am lucky to have such understanding parents who love me and want only the best for me.