BY RACHEL ALEXANDER
With adulthood approaching, students such as junior Jack McMahon have taken the initiative to become independent. For example, McMahon said he got a job at Lucille’s American Cafe because he wants to learn to become more self-sufficient.
“A large reason I decided to get this job is because I wanted to learn the value of making my own money and budgeting it wisely,” McMahon said. “By making my own money, I am able to feel more independent as I have taken on adult responsibilities.”
McMahon said having a job at a young age has made him feel self-reliant in all aspects of his life. He said he enjoys learning the value of hard work through his job because in life, everything will not always be handed to him.
“Having a job has made me appreciate things much more as I worked extremely hard to get them,” McMahon said. “Making my own money is a truly satisfying feeling and it has made me more careful when choosing what I spend my money on.”
According to McMahon, it is important to gain independence at such a young age, since he knows he cannot count on his parents forever. He said it is better to learn this lesson early because it will help prepare him better for life outside of high school.
“Having a job now is going to benefit me in the future because I will know how to save my money for the future,” McMahon said. “I won’t impulsively spend money on things I don’t need.”
Like McMahon, junior Cameron Tovin said she wanted to become more self-sufficient, so she decided to start driving herself to her dance classes in Naples three times a week. She said it takes approximately an hour and a half to and from her dance school.
“I started to drive [to my dance classes] after I got my license because I can’t expect my parents to drive me there three times a week,” Cameron Tovin said. “Although the drive is far, it gives me time to reflect upon my day and it allows me to feel more independent.”
Cameron Tovin said her dance school has been her second home for five years and the friendships she has made there are extremely special to her. According to Cameron Tovin, her passion for dance motivates her to make the drive after school, even on days when she feels exhausted.
“I would drive any distance to be able to dance with my best friends,” Cameron Tovin said. “Dancing with them makes all of my stress instantly melt away.”
Cameron Tovin said her work load from school causes her to feel overwhelmed due to the limited time she has to complete it, however, she always manages to get it done. She said school is a priority to her and she utilizes the days she has off from dance to get her work and studying done.
“Although I am often up late studying due to the amount of time I spend in Naples, it is worth it to be able to dance at the place I have loved for numerous years,” Cameron Tovin said.
When it comes to her daughter’s personality, Tovin’s mother, Melissa Tovin said she feels her daughter has always taken initiative to complete tasks on her own. She said throughout her daughter’s life, she has seen her juggle responsibilities perfectly between school and her demanding dance schedule.
“A majority of high schoolers do not drive long distances multiple times a week,” Melissa Tovin said. “I have total faith in my daughter to be responsible on and off the roads.”
Melissa Tovin said she loves how her daughter is passionate about Irish dancing and she would do anything to support her dreams.
“Cameron [Tovin] has always made me proud which has allowed me to trust her completely,” Melissa Tovin said. “Driving to dance by herself not only allows her to feel self-sufficient, but it gives her the chance to do what she loves in the place she feels the most comfortable.”
According to McMahon, having a job has been a life changing experience and he plans to continue working to gain experience from his superiors.
“All aspects of my job have been beneficial due to the amazing leadership skills people above me possess,” McMahon said. “Becoming more independent in high school will allow me to go through the rest of my life more smoothly.”