Often when I leave my house, I am bombarded with questions: When will I be back? Who will I be with? Where are we going? What will we be doing?While I understand the necessity for adults to know what I will be doing to ensure my safety, I also think I, along with many other teens in my same situation, am old enough to make some decisions on my own, and to judge whether or not a situation will be safe. Considering the increasing amount of responsibilities teens are given during high school, adults also should trust them to make their own choices. Simply put, I think teenagers should be trusted with more freedom as they are given more responsibility. Starting high school was quite an experience for me. I was amazed at the enormous difference between high school and middle school. The changes in classes, sports and everything when I entered high school last year were astonishing. One of the biggest changes was the amount of responsibility I was given. The responsibility put on my shoulders has increased, such as with homework. My homework load has increased drastically. Teachers are starting to prepare us for college. Since I am taking as many honors and accelerated courses as possible, it sometimes is tough to get all my homework done. In some classes, however, doing the homework is up to the student. In my pre-calc class, homework is only 10 percent of the grade. Test grades account for the other 90 percent. Since the homework is not a big part of the grade, doing homework is not mandatory. However, it is essential to passing the tests. We are being given the responsibility of making a good choice. “With great power comes great responsibility,” as that famed line from Spiderman goes. I think it also is possible to flip that and say with great responsibility comes great power. As I get closer to being an adult and my responsibilities increase, I think the power to make my own choices also should increase. Freedom is important for teens. Throughout high school, as teens get older, they earn new privileges such as driving, choosing classes and college, and the opportunity to get a job. There are many more choices of activities to be involved in during high school. My schedule is full with musical practices, church youth group, the school newspaper staff, work, hanging out with friends and large amounts of homework. Sometimes after school, when looking at all the homework I have and everything I need to do that day, I tell my friends I think my head will explode. Being so busy means I do not have time to always call my parents and check each detail of what I plan to do with them. They have to trust I will make good choices. As teenagers become more involved with activities they need to be trusted to make their own decisions and choices. I sometimes feel like I am not being given as much freedom as I think I could handle. The most debated issues in my family are curfews and bedtimes. Often I will be up late working on my homework. Musical practice usually ends at 10 p.m., and when I get home I have homework I still need to do. If I stay up past 11 or midnight, I am told I need to “reign in these late nights” or I will be given a set bedtime. My parents worry I am not getting enough sleep. I understand their concern, but I want to be trusted to be responsible enough to choose my own bedtime by judging how tired I am along with how much homework I need to get done. At the end of the week, after all the homework and musical practices, I just want to relax with friends. My 11 p.m. curfew often seems too early. If I were given more leeway with this, I believe I could prove trustworthy. Part of the reason we are given more responsibility in high school is to prepare us for college and the “real world.” This also is a reason we need more freedom. In college, no one will be there telling me what to do or when to do it. My parents will not be there to pack my lunch and remind me of my overdue library book. I will be completely on my own. Also, teenagers who are kept under strict rules in high school are more likely to rebel, especially once they get to college. We need more freedom now to prepare for living on our own. Just as I was given the privilege of picking out my own clothes as I entered elementary school or buying ala carte at lunch when I entered middle school, now that I am in high school I think it is appropriate to be given more freedom. Along with all the responsibilities I have been given, I think that more freedom has been earned. Joanna Epp is a sophomore at Newton High School.