Responsibilities vs. Liberties According to Erik Erikson, there are eight psychosocial stages, wherein the people in our age fall under adolescence, who usually experience an identity crisis and role confusion. As preparation for adulthood, which is the next stage when we turn 18 to 20, we must have an understanding of what we will be expecting in terms of challenges. Can we perform the society’s expectations of our capabilities? Can we reach their standards and gain acceptance? Can we fulfill all our roles and their responsibilities efficiently, such as being a child to our parents, a sibling to our siblings, a student to our teachers, a friend to our circle of friends, and a member of our community? Nonetheless, we must learn how to balance our time in order not to neglect things and let them suffer. I believe that willingness and time management come hand-in-hand and are the essential weapons as an individual steps into adulthood. Many things can drive our willingness to do certain things. These may be our aspirations or goals and inspirations that motivate us to be determined and work hard. As Filipino children, we were raised with the belief that someday, we have to give back to our parents and guardians and make all their sacrifices and hardships worthy. With this mindset, we willingly reserve a part of our salary once we have a stable job. In the first place, this was not a rule at all, but it became an obligation or requirement to every child to do so because of our human nature. I also think that there are two main reasons behind this family support concept. The first one is because of our innate gratitude, also known as “utang na loob”, towards the persons who provided our needs and wants when we cannot provide for ourselves yet. The last reason is that we are afraid of what others might think of us if we do not do the same thing other people did. Despite the root cause, both of them have the same effect, willingness to support the family. If we are willing enough, we will spend time. We will give up our gold bars because time is gold. Time management helps us weigh our priorities and balance our responsibilities and time for liberties. As Jana Kingsford once said, “Balance is not something you find, it is something you create.” We must always find ways on how to achieve stability and execute it in our daily lives. Happiness comes in many ways, including the satisfaction of supporting our own family and the laughter we experience when we are with our friends. We will only waste our life if we allot most of our time doing a specific thing. Looking at reality, as a person, we have several responsibilities, may it be for leisure or not, but none of them are the least important because each of them keeps us going and makes us remember who we really are. Everything is good but in moderation. We cannot spend the rest of our lives stressing ourselves on how to keep our families up. If we do, we will burn out. Continuous and long-term stress causes anxiety, depression, and unstable mental health, which also leads to physical sickness. We can dedicate and devote our time to something we love and passionate about, but let us not forget the other experiences that made us ‘us’. As the breadwinners, we have a family to maintain and sustain, and we cannot give all out then be gone. We also have our lives outside the house, outside the surnames we carry, and inside our hearts, we have connected with not by blood. “You only live once” and “Live life to the fullest” are not a way of thinking of a liberated person who does not care about his/her family. We are not supposed to be tied by our bloodline and be hindered by the doors of our house. Home is not a place but a feeling of comfort and happiness with the people you have related to your life. We are like birds. There are times that we should be inside our cage and times that we should be free to fly and go to the ends of the Earth. Balance is one of the things caused by love. Just like how God loves us, He balanced His creations, from the trees to plants, animals, air, moon, and sun, and entrusted them to us, human beings. Balance is a necessity for humanity to live the best life we can ever have and avoid having a regretful journey. As we prepare ourselves for the time we may be called adults, may we create our ways to live a balanced and meaningful life, not only for ourselves but also for our family and all the people around us.