Last Saturday, after 12 years of faithfully staying in the Chinese and American education systems, I graduated with the highest honors from Bellaire High School. The ceremonious flip of our tassels from right to left signaled other turn-overs as well. It marked the beginning of adulthood and greater independence. It foreshadowed the making of new friends as old faded into the background. I could finally get my own credit card! I could apply for part-time jobs and receive some spending money! I could dye my hair! I could get my ears pierced! I could do whatever I want and nobody could stop me (well, officially I’m not legal for another two months or so, but these sensations were close enough to the real thing)! F-R-E-E-D-O-M!