Setting up limits and boundaries (dos and don'ts) sounds like a self-defeating concept. Most young people feel that it is like employing yourself as a prison warden to limit your own freedoms. However, living a life of recklessness with no principles or what so ever, is a prison where they lock themselves into.
This abruptly happens without realizing that the other option was where interminable freedoms were. Why would a young person just do anything that comes to his/her mind and just put into action what ever the peers are saying?
Bluntly, an irresponsible life is like being brought, while blindfolded, to a very big prison with a very big yard where you cannot see the barbed-wire fences. It is a kind of prison where you brave the hardships just because you are ignorant of where you are. Day in day out, you feel as if you are happy and force yourself to be in a jovial mood. One thing that is for sure is that you cannot go anywhere unless you know that you are in a prison and you are innocent – You will be allowed out.
One sad thing is that most young people who imprisoned themselves in this gigantic prison are on death row even though they are innocent. Once they realize that they are in a prison, they can simply say I want to get out and they will be unconfined right on the spot. One sad thing is that most young people realize this and try to say I want to get out on their last day, during their last second. On this last day, it is difficult to reverse things and nobody goes out of this prison on his or her last day… No, matter how hard you shout, you still face the electric chair!
The above account of an analogy between a reckless life and life in a prison without your knowledge is really applicable to the way some young people live and ruin their precious young lives. They feel that abstinence from sex is impossible even though it is very possible. They reach an extent of engaging themselves in unprotected sex. They have a choice to have sex if their efforts to abstain have been futile so long as they protect themselves from STIs as well as HIV infection and unwanted pregnancies etc.
However, due to the fact that they are in a prison, they feel constrained and fail to explore better options. They subconsciously feel very limited and they do not even expect that there are choices they make. Prisoners are not choosers; they simply get what is available in their vicinity! The consequences of unsafe sex cannot be overemphasized; it is a long list that includes unwanted early pregnancies as well as contraction of HIV and STIs.
If you are young person and you are in this kind of a prison, just shout; I want to get out! and you shall be let free to enjoy your young life and to plan for your future!
Now! There are several ways that can help young people to avoid finding themselves in such a mess. Among the ways is to seek advice from people who are well versed in matters that concern sexual and reproductive health like Youth Friendly Health Service (YFHS) Providers, youth development oriented organisations and institutions like YONECO.
Does a person who is on death row plan for his or her future outside the prison walls? If you are in, now is the time for you to get out of this prison and focus on who you want to be in the future!