Building credit is a good way to gain financial independence. Employers, mortgage loaners, and many businesses conduct a credit check which reflects a person's past financial record i.e. Do you pay your bills on time? Do you pay your credit cards off right away? Your credit score could determine whether or not you can get a loan for a car, school, or business.
Paying for your own expenses is also a sign of financial independence. Whether it be school, food, or your first car, making those purchases, responsibly, shows others you fully support yourself.
And don't forget to work and save! Limit impulsive spending and make that money! Don't look at my Jeffrey Campbell Shoe hub! Just playing.