Adults may often confuse conforming to something with becoming mature and realising objective facts.
Societies have many “rules”, perhaps one of the most common now would be those of capitalist society. One is expected to do well in school, get into a good university, and get a good job to get money in order to pay for the basic things they need to survive. It can be said then that in order to survive (in this society) one needs to realise that money is required, and the process to get money is therefore important.
However, the process to get money is simply a matter of doing what you’re told. You must attend the institutions society expects you to and perform according to those institution’s, and society’s, standards. If you do not, you are often considered lower, worse, or less deserving than others. There are clearly some issues with such a system, but it is nonetheless generally accepted as dogma. Anyone who speaks out against such a system is often viewed as naïve, blindly idealistic, or self entitled. People who follow the system unquestioningly, or as they might put it “those who realise this is how reality works”, as seen as pragmatic realists who will be successful.
It would be easy to simply say the system is broken and we should not follow it, or to say that the system does not matter as much as surviving in it, but these would both be extremist views on the matter that are both missing different parts of the problem.
The conformists are ignoring the fact that the system is flawed, instead claiming either that their own wellbeing is more important, that they are incapable of fixing system, or that it would cost too much to fix the system, at their own expense. While these things may be true, they are not assured, and are often assumed without proper evidence. It may in fact therefore be viable to try to fix the system, or it might at least be worth trying. Even if it isn’t, it’s worth admitting that the system is broken instead of avoiding the subject altogether. If we all realise that the system is broken we are more likely to be able to fix it. They also make a mistake when they say that this is how reality or life works, because it isn’t. It’s how our society chose to make the rules, and it could be otherwise.
There are however people who realise the issue but do not realise how much harm they can do to themselves when they try to fix it. Most systems are hard to change, and there will likely be people in power who benefit from the system who will want to keep it as it is, or people who worked hard and believe if the system is changed then their hard work will have been for nothing, even though this amounts to the sunk cost fallacy. Such people might simply end up with no means to survive and be forced to either live on their own or be part of the system (or abuse it) to survive.
The correct attitude to have towards this is realise that the system is broken and that you should fix it, but also do what you can to survive in it. It has to be a balance of trying to improve the system, either from the inside or by protesting against it from the outside, while doing the minimum you have to to survive while compromising their moral integrity as little as possible.
You can’t fix something if you’re dead, but if you don’t try to fix it then you allow it to exist and you’re part of the problem. Obviously you would not be the biggest part of the problem, especially if you’re not capable of helping to fix it. For some people the price of fighting back would be too large, but for others it would simply be inconvenient or hard. The solution is not to be a hippie or a sociopathic CEO, it’s to work with others to try to fix it in a reasonable way if possible. If not possible, more extreme ways might be needed, but these must be a last resort.
Whether it be the job market, your school or job work environment, a regional culture, your parents or any other type of society, we must not simply take the rules and state of things as unquestionable dogma. Every society should be allowed to change to better suit the people in it and everyone else, within reason and using reason and morality to determine that.
No set of rules or ideas should be thought of as unquestionable, and they should be modified if they make peoples lives worse.