When does intellectual independence happen?. The moment one realises that he/she is good at something, at that moment, intellectual independence happens. That is the time when one stops following others. The inner voice keep telling you to tread your own path, than following others. You stop striving to be in the good books of others. A pat at the back from others stops giving you those intellectual orgasms. You silently commit to higher causes. Sometimes you explore new paths. Sometimes you revisit those childhood passions. You know who you are. You are no more the slave of anybody or anything. You are ready to lead. Good luck.