Usually when someone says they "had no choice", what they really mean is that the consequence of the alternative was so awful that the choice was obvious. But while it may be horrible to consider disappointing your parents or losing your job or even dying, that doesn't mean you have no choice about going to college or working overtime or handing over your wallet. Now I'm certainly not advocating that students drop out of school or employees tell their bosses to to jump in a lake. My point is just that when you realize that all your actions are choices, it's harder to play the victim, to avoid taking at least a little responsibility.
I don't want to sound like an unsympathetic hard-ass. I'm as likely as the next person to bitch and moan when faced with choices that suck. But the upside of seeing that everything is a choice is that although you can't avoid some responsibility, it also means you gain a lot of control, over the good AND the bad. As I like to tell my students: being between a rock and a hard place isn't fun but at least you have options! Making good decisions requires being clear about the costs and benefits of your options but first you have to recognize that you HAVE options. I often think that if I can just get this one idea across to my students, to get them to REALLY believe it, then I will not only have taught them some economics but I will have helped them to become better people.