Being 18 means more responsibility which, in return, comes with the potential of harsher consequences. Photo Credit: June Gabriel Santos
What exactly is 18? Obviously it is a number, but to others this number means a whole new realm of possibilities. I am referring to the age of 18, rather than the actual number. I will become a legal adult in approximately one month. So, what exactly does “being 18” mean for myself? What can, or can’t I do differently now, that I can, or can’t, do once I turn 18 years old?
I understand the thrill of being 18, but what makes it so much different than being a 17 year old? Maybe the whole idea of being a “legal adult” is slightly overrated. First of all, 18 means coming of age and taking the first steps into the world of adulthood. Once I turn 18, I can go in the adult swimming pool or I can reserve my own hotel room. What makes these small events so special? I believe it is because we can, in fact, do these things all on our own. We do not need a parent’s supervision or a signed permission slip to do so.
To be honest, I don’t think it is actually reaching the age of 18 that is wonderful. I think it is all the exciting events that happen during your 18th year that make this age so memorable. For many, 18 is when we graduate high school and move out on our own. Once we are 18, we buy our own groceries and wash our own clothes. 18 is the year of college, or trade school, or a new apartment in Los Angeles to start your red carpet career. We are finally stepping outside of our parents arms and preparing ourselves to experience the world. 18 is exhilarating; 18 is fun.
When are 18 you are a “legal” adult, therefore, we need to act and think like adults should. There are both positive and negative aspects of being 18. We receive more freedom, but we have to remember that laws become more strict at this age. 18 means no more juvenile hall or dean’s detention; 18 means the courthouse and jail, if the circumstances call for such a drastic punishment. We are only becoming adults according to the law; we have to remember that our brains are nowhere near fully developed until the age of 25.
I am anxious to see where my 18th year of life leads me. I am leaving high school with a decent job, decent grades, and amazing memories. I know I am ready to journey into the unknown abyss of being 18. It will definitely be a wild ride, but I cannot wait to see where I land.