Welcome to Adulthood
by Kate Monko
In the eyes of the law, you are now considered an adult for most things. Everybody knows that once you’ve reached the eighteen-year mark, the 26th amendment pertains to you, that is being able to vote. Many young adults, however, may not know the other legal implications that follow you to this age. Arriving at this milestone provides you with the opportunity to now complete any of the following legally: get a tattoo, go skydiving, purchase fireworks, sue someone, join the military, book a cruise, lease an apartment or a house, book a hotel room, serve on jury duty, buy a car, buy a lottery ticket, or change your name, just to name a few.
While there is a laundry list of things you can accomplish when you reach eighteen, sometimes it’s important to hear pieces of life advice that can be so easily overlooked. For instance, as you enter the early years of adulthood, try not to be so hard on yourself. Accept the fact that you have and will make mistakes; from there, move on and learn from them. Don’t let anyone discredit your dreams or life goals because every human is looking at life through a unique and personal lense. As you being in the “adulting” phase of life, don’t forget to carve out time for family and friends. Another gem to carry with you is the idea that there is never a “right time,” which is another way to say just go for it. Be proud to be different; don’t spend all your time trying to fit the mold that society forms. Although it’s hard, try to not spend too much time worrying what someone thinks about you. I know it’s not the easiest thing, but turning into a people pleaser only leaves you with disappointment in the end and a sense of never feeling like what you are is enough. Treat yourself with kindness, and then flood the world around you with that same kindness and gratitude.
The preceding lengthy list may have seemed like words of wisdom your parents would sit down to tell you or be written in “life quote” form. Maybe try to focus on two of pieces of wisdom and really try to live them out in your life. This latter list leaves you with more abstract goals that you can try to implement into your life; whereas, the first list outlines some of the privileges that come with achieving circling the sun for eighteen years. While you can’t legally do everything under the sun at eighteen years of age, you are now viewed (and can be charged in crime) as an adult would be. No more juvy because now you’re adult material.
Sixteen was the milestone for the beloved driver’s license and twenty-one comes with its own privileges where you are fully classified as an adult and are endowed with more liberties than you are at eighteen. Seventeen was the bridge, the gap year from the driver’s license year to the voting rights year. Nonetheless, if you’re ready or not, eighteen will come and go by in the blink of an eye, and with it comes both freedom and responsibility.