What being 18 is really like

How life changes for teens when they legally become adults


A birthday cake with happy birthday candles. Photo courtesy of Flickr via Creative Commons

When teens hit the edge of seventeen, they are not aware of all the changes that comes with turning a year older. Usually birthdays are known for happiness, balloons, candles, and a lot of presents. However, this special birthday brings new gifts and unexpected opportunities. Once they become adults, the excitement of being legal outweighs the responsibility that comes along with it. 

According to The Law Dictionary, one of the main accountabilities of a new adult is that they are held legally responsible for their actions. It is no longer the concern of the parent, any trouble they cause now counts against them and their own record. 

Battlefield Senior Bryce Corbett says, “Now that I am 18, I am responsible for my own actions because I am no longer under my parents supervision as much anymore.” He agrees with what The Law Dictionary has to say about this transition from childhood to adulthood. He is one of many students at Battlefield High School that has recently turned 18. 

Turning 18 comes with a lot of freedom, which can be a good thing if used the correct way. These new adults can be charged as an adult, meaning that any criminal actions are taking more seriously than before. Some of the responsibilities of this new age include; jury duty, house payments or loans, credit, etc. While those should be deeply considered, there are many positives such as purchasing lottery tickets and being able to sign off for yourself. 

Sonja Folland turned 18 last month, a week before the start of her senior year. When asked about her new status she says, “Turning 18 meant that I was finally able to manage and make my own decisions legally. I felt like I truly did have a new voice that couldn’t be silenced because I was no longer considered a child. I am eligible to vote now, but that is the only major change to me. Other than that it was just another birthday.” Folland likes the independence that has come along with the change and is excited about participating in voting in the future. 

On the website Thought Catalog, an article titled,  50 Valuable Pieces Of Advice For Anyone Turning 18, gives guidance to help 18 year olds cope with their new lives as grown-ups. The article states, “Small changes make a big difference in life. You don’t need to overhaul your entire life all at once. Make little changes as you go and you’ll be more apt to keep it up and go further towards whatever goal you have.” This is a good reminder to take everything one step at  a time and to not get too overwhelmed. 

Life changes drastically in many ways as children grow to become adults. However, they spend their whole childhood preparing to make their own decisions and face world problems. Adulthood is nothing to be afraid of, instead, they need to live, learn, and let the experience guide them through.