Through my eighteen years of life, my friends have always counted down the days until their next birthday. They would create lists of things they could now do that they were a year older. Once they were 10, they were a preteen and could stay up later at night. At 13, they were teenagers with phones. Then at 16, they could drive. Now, it’s 18 and being a legal adult.
When I turned 18 in November, I did not feel that different. One never truly does. I stared in the mirror, looking for hints that I was taller or older, but unable to find anything. However, to the state, I crossed the threshold I can never cross again.
I didn’t see why everyone was in such a rush to turn 18. Sure, I could move out of my parents’ house, but I would be too lonely and where would I move to, anyway? Or I could be admitted into a few dance clubs, but that was nothing special for me. Who was I going to go with? All my closest friends were still minors, which sounded weird in itself. I was a legal adult hanging out with minors.
It was not until days after I turned into a legal adult, did I feel the result. Taxes were being gathered and configured. To do so, my mom needed medicine records for the whole family from the local pharmacy. Now that I was 18, the pharmacists rejected her request for my files. They would have given them to her if she had request the file only days before.
Could someone change so much in the span of the second it takes for the days to change? My age was different, but I was no more responsible than I was a month ago. Despite the state/government handing me more rights and responsibility, I do not feel in a change in how I handle the responsibility. Even though I am technically independant, I still feel dependent of my parents. For now, that is fine for me.
I stopped studying for the next day’s exam and drove to the pharmacy in my pjs as she needed the files that night. At the time, the situation shocked me.
As my generation of classmates venture to college, our parents will be left out in the dark. Through touring campuses, I discovered that the schools do not release any medical, financial and academic records to parents. The students have to give written permission allowing the schools to discuss these subjects with parents.
In other venues, as well as college, we will be met with these type of situations. Doctor offices will only speak with students and not parents, unless given specific permission. After turning 18, those with bank accounts receive notices that if the balance goes under a certain amount, they have to pay interest until more money is deposited
The responsibilities of maintaining our lives solely fall on our shoulders. Because of this, I can no longer be a little girl living in her fantasy world, ignorant to the hardships of everyday life. Before, I could simply read, watch TV or play with my toys. I did not have to worry about money or jobs. Now I have to be aware of how I will pay for college and daily items, how I will survive without living with my parents for the first time, all while balancing work, school and social life.
Now, that I am 18, I cannot remember what the hurry to be older had been about. For those of you who are not yet 18, do not rush your time; enjoy your young childhood age.