Anticipation of 18

Eighteen is an age everyone dreams of. Through different circumstances; everyone has their own opinions about the age. (Photo courtesy of Cierra Short)

What goes up but never goes down? Take a wild guess! If you guessed age, you are correct. Each year you age and get older but never younger; how unfair it is.

Age in today’s society isn’t as big as a deal as it once was. Many kids in today’s generation act very mature and twice their age already. For example, citizens legally cannot get a tattoo under the circumstances of a guardian’s consent of or being of the age 18.

On February 1, I turned 18. When separated, the number one means independence and the number eight spiritually means new beginnings. If you think about it, the meaning of the number 18 makes sense: You transition from your teenage years to young adulthood.

When turning 18, standards for yourself may change. You are now accountable under your own circumstances, no longer under your parents. When becoming the age 18, you are now “legal,” as everyone says. Legal meaning you are legal to buy lottery tickets, tobacco, and sign documents without parents consent.

Also as an 18 year old you have the privilege to impact society by voting and serving on a jury. You can also do more independent things at your own risk like getting a tattoo or piercing without parent supervision.

I didn’t feel very different and much did not change. Celebrating with my family and friends was sentimental, but the ways of our generation has made me feel the pressures of being eighteen. Many young adults feel the need to fit in or have a sense of belonging. I felt the need to change something about myself like change my hair color or get a tattoo, but I realized that it’s okay just to be myself. I am beautiful just the way God made me, and I have time for all the extra stuff as I continue to grow and find out who I truly am.

Before turning 18, I had previously had the privilege to drive with my permit license. I felt a sense of freedom, but I soon learned it was a huge responsibility. I woke up extra early and waited in line for about an hour just to get what’s called your adult license. Whoopi!!!!!! Not much has changed; it’s still huge responsibility. The things that I once thought were fun and exciting to do or have are not what I expected them to be.

Dereka Baldwin, a senior here at Leesville Road High School, has her own views on how she felt when she turned 18. “Turning 18 was an age I’ve always dreamed of, but when it came down to the wire nothing’s really changed,” said Baldwin. Baldwin’s birthday falls in November when she celebrated by having a party with several of her friends.

On the other hand, Chebem Monbu, also a senior at Leesville Road High School, shared her views on how she’s feeling leading up to turning 18. “I picture my eighteenth birthday being perfect, but as it approaches I’m not as excited anymore,” said Monbu. Monbu’s birthday is March 20, and she plans to celebrate with family as well as friends.

Just remember that age is just a number, but becoming “legal” comes with responsibility. Make the best decisions concerning yourself, not others.

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