By Meghan McKellick

Poland Regional High School

That’s right, you heard me. I am now a legal adult. I’m 18. I rule the world. Well, not really but I can dream can’t I? In all honesty, turning 18 isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Nov. 29, that’s the day. That’s my day. I’d been waiting to turn 18 for the past 18 years. For some reason I thought it was going to be this spectacular, life-altering event. And for some people it is. For me however, it wasn’t really all that different from my previous 17 birthdays. Now, don’t think that I’m saying my birthday was bad…it wasn’t. It was actually awfully fun. Maybe too fun. Anyway, my main point is to prevent all of you minors from becoming too disappointed when you wake up feeling exactly the same on your 18th birthday.

When you think about it, it doesn’t really make sense as to why turning 18 is such a big deal. Who decided that it was such a turning point in one’s life? “You’re 18! You’re an adult! You can do whatever you want!” Um, no really, you can’t. When you become 18 you are legally allowed to: buy cigarettes, vote, go clubbing (in some places), and get a tattoo.

Wow, hold me back, the possibilities are endless. With those rights, you could do a lot of damage… to yourself. Ok, ok, so the whole tattoo thing is pretty cool, but I have to say that everything else just really isn’t all that exciting. Turning 18 just means that you’re one more year closer to 19, and three more years closer to 21. Oh and another thing, just because you’re 18 does NOT mean that people are going to treat you with any more respect than they did before. It actually seems to be the opposite. People don’t take you seriously because they assume you’re going to have the stereotypical -‘almighty adult attitude’ about everything.

On the flip side, when you turn 18 you’re expected to suddenly have this insane sense of responsibility. You’re supposed to act like an adult in any and all situations, but you’re really not allowed to make your own decisions (for the most part); you’re not mature enough to yet. Hmm, that really doesn’t make very much sense now does it?

That being said, I’m sure this 18 thing is different for everyone. Each person has a different experience and perspective. For those of you who live the fairy tale life, I’m sure your 18th birthday will be the most magical event of the season. But for the rest of us who live in reality, 18 is just another number, another thing to get excited about, and another thing to get disappointed about.

So promise me this: when you turn 18

1. You will not get so excited that you pass out.

2. You will not abuse your right to be 18.

3. You will not fall into the stereotypical attitude of “I’m an adult; I can do what I want.” I know that if you heed my advice you will thank me later on. Trust me, I’m right. I’m 18…I obviously know what I’m talking about.

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