What You Need to Know When You Turn 18

What You Need to Know When You Turn 18

You think that when you turn 18 it is all about being an adult, or being “legal.” I hate to break it to everyone, but it’s more complicated than that. I just recently turned 18 and there is so much more I need to do now as an adult than I originally thought. I figured that when I turned 18 everything was going to stay the same and the only benefit to being an adult was that I could buy lottery tickets and vote. Nope! That was not the only thing I could do or what needed to be done. 

The perks of being 18 is that you can go to the lottery machine by yourself, you can get tattoos without your parents being there, get piercings, rent an apartment, join the military, drive past 11 P.M., buy a car, book a hotel room (in some states), buy pets, buy fireworks (where it’s legal), bet on horses, and you can even go to bingo night with gma and gpa!

However, let’s get down to the serious business that comes with turning 18. As an adult, there are more severe consequences for your actions, like going to jail or getting sued. 18 year old males have to register for selective service, and although there hasn’t been a draft since the 1970’s, it doesn’t mean there won’t be another one. There are also privacy laws that protect you now, like not having mom or dad see your bank account. In order to do that you first need to open up a checking account. You should go to the bank some time after turning 18 and make your essential banking account a checking account. This could be better for you to determine your bank. 

Like I mentioned before, the perks of being 18 are that you can buy a car or rent an apartment, but in order to do that, you need to find a good bank to have a credit card with. You need to build your credit score in order to buy or rent these things. The fun part when it comes to your money is that you can buy stock, or even open a brokerage account. PPBHS Financial Literary teacher, Mrs. Reed, described, “I think the best piece of advice would be: practice saving, not spending.” 

When it comes to care for yourself, you can now give your consent to the doctor instead of your guardian, you give your consent for your own vaccines, you can register to give your blood, or become an organ donor, you can go to the emergency room alone and get treatment, you can purchase cough suppressant and certain medicines and that are over the counter but need to be 18. 

When it comes to work, you can be the “big guy” and work the meat slicer, or become a realtor or notary public, work in a bar or serve drinks in the workplace you work at, drive a taxi, get a license to drive a truck, or even work full-time during your senior year.

You can also change your family status. You can change your name, you can legally adopt a child( in some states), you can even move out of your parents house and they can not demand you to stay, you can get married to your high school sweetheart when you turn 18! 

Overall, you can do a lot when you turn 18, some of it being fun and some being more mundane, practical things you need to do in order to live. Being an adult is a lot of work and it is not just about the privileges you have.

Now, you have to be an adult and do adult things… then you can have all the legal fun you want.

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