Becoming an adult

I recently just had my eighteen birthday, and it turns out adulting is a lot harder than it seems.

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Sarabeth Wester

Although becoming an adult is a huge change, it can lead to many new life experiences.

Lauren Schindler , Staff Writer

It’s your 18th birthday: the day you officially become an adult. Now you can vote, buy a house, or even change your name. This is the age that most teens look forward to their whole life— I know I did. Although becoming an adult comes with some amazing new life experiences and opportunities, it’s a lot harder than it may seem.

I turned eighteen a few weeks ago, and don’t get me wrong, it was amazing. But it’s not exactly what you might think. Although I technically became an adult the minute it became midnight, I didn’t feel any different.

It wasn’t until I went to the doctor a few days later when I noticed some changes. I was expected to know the answers to all the medical questions the doctor and nurses were asking me, but to my surprise, I couldn’t answer simple things, like my social security number or my immunization status or what my insurance was (mom had that, of course).

I didn’t realize how hard becoming an adult was going to be. It felt like everyone expected me to know everything and have my whole life figured out the day I turned eighteen. Almost everytime I go somewhere, and someone finds out that I’m eighteen, the first thing they ask me is: What do I want to do in the future? Where do I want to go to college? What do I want to study?

I never know how to answer this. Just thinking about how the choices and decisions that I have to make within the next few months makes me stressed out. What I choose to study and where I go to college will determine my career, and where I live and work for the rest of my life, and who I will be as a person, ultimately. It’s huge!

After adulting for just a few weeks, I’ve already noticed many big changes in my life. For example, I have to carry my ID with me everywhere, I have to fill out all my own paperwork, and I can technically make all my own medical decisions. Just the other day, I received my voter ID in the mail, which means I can now vote in future elections.

It still seems crazy to me that I have the opportunity to vote on issues that can impact those in my community, but being able to vote is probably what I’m looking forward to the most in my new status as an adult.

I recently opened up my own checking account and learned how to balance my own checkbook. This made me realize the importance of saving and spending money wisely, especially since I need to be able to depend on myself in the future. I am also looking forward to buying my own car in the future with my own money and even adopting my own dog or cat.

The biggest piece of advice I would give to someone who’s about to turn eighteen is that even though you are now an adult, it’s fine to not know everything. Although you may feel like you should be independent, it’s okay to still ask for help. I ask my parents for help almost everyday. The truth is, you don’t need to have your whole life figured out just yet. Although it may seem like others around me know exactly what they are doing, I have learned that it’s okay to not always know.

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