When we're kids we imagine that once we turn 18, nothing will be able to stand in our way—the world will be ours, our freedom unlimited. In reality, however, turning 18 comes with as many responsibilities as it does freedoms.
In the eyes of the law, at 18 you become an adult, and while this opens many opportunities to you, it also means that society will expect more from you in general.
- Voting is by far one of the most exciting powers that come with turning 18. For the first time, you can participate in electing your local and national representatives—even the president of the United States. Your opinion can now help to shape the world you live in. Doesn't that feel great?
- Now that you're 18, you're also eligible for jury duty. Your community can call on you to serve as a juror for a trial, and you'll be legally obligated to serve. While many people loathe jury duty and do all they can to be excused, others find it to be a rewarding and educational experience.
- Thinking of tying the knot with that special someone? Once you're of age, you can get married without your parent's permission.
- You can also rent an apartment, buy property, open a bank account, or apply for a credit card.
Just remember, you're legally responsible if you don't hold up your end on any of these contracts (marriage included!). Be sure to read the fine print and know what you're agreeing to before you exercise any of these powers.
Think these freedoms are exciting? Just wait until you become a senior citizen—the discounts and prioritized seating await! That's a long way off, though. For now, enjoy your new powers, but use them wisely and responsibly. Just remember, sometimes the best part of being an adult has less to do with electing a candidate as governor, and much more to do with electing to have ice cream for dinner.