So…. turning 18.
Yesterday, 25th February, was my 18th birthday.
Turning 18 has got me thinking about what kinds of things it will bring. There could be a whole lot of new opportunities but with that will come new responsibilities.
Being 18 in the UK, I am now an adult in the eyes of the law. This means that I can:
- Vote – I can now vote in local and general elections. I’ve been looking forward to since I’m fairly interested in politics. Living in a democratic country, it’s nice to finally be able to vote on things which could subsequently affect my future.
- Get married without parental permission – I’m not sure if marriage is for me but hey, it’s nice to know I don’t need my parents’ permission!
- Buy fireworks – Fireworks night might be a bit more interesting now that I can take charge of what to buy!
- Get a tattoo – This is one I’m really looking forward to. I probably won’t get a tattoo for another few years due to my indecisive self. But I like the idea of permanently inking my skin with something that means something to me or just something I really like.
- Buy alcohol – I’d lying if I were to say that I’m not slightly excited by this. It’s not even the fact that it’s alcohol. I think it’s more the feeling of buying something I’ve not been allowed to have or buy myself for so many years. So finally being able to do that myself is like, “wow I’m actually legally allowed to do this”.
- Make legal contracts – I could buy a house, flat or land, apply for a mortgage, hold a tenancy. That kind of stuff.
The list goes on and on, like being able to be a part of a jury, making a will, standing for election as an MP. All kinds of adult things.
For myself, turning 18 seems as though it comes with this invisible added pressure. Pressures like doing well in my final year of college so I can ultimately get a job or go to university, which are both scary things (for me, anyway).
It’s not that I’m scared of turning 18 with all the things it brings with it, but more so that I’m not going to do anything with being another year older. I’ve always found that when I make plans or have ideas, they’re always too big or too small, no in between. This usually results in me not being able to succeed due to material/psychological/etc. reasons like not having the access or mental capability to do so, or just doing the bare minimum just to complete the task. Either way, I usually end up displeased or only just satisfied with what I’ve done. I hope that within the next year, I can learn to find a midway between things. That everything’s not always black or white, but so many shades of grey. Maybe I could even find some colour within it.
However, let’s not forget all the incredible, non-scary adult things being 18 can bring. Turning 18 opens doors to so many more new opportunities, friendships and experiences. Another year older means another year of finding out things about myself and hearing/discovering new music for the first time. And honestly, I’m quite excited to be able to sit in a pub with my friends and share some good times.
To my future self that reads back on this one day, I hope being 18 was good to you. Here’s to another year.