Are We Really Adults At Age 18?

At 18 years old, people often times think they are suddenly a responsible adult.

At 18 years old, people often times think they are suddenly a responsible adult.

Aaliyah Tribble, Reporter

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At 18 years old, you can do a lot of things that you couldn’t do before. Buying lottery tickets, opening a bank account, voting, and getting a tattoo to name a few. These are things that adults do, so if we can do it, that makes us adults, right? The truth is, turning 18 doesn’t necessarily make us adults.

18 years olds still aren’t free to do as they please, they can’t do everything that grown adults can do just yet. They can’t drink alcohol or rent a car. They still have to have a vertical driver’s license.  Many 18 years olds are still in high school and don’t have the opportunity to experience the real world, thus making it impossible to know how to live in the real world and be an independent adult.

The human brain doesn’t stop growing until about age 25. During the latter years of its growth, it develops judgmental senses and controls impulses. Once these have developed, the brain stops growing and that is when one is considered fully grown or in other words, an adult. At age 18, these senses are still developing, making it hard to be considered an adult.

Think about the things that adults do—they live on their own, they pay their own bills, they have a full-time job, and they can take care of their selves and other people in their family. These are things that 18 year olds don’t do quite yet. However, once they move out on their own and learn to fend for themselves, they can become adults. When they mature enough to live happily and successfully, that’s when they officially become adults.

At 18 years old, we are not adults. There’s no magical button that goes off in the middle of the night that turns us into adults that know how to do everything. That skill is developed over time later in life. Some people will become adults earlier than others, and some may never truly become adults at all. But one thing is for sure, and that is that it is maturity, not age, which makes someone an adult.

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