What it means to be an adult


High school is different for everyone. Not everyone will play a sport, sing in the chorus or write a front page article. But the one thing that almost every single person will do during high school is turn 18.

Now this might seem silly; everyone becomes another year older every year, so why is 18 so special?

Just like turning 16 means being able to get your permit and 17 allows you to go to R-rated movies alone, 18 is similar. Turning 18 means that you no longer have a driving curfew, you can buy lottery tickets and cigarettes, and you can vote. But there’s one more thing that comes along with it: adulthood.

To me, it seems a little bizarre that I went from being a child to an adult overnight. I’m still in highschool, I’m still dependent on my parents and I definitely don’t have my life sorted out yet. But despite all of this, I am legally an adult.

An adult is defined as “a person who is fully grown or developed,” which is one of the last things that comes to mind when I look at some of my fellow 18 year olds roaming through the halls. Yes, we might not be getting much taller, but that doesn’t mean any of us are fully developed as people.

In fact, according to Daily Mail, some psychologists are trying to move the age of adulthood to 25. It states, “It has been introduced because research now suggests the brain continues developing through and passed teenage years, well into a person’s mid-twenties and thirties.”

BBC News also wrote an article about this idea and stated that adolescent brains are not fully developed at age 18. It stated that, “This is particularly important in terms of social reasoning, planning, problem solving and understanding. So the brain is reorganising itself, which then means that different thinking strategies are used as your brain becomes more like an adult brain.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I still think that 18 year olds are mature enough to be allowed to buy lottery tickets and vote. I just don’t think that many of us act like or feel quite like adults yet.