I just turned eighteen not that long ago, and I’m continuously being asked this same question by numerous people. How does it feel being eighteen? Or in other terms, how does it feel being an adult and having to take full responsibility of yourself?
I’ve spent the majority of my teens years just impatiently waiting to turn eighteen. I was so excited and thrilled by the idea of being an adult and not having to be under everyone’s control, everything was up to me and I had the power to say no and nothing could be done about it. I wasn’t going to have a curfew anymore, I could have sleepovers with boys, I could go to concerts, I could buy cigarettes (I don’t even smoke!), I could gamble, you name it!
There are so many wonderful things that come with the freedom of being an adult and no longer being under the control of your parents. But, the responsibility will really come and bite you in the butt. I always thought, hey well, it’s just a little responsibility, I’m smart, how bad will it be?! But it’s actually been worse than I thought.
It wouldn’t be so bad if my mom didn’t wait over ten years to finally change my last name on my social security card. But now because she did that, I have to go speak to Social Security with the risk of them not cooperating with what had happened. I feel like it’s more of my mom’s responsibility than mine because she should have taken care of it first thing she switched my last name, but because I am an adult now, it’s now my responsibility, it’s my name that needs to be changed, and I have no idea how to talk to Social Security, I get a panic attack thinking I’ll stutter or mess up what I say and it won’t be handled correctly.
It’s the anxiety that comes with making phone calls to set up appointments or speak with the government, your mom, your dad, your legal guardian, whoever, they aren’t the one’s who do it anymore, it’s in your hands now.
It’s the anticipation while opening insurance bills that come in the mail and making sure your insurance covered everything, instead of your parents or legal guardian doing it for you and making sure the extra expenses are covered.
I guess I never looked at the responsibilities, I looked at the freedom and the power that I get as an adult. But now having so many responsibilities, oh and don’t forget numerous piles of consent forms that make no damn sense, I really wish I would have cherished my last few years as a teen a little better.
It doesn’t help that no one believes I’m eighteen because I look twelve.
Overall, I think once everything falls into place I’ll be happier as an adult. I don’t really feel much of a difference besides having to take care of appointments, filling out consent forms, and the huge amount of people that constantly freak out when they find out I’m eighteen and it’s been “so long” since they’ve seen me and it’s “so unbelievable”. It really only seems to hit me then, otherwise, I in a way feel like I’m still a teenager.
It’s fun though, the freedom really helps relieve anxiety, it feels like you get more power over yourself, and even though that’s something I’ve had all along, that feeling didn’t seem valid until I was legally an adult.
Advice from me to you, is to not worry so much about becoming an adult, focus on the present moment if you’re still a child or a teenager, cherish those years before you become an adult, as exciting as becoming one seems, the responsibilities are harder than they seem, and you’ll really reflect on the times you didn’t take the time to enjoy yourself when you were younger. Don’t try to grow up so fast, you’ll eventually get there, so really, enjoy yourself, your youth, because you’re really going to miss it when you’re an adult and realize time flew right before your eyes, I know I do.
“Growing up means acknowledging reality. Good or bad, if you don’t play by its rules you’ll just be run over by them.”