Today is a very important (birth)day for me, as I turn 18 and officially become an adult!
Charlotte Brontë beautifully and eloquently describes turning 18 in her novel Shirley when she says,
At that time, at eighteen, drawing near the confines of illusive, void dreams, Elf-land lies behind us, the shores of Reality rise in front. These shores are yet distant; they look so blue, soft, gentle, we long to reach them. In sunshine we see a greenness beneath the azure, as of spring meadows; we catch glimpses of silver lines, and imagine the roll of living waters […]
In short, at eighteen the school of experience is to be entered, and her humbling, crushing, grinding, but yet purifying and invigorating lessons are yet to be learned.Brontë Charlotte. Shirley. Blackwell, 1931.
I have compiled a list of things you can do once you turn 18 to celebrate this milestone! Read on for some great ideas…
1. Register to Vote
The first presidential election I will be able to vote in is the 2020 election… which is exactly 100 years after woman gained the right to vote! In order to celebrate our citizenship in the greatest nation in the world, be sure to research candidates and vote based on what they stand for and the changes they wish to enact in our government. There is a reason I made this the first thing to do to celebrate turning 18. I feel it is the most important!
2. Go on a Road Trip
Whether you have been following the driving curfew laws or not, now you can legally be on the roads all night! Celebrate by road tripping with friends – drive to the beach, visit another state, or surprise a friend at a college far away. Going on a road trip is one of the top things on my bucket list… Share your story with me if you go on one!
3. Book a Hotel Room
If you go on a road trip, it’ll be helpful to know you can now book a hotel room! I’m envisioning Selena Gomez and her costars in Monte Carlo where they decide to stay in the huge suite meant for someone else and pamper themselves… Realistically, no 18 year old has the money for that, but you could watch Monte Carlo from your average-sized hotel room.
4. Get a Credit Card
In my Personal Finance class in school, my teacher explained to us how she built up her credit score in college and graduate school using the first credit card she ever signed up for. As long as you use it responsibly and pay off your bills on time, swiping your own plastic is a great way to celebrate being an adult!
5. Buy Lottery Tickets
For the chance to win some extra money to pay off those credit card swipes, buy lottery tickets! Although it doesn’t seem like a big deal, adulthood is all about trying new things, and part of the fun is doing something a minor can’t!
6. Get a Tattoo/Piercing
Although I am not planning on getting a tattoo (don’t worry mom and dad!!), I am excited for the chance to get my second holes pierced in my ears. This is one of the most “adult” things I can think of, but be careful not to go too crazy. Respect the rules of whoever’s house you’re still living in, because, most likely, they have had a lot more experience with being an adult than you have and can warn you before a regrettable decision is made.
7. Revisit Favorite Childhood Spots
The baseball field of my brother’s first home run, the stadium of the first football game I cheered at, my family’s favorite custard stand… All of these memories come to mind when I reflect on my childhood. Take my friend Trevor’s advice and revisit some of the places of your favorite childhood memories. It might feel sad, realizing how fast you’ve grown up and how soon things change, but also allow it to make you feel excited for the future and all the memories you’re going to make.
8. Reach out to 18 Impactful People
My friend Gretta also had a great idea: think of 18 people and let them know how much they’ve impacted your life thus far. Send a text to an old friend, call your grandma, and hug your parents or siblings. As we all know, it is so heartwarming to feel appreciated, so inspire that feeling in others when you give back on your big day.
Comment below if you have done or are excited to do any of the things I included on my list. Also feel free to reach out with more ideas on how to celebrate both birthdays and life in general.
Make it a beautiful day!!