February 21, 2024

“Happy 18th birthday, you are now able to buy lottery tickets and serve in the armed forces, but be home by 11 p.m.”

This is something many young adults have probably had to deal with. Once you blow out those 18 candles, things you were not able to do just merely one year ago, you are suddenly able to do. Unfortunately for some, though, this does not mean you are granted full independence.

Being 18 definitely has its perks, but most of the time it is a young adults hover over the line of “You are responsible enough” and “You are not old enough.”

This is especially hard in college because you are mainly living on your own, but if you are like me, parents are still heavily involved for financial needs. This becomes extremely frustrating because although you are legally an adult, most of the time you feel as though you are not treated as one. Not only do parents fail to acknowledge you should make your own decisions, but sometimes peers can see you as inferior.

Give yourself credit. You got accepted into college, are juggling an academic and social life, and some of you may have a part-time job. You also probably had to deal with breakups or deaths in the family, and that is no easy task. The events you have lived through have played a key role in your growth into adulthood. Yes, you have an average of 60 years left of living, and much has to be learned, but never think you should be taken any less seriously than someone older.

Being young is not a bad thing at all. You have so much potential, and even the chance to be a few steps ahead of people older than you. Age is really just a number. It does not define you, and it is a wonderful feeling to look back at what you have achieved in your 18 years and realize you have so much more yet to accomplish.

It is the biggest compliment to me when those who are older point out they have no idea how old I am. It proves I am ahead of my years, and the potential I have cannot be measured.

When most people enter college at the age of 18, some can relate to the struggles of beginning their college careers at a younger age. Even if it is just by one year, attempting to be taken seriously when you are the youngest in the room is a daunting task. It is time to not be seen merely by our age, but also by our knowledge and the way we conduct ourselves.

If we don’t act the way society has deemed how 18-year-olds should act, they will not treat us as though we are incapable.

Walk in the room with the confidence of a 25-year-old, and they just might think you are one.

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