Hey guys, guess what? I have some exciting news. It’s my birthday soon, and it’s not just any old birthday. It’s my 18th birthday. With the date fast approaching my excitement has been building! My brain just goes overtime when I think about a wonderful day filled with friends, family, and let’s be honest, cute presents! I have a terrific day planned of going and getting some lovely new piercings, to be followed with going out for dinner with friends, family and even my grandparents from NSW will be there. Can you blame me for being so thrilled?
I have a list of things I want to do when I turn 18, I mean I’ll be considered legally an adult; I can do whatever I want right? I can go buy a lottery ticket. I can enter any venue and even have a drink if I like. I can finally vote in elections! I could get a tattoo, hey, I could get many tattoos! I can even book a room in a hotel anywhere in the world, and then book the tickets to get there, without my parents’ permission. Actually, on that, I won’t need my parents’ permission again! No more forms where I need them to sign. It’ll be all my responsibility in less than a month.
So it’s around here where I become confused. It will be ALL my responsibility. Recently in one of my classes, my teacher asked us ‘Who looks after your health care? Do you organise it all, or do your parents?’ and well, the truth is, my parents still organise it all for me. Actually, I’ve been nagging my mum for the past few weeks to book me in for a dentist’s appointment. I will soon be 18, a legal adult, and I still squirm at the thought of organising my health care appointments.
What about taxes? Oh dear. I do not understand them at all! I currently don’t work enough to pay tax, but what about after grade 12 when I enter adult life, what then? I do not have the slightest clue how to go about paying taxes!
With this in mind, I cannot help but think about how childish I can behave, and how much I love it! Lame jokes, dress ups and water fights, I love it all. Where does this juvenile behaviour come into play with my soon-to-be adult life?
In less than a month I will be considered an adult, but when that clock ticks over from 11:59PM to 12:00AM on my birthday, will I be any different? 17 one day and 18 the next, with a world of options available to me and not much of an idea of how to achieve them. Does that single moment in time change me, or will I remain the same.
The more I think about it, turning 18 won’t equal a radical Tegan. I won’t turn into a tattoo toting, binge drinking gambler, and neither will I automatically be able to deal with medical appointments and taxes. Adulthood comes with life experiences, not the year you were born in. Regardless of my impending legality and lack of life skills, I’ll be the same old me on my birthday, and a new set of rules will never change that.