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When the clock turned 00:00, my mom, dad, and sister entered my room singing happy birthday. I am finally eighteen, am I prepared to face this new era? 

 

For some teenagers turning eighteen means finally being independent, to others it wakes up the fear of growing up. Depending on your culture and country, turning eighteen has different meanings for teenagers. 

 

In South America, at the age of eighteen, you start to take responsibility for yourself—this can be scary. Eighteen in Latin America is the legal age, meaning you can finally have your driver's license, first job, and new ID. Social pressure causes some doubts in teenagers, making them feel unprepared to face the world. 

 

Turning eighteen is like signing a contract; every detail of the statement matters, even the small ones. Not having control over freedom can be dangerous, not having limits in your life can bring consequences. “Being eighteen means becoming an adult and being fully responsible for your decisions. It’s scary but exciting,” shared senior Maria Cicala, a DSA senior.

 

On the other hand, turning eighteen for teenagers in the U.S is different. Teenagers can start to work and drive at an early age making it no different when they turn eighteen. However, the feeling of independence is shared, and the emotion of moving to college or taking control of your life will be there.

 

“Turning eighteen doesn’t change much of what you can do, but it greatly affects how you feel about yourself and your life moving forward as an official adult,” shares Emily Cuberos, a DSA senior. Being eighteen is like being in limbo between adolescence and adulthood, where we have many unanswered questions about growing up. Life is about constantly changing; each day you learn something new and do not feel pressured to know everything society asks you to. It is okay to make mistakes, you just have to learn from them. 

 

Don't be scared, teenagers might have the same questions as yours, it's just a matter of time and adaptation to the new phase. “I hope I can feel more mature (and be mature). I hope I can make the right decisions and I hope I can be happy at the college that accepts me. I'm not sure if I feel ready to be eighteen, the truth is that I feel like we have to be adults and I still want to be a girl.” shares Marcella Arnesen, a DSA junior.

 

Turning eighteen also brings some benefits, there’s a list of fun things that you can do when you turn eighteen:

 

  1. Take a skydive Tour. 

  2. Book a boat.

  3. Open a bank account.

  4. Lease an apartment.

  5. Go bungee Jumping. 

  6. Unleash the travel bug.

  7. Buy a car.

  8. Buy a lottery ticket.

  9. Go to a festival.

  10. Get a license to start a business.