18 and Amanda – What Does 18 Mean?

Ben Kingsbury, Web Editor

In the eyes of the law 18 is the de facto age for children transitioning into adulthood. The moment the earth goes around the sun for your 18th time, you become a new member of society. You can work pretty much anywhere, buy a car, put a down payment on a house, and do all sorts of things to prove to yourself that you are an adult now. But is this really the case? Is this magic age really the pinnacle of maturation? I interviewed Amanda Pierce before, and after her big 18th birthday to get to the bottom of it all. 

I asked Pierce how she felt about being 17 just a day before her birthday, and she stated that “…I still feel like I’m twelve years old.” After inquiring whether she feels ready to be an adult in the eyes of the law, she was confused that “…how am I a literal adult, when I feel 12…I’m getting older, and not wiser.” We then talked about the societal pressures of growing up and that most are heading to college. She talked about living away from her parents and that “I actually feel like I’m growing up.” 

The reality of adulthood both hit us, as we sat there in the main entrance of the school in silence for a few seconds. People walked by without a care in the world, almost like the neverending march of time. The world keeps moving on whether or not you are ready for it. 

A few days later I sat down with Pierce and asked her how she felt about her big day. “I’m gonna be honest, I feel the exact same. But yesterday I was in my car, and was like, I’m not a minor anymore.” said Pierce about her newfound adulthood. She then was enthusiastic about getting her new ear piercing, and thought it was pretty fun that she could ignore the whole parent signature line. “[Turning 18] feels like such a big step, it’s scary” she then expressed some worries that everything she does could be illegal, and was a little scared at how much impact her actions can now have on her life.

After talking with Pierce I realized that while turning 18 by itself isn’t a big deal, but the societal pressures that come with it are. The 18th time you blow out the candles you are magically expected to have everything figured out. You should either be heading to college, or getting a job, and living on your own. Many people I’ve talked with, including Pierce and myself, don’t feel ready, but that is ok. Diving headfirst into a new journey may be scary, but it is one of the most rewarding things you can do.