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RockerChick14's avatar

Was it weird for you during the year of your 18th birthday too?

Asked by RockerChick14 (951points) January 12th, 2014 from iPhone

I know even though I’m going to be an adult, I’m still young and have a lot to learn but it just feels weird knowing that I’m going to be an adult soon.

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14 Answers

livelaughlove21's avatar

I don’t recall it being weird.

hearkat's avatar

There are many milestones that have that impact on us, and give us pause as we consider what our expectations are and where we find ourselves in reality. 18, 21, 30 and 40 didn’t bother me so much. My toughest milestone so far was 45 – because halfway to ninety definitely means that I have more years behind me than ahead of me, but I just don’t feel like all that time has passed… I thought my mom was crazy when I was a teen and she was in her 40s and told me that each year goes faster, but it really does.

I turned 18 thirty years ago, and the culture was starting to transition to what is so rampant in the US today, where kids are coddled so much, they are not truly prepared for the responsibilities of adulthood, as mine was the post-Vietnam generation that was not raised with the high probability of going to war at 18 or becoming a parent by 20. Going to college was finally just as common for females as males, and despite income inequality and the glass ceiling, women could have a career – not just a job outside the home.

My son is 22, and I raised him to be independent and responsible, but now the economic climate is so tough for your generation. College is priced ridiculously out of reach, which results in oppressive loan obligations. Even kids who do get to and through college are having a tough time finding jobs – the transition from child to adult is very different now that it was for me.

Seek's avatar

I graduated high school when I was seventeen, and spent that summer and the following winter working – first as a maid at a nursing home, and then as a file clerk with the local government.

My 18th birthday that December was completely overlooked by my family. The following day I bought myself a cake.

I don’t recall any particular moment when I “felt” like an adult. It was just kind of happened around me.

Judi's avatar

I was a hormonal mess. I was a wreck. My daughter also suffered horribly at that age. I’m surprised I survived (both me and my daughter.)
I wish the medical field would research this and find ways to correct it in extreme cases.

tom_g's avatar

I had graduated high school 6 months prior to my 18th birthday, was working full-time, paying rent, and felt as though I was in my 30s. I think I was older when I was 18 than I was when I was in my 20s.

dxs's avatar

I’ve always felt like I was independent and self-reliable, so turning into a legal adult didn’t really mean much to me. I also never celebrated my birthday except once when I was five. My birthday is on the second busiest event of the season at my work, so I was very busy on my 18th birthday.
Except it did make me start feel like I was rushing my life (I know 18 is still really young). Everyone said that the next few years are supposedly going to be my best ones, so that caused me a lot of anxiety because I didn’t want to waste them away.

Adagio's avatar

I left home at 17 to live with my boyfriend so my 18th year was exciting and full of new experiences, my 18th birthday felt very significant.

JLeslie's avatar

I finished high school right before I turned 17 and started at a community college. Inalso worked as a part time manager in a retail store. I had been going to out dancing and clubing since I was 16, so 18 really wasn’t that significant to me. When I turned 18 I was the same pretty much as when I was 17, except now I didn’t need a fake ID. I didn’t really feel like adult until I had graduated college and started working and living on my own. Even then, I can say it took until my 30’s to really feel like an adult.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I was pretty much raising myself for a few years before that, so it didn’t mean much. It just meant when I bought beer it was legal. But I never had problems buying it before then.

josie's avatar

See @tom_g

You can say whatever you want. Arbitrary legal definitions aside, unless you are paying your own bills, you are not an adult.

pleiades's avatar

I don’t remember what happened during my 18th birthday, that’s hardly transitioning, you’ll feel the real weight of being an adult in the USA (I’m assuming you’re from USA) when you finally work full time and are paying ALL your bills..

Smitha's avatar

No, I never felt weird. Being 18 one fine morning does not make you a grown up person. Legally you will be an adult, but becoming a mature person is a slow process. You may be feeling weird now because you may not be socially prepared for it. You will start to feel like an adult when you take responsibilities and live like one. It’s all about the independence and becoming responsible for supporting yourself.

Silence04's avatar

This question and the responses really highlight the generation gap. The X generation (I believe) spawned a new era in life called the “emerging adult” which can span from 18 all the way to 30. It’s a period of self discovery, learning, and determining what it takes to consider yourself an adult.

In previous generations, adulthood was reached much earlier. “What it takes to be an adult” was something that was instilled at a young age, and they were often doing those things before they even turned eighteen. For the previous generations, becoming eighteen made it official and were mentally and emotionally ready for the next steps in life (marriage, long term career, kids).

The emerging adult is typically not eager to enter those next steps in life and instead focus on further education, finding out who they are, and establishing life goals. Typically, marriage and kids are not even on their radar during this time. While they are legally defined as an adult, they often don’t feel like an adult until certain factors in their life change. And unlike previous generations, these “factors” are self determined, not ones instilled by their parents.

@rockerchick14 if you are interested in the road ahead of you, there are some great books on emerging adulthood that might help you not feel so weird. Jeffery Arnett wrote a great one that helped me get through that phase of life. It might even be helpful for your parents to read it, as it’s most likely new to them.

AssyrianKing9's avatar

When I turned 18, I said to myself that I needed to grow up lol.

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