If you’ve just turned 18, congrats! It’s a big milestone; after all, you’re an adult now. While turning 18 might bring some new challenges and responsibilities, it also means that you can now do some awesome things that were previously off limits. Some of these are significant and important, whereas others are plain good fun! You can even make a list of your own and work your way through it. You might want to pace yourself, though!
While it might not seem cool or exciting, voting is an important part of being an adult citizen of the United States. Once you’re 18, you have a legal right to vote and have your say in who runs the country. The people in power have a big impact on your day to day life, so don’t let your voice go unheard. If you believe that voting isn’t important, think about women such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who fought vehemently for the right for females to vote.
2. Drive an Ice Cream Truck
If you’ve ever wanted to get into the exciting business of frozen dessert retail, then you’re in luck! When you hit 18, you’re legally allowed to drive an ice cream truck. Of course, you still need to hold a valid driving licence, but after that, you’re ready to rock. Image the look on all your friends’ faces when you roll up to the next hot party in your very own ice cream truck. Well, maybe not, but there are worse ways to earn a living. Plus, you’ve got access to all the ice cream you can eat. That’s the dream, right?
3. Move Into Your Own Home
If you’re sick of mom and dad’s rules, once you’re 18 you’re able to rent a house or apartment in your own name. If you’re lucky enough to have the cash, you can even legally buy your own home. Just imagine the freedom: you can come home whenever you want, have your BFF over every night, throw wild parties, leave the dishes to pile up in the sink for a week. Although, you probably shouldn’t do that last one, unless you want to live with a family of rats. However, along with all the benefits of going out and living independently come some major drawbacks. You have to clean the house, cook dinner, and do all your own laundry. Not to mention having to fork out for rent and utilities.
4. Go on Jerry Springer
What more is there to say? As soon as your reach the grand old age of 18, you can apply to go on Jerry Springer. So, if your man isn’t treating you right, or you’re not sure if your dad’s really your dad, you know where to go. Okay, so you probably don’t actually want or need to go on Jerry Springer, but it’s always nice to have the option available. Just in case you ever get the urge to air your private problems in a public venue.
5. Get a Credit Card
Once you’re 18, you’re able to apply for a credit card. If you get approved, this doesn’t mean that you should go on a mad shopping spree and max it out. However, if you use your new credit card sensibly and responsibly, it can be a great financial asset. I know, sounds boring, right? It might seem that way right now, but building a solid credit score will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life. If you have good credit, you’re more likely to get things on finance, be approved for loans, and even get a mortgage to buy your own place someday.
Additional tip: you are new to this credit card, and you may not know that sometimes, payment history isn’t accurate and it can hurt your credit card, so always keep account protected by writing a dispute letter in case you smell something fishy. Look online for examples of credit dispute letters and make your card free from issues.
6. Get a Tattoo or Piercing
As an 18 year old, you’re allowed to get a tattoo or piercing without parental consent. It might seem like there’s no better way to express your individuality than by getting inked, but make sure you give it a lot of thought first. Barring expensive laser removal treatments, a tattoo is for life, so you’d better make sure that you don’t get something you’re not happy with. It might seem like a good idea now to get a tattoo of your boyfriend’s name in a heart or Harry Styles’ face, but 5 years down the line, it probably won’t seem so cool. A piercing is a better option for anyone who’s unsure.
7. Buy a Lottery Ticket
You might have to wait until you’re 21 to hit the slot machines and blackjack tables of Las Vegas, but at 18 you can still get your gambling fix. You’re legally allowed to purchase lottery tickets and scratch cards. Sure, it’s more likely that you’ll get struck by lightning. Twice. But, there’s still a chance that you could win big, so fingers crossed!
8. See an R Rated Movie
Finally, you’ll be able to see an R rated movie without having to sneak in or beg an older friend to take them with you. Just remember to pay in forward and offer to go with your unlucky friends who haven’t yet reached their big 18th birthday. Or you could rub it in their faces. Whatever works for you!
9. Change Your Name
If you’re not happy with your given name, you can legally change it once you turn 18. It will require some paperwork and a small fee, but before you know it, you could be Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock. Or, you could learn from the mistake of Phoebe from “Friends” and go with something more sensible. So, if you’ve always fancied being an Ada or a Georgette, now’s the time. Of course, it’s wise to think about your decision carefully, because if you change your mind and want to go back, it’s going to involve more time, effort, and money.
10. Order Items From a Shopping Channel
Have you ever been seduced by that gorgeous pendant or functional smoothie making set, only to be disappointed to see the words “Must be 18 or Over to Call” flash up on the screen? Well, now you’re 18, you can order all the useless junk that you want. Just try not to overdo it, or you might rack up quite a credit card bill.
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