8 Things that Happen at 18


Will Bauers, Reporter

As many HHS Seniors become 18 and officially enter adulthood, a few may have been wondering what privileges they now get to enjoy, or what “chores” they may now have to do.

Here are a few things that happen at age 18:


At 18, people are given the right to vote in elections. These can be anything from the local schoolboard to the Presidential election. When kids get their license at 17 in New Jersey, they can begin the process of registering to vote, by placing their name, address, and party that they would like to register with at the DMV. They then send a form in the mail that you have to fill out to complete the process. You can’t actually vote until you are 18 though, even if you fill out everything needed and send it back prior to your 18th birthday.


Getting a Tattoo

Many students here at HHS have been discussing getting a tattoo once they turn 18. You still can get one before then, but you would have to have a parent sign. The big idea with a tattoo at 18 is that you no longer need anyone to sign for you. There are a lot of cool ideas out there if you want to get a tattoo, but I wouldn’t recommend getting your recent McDonald’s order.


Having an Independent Bank Account

While many student manage their own bank accounts prior to turning 18, they are still technically run by your parents, as you are still a minor. Many of us here at HHS are likely familiar with making a transaction and having a parent ask about it. At 18, that is no longer a worry, as you can now have your own bank account with just your name on it, and finally have total control of your own money.


Playing the Lottery

Ever wanted to strike it rich? Well at 18 you now have your chance and can play the lottery on your own. Many of us have probably done scratch-offs before, but we could not turn them in ourselves, an adult had to. If by some chance a minor won a large amount of money, a parent or guardian had to manage the money until the minor turned 18. At 18, you can now win it big all on your own without any restrictions.


Buying A Pet

Some parents are against having a pet, well once you turn 18 that no longer matters, as 18 year olds are able to buy a pet on their own. This can be expensive though, as some dogs can cost over 1,000 dollars, plus toys, food, treats, and visits to the vet. It also takes a lot of effort to care for a pet, something that may be hard for a lot of 18 year olds to do.


Driving Late at Night

Many students at HHS are familiar with having to go home from a function early due to not being allowed to drive past 11pm. Some students are lucky enough to have parents that are more laid back with this, and are able to stay out a little later. This is how things are when you have your license at 17, known as the “Cinderella License.” State law dictates that you can’t be out driving between 11pm and 5am. At 18, this rule comes to an end, and you are able to drive whenever you want.


These next two aren’t so much “fun” things that happen at 18 and can be seen as more like “chores” that you have to do now that you are an adult.


Jury Duty

If you are 18 and are employed, you are officially eligible for jury duty. How it works is that you are to report to a courthouse along with a couple hundred other people, and 12 or around 12 who are unbiased are picked to serve for the case. The rest go home and wait till the next time they are called. Some people actually enjoy getting picked because they get out of work for a couple days, but most people absolutely hate it. I would go off on a limb and say that to whoever is reading this, you probably would hate it, or already do, so lets hope that you don’t get selected to serve next time.


Registering for the Draft (Only Mandatory for Males)

Believe it or not, the draft still exists in some way. Although there has not been a draft since the Vietnam War over 50 years ago, males aged 18 are required to register for the selective service system, in case there is ever a severe circumstance in which the U.S. Military needs more soldiers and a draft were to occur. Males are required to be in the system, but females now have the choice to register. Those who are in the system can only stay there from ages 18-26. At 26, you are no longer eligible for the draft, but can still join the military if you would like to as long as you meet their requirements.


Those are a few things that happen at age 18. Adulthood comes with a lot of responsibility, so be sure to always make the right choices.