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The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Column: 18 things to do once 18

Senior recommends things to try entering into adulthood
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Juliana Cruz
A graphic made on Canva presents some activities and things to do once you are 18 years old. “I know this year most of our seniors will have the chance to vote during the fall for the 2024 election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump,” senior Juliana Cruz said. “I cannot wait for my first ballot to be completed right next to my dad as it is the year I entered adulthood and quick chance to execute a new, open freedom.”

Many 18-year-olds don’t know all of the ridiculously cool and independent things you can do when you become an adult, especially without parental consent. From being able to vote to building your credit – most seniors have the freedom of adults now. With the opportunity of gaining more independence and freedom, here are a few things you may not know you can do now as an 18-year-old.

Get a Costco membership

It may not seem like a lot, but Costco requires an individual to be 18 or older to obtain a membership. You can now shop in bulk for a family of 3 or even 10, and no one can stop you.

In a Canva graphic, the Costco membership card shows an ID of an adult. Once you’re an adult you can shop in bulk, all by yourself. Costco has three different memberships you can choose from. (Juliana Cruz)

Adopt a child

Although it may seem unrealistic, you can adopt a child – an impactful moment and decision for you and the child. However, it’s up to the foundation to grant parental rights to someone who was just a child themselves a year before.

Jury duty 

Most people forget, but jury duty is mandatory if you qualify and are chosen, as it’s a random selection. In the state of Texas, the chance of being chosen for jury duty is 22% and you can get paid $50 in attendance fees for your assigned jury duty.

Buy stock 

With economics class simulations and placebo apps to buy stock, you can now do the real thing. It’s very tricky and scary so don’t quickly dive in, but you can create accounts for certain companies and own your first stock. For those entering adulthood, this is the most common practice and investment activity that people engage in as it helps keep yourself informed and in check on something you have control of (whether you decide to pull or invest money).

Apply for a credit card 

Recently, some companies allow no co-signers to own a credit card, so you can apply and receive one at the age of 18. No, no proof of income is needed for those credit cards, but make sure to have the money to pay it off at the end of each month. Applying for a credit card is a significant path to building your credit history and financial management.

When I turned 18 I got my first credit card, used it to only put gas in my car and paid that off every single month — that’s the important part. You also start building credit immediately at 18 and it ends up paying off for you in the long run.

— librarian Ryan Miller

Bodily piercings and tattoos (in Texas)

According to the 25 Texas Administrative Code, you must have the consent of a parent or guardian for an artist to perform a body piercing if under 18, well now you can. No need for an authorized signature because you can sign it yourself.

Medical appointments and treatment

Yes – the time to make independent decisions at the doctor’s office is here. Now it may be scary, but it’s a great way to leap into adulthood (don’t worry you can still call mom or dad if necessary). You can sign off on treatment or any other signature areas with only your consent now.

Buy or adopt a pet 

Just like a child, you can raise an animal too, but double-check with yourself, and your wallet if it’s the right way to go for you and the pet. There’s an application process required, if done correctly, you can qualify and own your forever fur-baby or aqua-baby.

As adulthood allows, you can adopt or buy a pet. It’s a risk to take so make sure it’s safe for the pet and yourself. On the certificate, you can be the authorized signer and that includes anywhere else that requires a signature. (Juliana Cruz)

Skydiving

Risky decisions don’t stop here. Skydiving is one of the most thrilling activities you can consent to as an adult. The advantage of this newfound freedom is to play with it and jumping out of a plane can be one of them, just make sure to wear your helmet and a parachute.

Gambling

Texas is one of the few states where casinos are illegal. However, in Oklahoma, which borders Texas, if you’re 18 and above, gambling is completely legal. Make sure to spend your money wisely, as a reward is not guaranteed and a high chance it won’t happen.

I’m really excited to turn 18 because I plan on visiting the casinos in Oklahoma, getting a piercing and as well as a tattoo. I play poker with my parents and neighbors occasionally, legal supervision of course, and I’m excited to participate in the poker tournaments Oklahoma has to offer too.

— Mia Solt, senior

Purchase lottery tickets

What is legal in Texas, in the form of gambling, is lottery tickets. In Texas you can purchase lottery tickets at 18 — it is illegal for minors. So those sneaky lottery wins can finally be in your name so grandpa or grandma don’t have to buy them for you anymore.

I was looking forward to buying a scratch-off lottery ticket because an Easter tradition with my family is to do a scratch off. I finally got to do my own this year and cash it in, it won me five dollars.

— Landry Long, senior

Create a will

As an adult, you have to start thinking ahead, to the end. Not seriously, but it is good to prepare especially for your children and other medical references. You can now decide who will take legal ownership of your personal items when you pass. You’ll regret not making one if you have loved ones you may want to pass your items on to, so your will ensures that your wishes may be fulfilled.

Buy a car

Many of you rely on your parents for financial support, so this may not be the best path to follow unless it makes sense for you. It can be fun to explore options knowing you’ll own the car under your name and best of all with your money. Don’t forget that it doesn’t end there though – register the car, insurance payment, state inspections, and future maintenance that’ll come along with it.

Travel without parental consent

Again, make sure this is the right financial decision for you. Since most of you may still live with your parents or guardian, “my house, my rules” may still apply to this, but it can be a fun road trip to a local city or state without worrying if your parents will be calling you to come home by curfew.

Change legal birth name

As you get older, things change — this may include your name. If your name is something that haunts you, or you want to change it for fun, you now have the legal right to do so. It’s not as easy as it sounds, as it includes petitioning and filing for the change, which can get rejected. It’s a huge decision and process if it’s accepted, all records of the old “you” will need to be updated and published.

 

Buy spray paint and Sharpies

With a weird liking for the scent of sharpies, you can now legally purchase them (don’t buy for smelling purchases). Use extra precaution when using the items as well turning 18 does not automatically make you a know-it-all, so continue practicing safety for yourself and those around you. The legal use is heightened as well, don’t vandalize any property that is not yours, as you can also be charged as an adult if caught.

A graphic from Canva represents the risk of doing an illegal activity as an 18-year-old. A result of unlawfulness poses being trialed as an adult. An example of acting against the government is vandalization whether it be with spray paint or a Sharpie marker. (Juliana Cruz)

 

Buy cough syrup

As a minor, you cannot purchase cough medicine because it contains dextromethorphan, which if used incorrectly can lead to a euphoric high or hallucinations. Personally, I didn’t know this was a law as a trip to CVS led to me being interrogated by employees if I was an adult so I could legally purchase it. But now that I am of age, I won’t have to stress about being able to buy cough syrup quickly and legally.

 

Vote

Saving the best for last, 18-year-olds can vote. Voting is one of the most important and independent thing you can do as it allows you to voice your opinion about who will be running the country for the next four years. It gives the freedom of choice and a significant way to exercise the 26th Amendment. Most of our seniors will have the chance to vote during the fall for the 2024 election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. I cannot wait for my first ballot to be completed right next to my dad, as it is the year I entered adulthood and a quick chance to execute a new, open freedom.

 

The list can continue but there is an endpoint. There are still restricted and limited rights to exercise as an 18-year-old but more freedom now than as a minor.

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About the Contributor
Juliana Cruz
Juliana Cruz, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Juliana Cruz, a former native New Yorker, is a senior at Prosper High School. This is her second year working for Eagle Nation Online and she serves as social media manager, news editor and Editor in Chief. She enjoys writing and wants to continue to expand her coverage. Outside of school and work, she is on the powerlifting team and spends her time with family.
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