Column: 18 things to do at 18


Emma Overholt

Adulthood brings plenty of new unwanted responsibilities, but what are some interesting things available when you hit the big “18”?

Katie Felton, Staff Writer

18: The age you technically become an adult in America. What a difference a number can make. You are no longer “owned” by your parents anymore, so you can do whatever you want– in moderation of course. Legally you can do most things your parents can do except drink and a few other unimportant things. Here is a list of 18 things you are allowed to as a new member of the adult world.


  1. Sue someone: Say someone did something to you that they need to pay for. You would’ve had to blow it off and pretend it didn’t bother you, but now they can feel your wrath as you sue them for everything they own. Although if you win or lose is up to the court.

  2. Adopt a child: Legally, it’s allowed. Whether or not they will grant parental rights to someone who was a child themselves less than a year ago is up in the air. But hey, it’s worth a shot.

  3. Get a library card at Allen Library: Congrats! You are finally allowed to check out a book at a public library without a parent. What great things adulthood brings you.

  4. Go to jail: Obviously minors go to “juvie,” but now that you’re 18, you’re going to big boy jail. You’re not a kid anymore, so if you screw up, you’ll be tried and charged as an adult. No more minor sympathy.

  5. Get a divorce: Well, the first step to a divorce is a marriage. But if it fails and you’re 18, then legally you can file for divorce. But since you have to also be 18 to get married, you might also be awarded with the shortest marriage ever.  

  6. Buy a house: If you can afford it, go for it. But chances are as a young adult the likelihood of an 18-year-old having enough money to purchase a house is very slim.

  7. Get a Costco membership: If you ever needed to buy something in bulk but didn’t have a Costco card,  you can now fulfill your free sample dreams and go shopping for a family of eight all at once by getting yourself a Costco membership.

  8. Be on a gameshow: Come on down contestant 37! You are now 18 and can legally compete to win all these prizes on “The Price is Right.”

  9. Get jury duty: Yay? With age comes great responsibility, and also some things that may not be the most fun. It’s time to start serving the community by being called to be on a jury.

  10. Order something from an infomercial: Do you ever see something on a television ad that you can’t live without? When you were a kid, did you hate how you had those three payments of $19.99 in your pocket but couldn’t buy that floam? Well now when you see those ads and hear “must be 18 years or older to order,” you can call that 1-800 number and order it right away.

  11. Buy Sharpies: Yes, this is a thing. You can use Sharpies to kill all the brain cells you want and vandalize the local bridge until your heart is fulfilled or your hands are cuffed.

  12. Change your name: At birth, your parents gave you a name and you were stuck with it for 18 years whether you liked it or not. But since you’re an adult and can make your own decisions, you can change your name to Sir Banana Peel Unicorn Lawnmower if you so wish to do so.  

  13. Buy a fish: Walk into the pet store as a kid and all you can do is admire the pretty fish because mom said no. But mom doesn’t control your purchases anymore, so go ahead and buy that beta.

  14. Drive an ice cream truck: Want a job where you are cold all day, get all you can eat ice cream, and have an annoying song stuck in your head for the rest of your life? Now’s your chance because you can officially make every kids day and become an ice cream truck driver.

  15. Get a tattoo: Permanent, pain, and a parent no-no are three things that come to mind when someone says tattoo. The list of three becomes two, however, because you no longer need parents’ permission to get tatted up.  

  16. Skydive: You can now risk your life and experience one of life’s finest thrills without having your parents sign for you. Take advantage of your new found freedom and see what it feels like to look death in the eyes.

  17. Play bingo: Walk into an old folks home and one of the first things you will see is bingo. Surprisingly, you can’t play until you’re 18; but if you really think about it, bingo is gambling, which is something you can’t do unless you’re an adult. Good thing most people in nursing homes fit the qualifications for the beloved game.

  18. Create a will: Last but not least, now that you’re an adult it’s time to start preparing for the end. Figuring out who is going to take ownership over the very few things you own when you pass on is something you have to be 18 to do.


Please note some of these things you can do before 18 WITH parents permission.

Enjoy being 18, but know that it is possible to be an adult without completing all the things on this list. Age is just a number and is really determined by how you act rather than your birthday. You don’t have to risk your life skydiving or adopt a child just because you can.