Act Your Age

When do you become an Adult?


Liya Patel, Staff Writer

Becoming an adult is notorious for being one of the most monumental things that can happen in a person’s life. 

It is the time where you get to learn, explore and discover everything the world has to offer and use those lessons to perfect a personal mold. 

But at what age do you actually become an adult? 18? 21? 25? 

Everyone knows turning 18 is the legal marker for adulthood. It is the moment where you gain the independence and ability to start discovering your full potential with fewer boundaries. But that’s just it. You haven’t experienced everything that turns you into a real adult when that clock strikes midnight. 

As someone on the verge of turning 18, I can safely say I would not consider myself a true adult. 

How could I? I have never voted or lived on my own, so there is no way that I am ready to label myself as something I am not.  Neither are most of the other 18-year-old’s these days. Living at home, still being financially dependent, and continuing to go highschool are all things associated with being 18. Just because you’re legal, doesn’t mean you’re ready to be an adult. 

I can agree with the fact that turning 18 comes with noteworthy factors that create a shift from childhood to the beginning of adulthood — being able to vote, sign a contract, and join the military — but I don’t believe that these factors signify enough maturity to be considered an adult. 

According to recent studies from NPR and BBC News, the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. 

Between the ages of 18 and 25, an individual goes through many experiences that influence the brain’s full evolution.

That is seven years where the brain is still susceptible to alteration. One should be labeled a true adult when their brain is truly developed.

Being able to drink at the age of 21 is one experience that many are fond of.

For most people, this is the age where one has their first drink. 

With this being the first time an imperative substance has entered one’s body, the brain is exposed to an influence like no other.

Along with having that first drink, adulthood comes with many other factors including being able to independently rent a car, book a hotel room, and get your own healthcare.

A majority of these milestones do not even occur until after the age of 18, which just continues to support the idea that blowing out the candle on your 18th birthday cake does not open the door for all that adulthood has to offer. 

With each year, comes another milestone. More experience, opportunity, and the expansion of independence. Despite the rush of excitement and sudden spurt of confidence that comes with turning 18, no one is really ready to be considered an adult until they have experienced all that comes with holding the title.