Turning 18 in the United States is a big event in the life of an American teenager. You are turning into an adult, even though you are still technically a teenager. At 18, you are able to do things that you weren't able to do prior to your birthday and if you're lucky, you can still act slightly irresponsible for a couple more years. You can pay bills and taxes, work a job or two and still go to school before being thrust out into the real world. You can depend on your parents for a few things while you learn how to make it on your own, and that's a beautiful thing. Adulthood brings a bunch of new lessons to learn, and most of those come to you during your eighteenth year. Some of the things you learn may scare or worry you, but it's important to take them with a grain of salt so you can grow and mature. This is the complete and total list of 18 very important lessons that you will learn at age 18.
1. You might be able to buy cigarettes, but you probably shouldn't smoke them.
2. Poor decisions can leave you in jail, so be careful on the weekends.
3. Keep your friends close, and your family closer.
4. High school was easy, appreciate the time you spent there.
5. Life goes by quickly, cherish every moment.
6. You only get to be young and unmarried once, don't waste that time with a loser.
7. You can vote now, vote for the right person.
8. Buy a firearm for safety, but only if you really want to.
9. Save your money, and spend it on the important stuff.
10. Get a job- you'll be glad to have some spending money.
11. Every single thing you buy on your credit card, you must eventually pay back. Spend wisely.
12. Enjoy the little things in life.
13. Find what makes you happy and build your future around that.
14. Never settle for anything less than you deserve in a relationship.
15. Buy a lottery ticket, but don't be surprised when you come up short.
16. Take every opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and relax for a few minutes.
17. Be careful of who you trust. Not everyone has the best intentions.
18. You are worth it, so never let any person tell you any different.
You might learn these things and remember them forever, or it might take a few tries to get everything together exactly right. No matter what, if you keep trying when you don't succeed and going with your gut, adulthood won't seem so scary anymore. After all, making mistakes and learning from them is what being 18 is all about. So sit back and enjoy the ride, and most importantly: don't wish it all away.