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Turning 18 is a really big deal!
It not only marks your transition into adulthood, but there are quite a few responsibilities that go along with it. Unfortunately you can’t pick and choose which ones you want to go along with, so luckily most of the things you can do now you’re 18 would be considered ‘perks’ - things that you’ve been waiting years to be able to do… here’s just a small list of 16 to get you started.
Now that you’re 18, you can:
- Enrol to vote. You can now be a part of adult society and participate in elections - make sure you are enrolled so you can have your say. http://www.aec.gov.au/enrol/ (note: you must be an Australian citizen to do this)
- Donate blood. How awesome would you feel knowing that you helped to save somebody’s life? http://www.donateblood.com.au
- Buy and drink alcohol. Go easy. Remember, just because you CAN buy all the alcohol, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. http://www.alcohol.gov.au/internet/alcohol/publishing.nsf/Content/guide-adult
- Go to adult jail. The is where the responsibility part comes in. If you do something illegal when you’re 18 - you’ll be tried as an adult.
- Be on a jury. This is where you get to, along with your adult peers, get to decide on the fate of somebody else’s illegal activities.
- Enlist in the forces. Army, Navy, Air Force… they want you for a new recruit.
- Play the lottery. If you’re super lucky, you might win back the $12.85 that you spent on the ticket.
- Sign a lease agreement. This means that you can legally move out into your own place. Think independence. Think freedom. Think paying your own bills.
- Work more hours. Legally there are no more age restrictions on the amount of hours you can work. You’re going to need to do this if you’re planning on moving out into your own place.
- Open your own bank account. Previously your bank accounts would have been attached to a parent/guardian account. You’re on your own now.
- Apply for a credit card. You generally have to have worked for a bit and have a steady address, but nevertheless, you are legally allowed to apply.
- Buy your own car. You don’t need Mum and Dad’s permission anymore.
- Adopt a child. This might be something that you want to give a bit of thought to, but if it’s something that you think you can handle - you’re legally allowed to do it.
- Change your name. Have you always despised the name that your parents gave you? Well, now is your chance to do away with it and choose your own name.
- Be a legal witness at a marriage ceremony. All you have to do is listen to the ceremony, watch the bride and groom sign the document and then sign them yourself.
- Get married. You can now choose to marry the person you love as long as:
- they are also 18+
- they are the opposite gender to yourself
- they are in agreement to enter into the marriage with you
- you have given at least one month notice to your celebrant
- you are not directly related to the person you want to marry
There are definitely some bonuses to turning 18, but I think you’ll agree that there are also some big responsibilities. Now you’re an adult you need to think carefully about every decision that you make and be aware of the consequences that only you will face because of them.
I think we can all agree that turning 18 is a really big deal and should be celebrated.
Talk to your local TCN Celebrant for some ideas on what you could do to celebrate.