Reider’s Rants: The big 1-8 ain’t so great

Seniors dress up as senior citizens for generation day during spirit week.

Photo by Barb Plunkert

Seniors dress up as senior citizens for generation day during spirit week.

Emma Reider

My eighteenth birthday. The one every teenager looks forward to. Teenagers have the sweet sixteenth, then an awkward seventeenth, and then finally the classification as a legal adult.

Nothing has changed. I woke up on my birthday, rolled out of bed, went to school, came home from school and felt absolutely nothing different.

The only thing that was out of the ordinary from my everyday routine was being sung “Happy Birthday” by my AP Environmental Science teacher Mr. Drylie. His songs are notorious, ask anyone who’s ever had him for a class.

A few of my other classes sang for me too. My birthday however was on generation day during spirit week and my friends told me I was “18 going on 80,” since I was dressed as a senior citizen.

“Turning 18 is your first step down the road of legal adulthood. That step takes you into a vast new world of rights and responsibilities,” stated Linda McCulloch, the Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction. I wonder what Superintendent S. Dallas Dance has to say about me turning 18. So far, nothing.

I can vote, enlist in the military, buy a house and a car, get married, go to jail, get sued, gamble, and buy cigarettes, dip, and porn. This is every teenager’s dream, right?

The only thing I will be participating in is voting. I already voted in the primary election and plan to in the general election as well.

The Harbinger is potentially writing an article about dip for the November issue, and my classmates want me to try it so I can write a firsthand account of my experience, since I’m the only 18 year old in the class. No thank you.

Along with becoming a legal adult, there is also a lot more going on in a high school senior’s life. The first thing that comes to mind is applying for college. The older I get, the more responsibility I am expected to have.

In the United States, the glorious eighteenth birthday is considered the coming of age year in transition from childhood to adulthood. However, what most aspiring teenagers neglect to think about is that they will still be living at home, with their parents, and with their parents’ rules.

And sometimes, parents’ consequences can be more threatening than the law itself.

Legally I am an adult and responsible for myself but my parents will still take on this role all throughout high school and my college years as well, since they are paying for part of my education.

Basically, nothing has changed from turning age 17 to age 18. I feel a little older, realize I am a senior, wonder how four years has gone by so fast, stress more about finding a house for senior week, stress even more about college and your future, and ultimately wonder where my childhood has gone.