A few weeks ago, I turned 18. The day before my birthday I was driving my younger stepsister into work. We sat in mutual silence listening to the radio when suddenly she turned to me and said “Well, are you excited about turning 18?”
I thought about her question for merely a moment before replying, “No, not really. I mean, there’s nothing that I can do ‘legally’ that I really want to do anyway.”
Over the years, I’ve seen many instances in which alcohol has ruined a perfectly good evening. Suffice it to say, I have no interest in it whatsoever, and I’m sure it wouldn’t like the looks of me, either.
The look on her face–or rather, how I imagined it to be based on the tone of her next comment–shocked me.
“What do you mean?! Ugh, you’re a terrible 18-year-old! You should be 16, and I’ll be 18 instead!”
It occurred to me then, with a sinking sense of sadness, that the large majority of newly 18-year-olds in this country seem to think that upon turning 18, you must use your newfound powers to go out and get drunk. Being legally allowed to buy alcohol is a privilege, and like every other privilege handed to us on a silver platter, it gets abused, as do the bodies of those who abuse it.
It depresses me to think that people–like my stepsister–seem to have this idea that if you don’t get ‘trashed’ the minute you turn 18, then there is something wrong with you. Her statement that she should be 18 rather than I simply because I had no intention of drinking myself into a stupor and not being able to remember my birthday at all made me question the future of our generation.
But then I remembered that there will always be the people out there (like myself, of course) who have class and decorum… and will celebrate their 18th birthdays by holding costumed tea parties. It is those people who will truly make a difference in the world.
Never forget – what is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular.
About the Writer
Hailing from Australia, Basket carries a little bit of something for everyone. Sudden urge to put together a spontaneous craft project? She’ll have all of the materials waiting. Want to pull together a series of ridiculous dance moves to convey your love for Korean pop music? She’s got you covered. Ignore the fact that she can ramble off a myriad of useless and alarmingly strange facts and imaginings faster than you can tie your shoes, and she’s really just a normal teenager girl trying to find her place in the world (and the sock she lost in the laundry last week).