The Harbinger Online

Blog: 18 Still Teen

I can’t pee without permission from a teacher but I could go to a strip club and hand out small bills all night long.

I turned 18 two weeks ago but, other than the arrival of a crumpled hundred dollar bill from a distant relative in the mail, my passing into “adulthood” went largely unmarked.

I can’t stay out past midnight, or, in most cases, rent a car or a hotel room, or even dine out. Thursday night, some friends and I went to dinner at a local Prairie Village restaurant. We had a nice time and were all in the process of figuring out how much to tip when our waitress came to the head of the table and announced, “Service isn’t free. If you can’t afford tip, go to Taco Bell.”

Would she have said something like that if we were a group of middle-aged or elderly women?

In our waitress’s eyes, my friends and I certainly weren’t young adults out to dinner on a distant relative’s dime or a hard-earned minimum wage paycheck. We were just a bunch of no-good teenagers.

Adolescence certainly doesn’t seem to stop at the legal marker of adulthood. As a society, we’re not financially independent until after college, after graduate school, after our debts are paid off, after we have a secure job–when we’re nearly 30 years old.

Without my parents, I have a personal financial stability of zero. Sporadic babysitting jobs certainly wouldn’t keep me afloat if I had to truly live as an adult independent of Mom and Dad.

I’ve already squandered three dollars on scratch away lottery tickets. I certainly won’t be getting married or wielding a gun. I’m not exactly looking forward to doing taxes. The idea of needles in my skin terrifies me, so tattoos are out of the question. Tobacco kills. I at least registered to vote but politics are anything but a passion of mine.

Okay, sure, I’m 18 now. I could go to big kid jail. Still, I don’t feel like a big kid.

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Emily Donovan

Emily is a senior at East who has happily joined the Harbinger as a Staff Writer and Anchor. Besides would-be writer, Emily is an International Baccalaureate candidate, "theatre kid," and artiste-wanna-be. Read Full »

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