Turning 18 is an exciting time! Whether you are heading off to college to prolong your youth or entering the workforce, you are embarking on a totally new adventure.
While becoming an adult can be daunting and like a never ending stretch of road ahead of you.
It is a fun, exciting time to try new things. From buying a lottery ticket to opening your first bank account, you are now left with this incredible sense of freedom
Below are 18 things to do when you turn 18 to ensure you are starting this journey on the right foot. Or at least stumbling like the rest of us.
Let’s get into it!
Open A Bank Account
You may already have a bank account that was created by your parents.
However, it was more likely used for lunch money and pocket money.
You need to create a bank account in your name that comes with a checking and savings account. A necessity for becoming financially independent.
Your bank may already make the switch automatically but more often than not you will have to make that phone call or go into the branch yourself.
The most terrifying taks of all, speaking to other people.
However, once this is taken care of you can now move on to more important things. Like insurance and taxes.
Open A Credit Card
You finally have your own bank account but now you need to get a credit card.
Once you turn 18 you will begin to think about your future.
Having a credit card allows you to begin building your credit score which is essential for your future.
From purchasing a house to getting insurance, a healthy credit score is vital.
Your credit card should be treated like a tool and not an endless amount of money.
It is advised that you only spend less than 10% of your available balance and pay it off at the end of every month.
Over time this will build your credit score and helpful financial skills for the future.
Find Your Personal Documents
Too often will you be going to pay a bill, make a doctor’s appointment, or even go on vacation and you are left scrambling around for the right document at the last minute.
Keep things organized with a personal document folder. This should include:
- Birth Certificate
- Social Security Card
- Insurance Documents
- Bank Statements
- Visa Documents
At one point or another these documents will be a requirement for an application process.
It is important to keep them safe and organized to ensure nothing gets lost.
You may have to ask your parents for most of the documents but it is better to have them sooner rather than later.
You never know when you will need your ID or social security card!
Become An Adult
As you turn 18 you may feel overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility that has suddenly been thrust upon you.
By learning the basics of being an adult, you can make it seem less daunting.
Unfortunately high school and college do not teach you the most important things in life:
- Applying For Insurance
- Filing Your Taxes
All of these skills are important for your adult life, however, none of us are really shown how to learn them.
Using the resources around you such as TikTok, YouTube, even books you can take control of your life and begin to learn the art of being an adult. Although, it is more of a mess than an art.
Correct Bad Habits
Growing up we all learn bad habits. From family, friends, even our teachers!
There is always something that we need to correct.
The most important habits to have are good hygiene (oral and bodily), a healthy sleep schedule (see also “What Are The Benefits Of Taking Your Teenagers Phone Away Before Sleep“), time keeping, etc.
All of these ‘bad habits’ can be rectified over time and consistency.
As you begin college or a new job you may struggle to fix all of your bad habits at once.
It can take up to 21 days to break an old habit. So take it one habit and one day at a time until you see results.
While breaking your bad habits you find it beneficial to create new ones.
Such as working out 3 times a week or cooking at home throughout the week.
Each new habit can help you work towards having a healthy balanced lifestyle.
Throughout high school you find your friend group and often find little reason to talk to others.
And while it is incredible to have a strong friend group who you can rely on and enjoy time with, becoming an adult is a time for change.
As you enter this new chapter it is time to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things.
Whether it is joining a club on campus or going on a date with someone new.
Experiencing new things is an amazing way to create new memories and relationships that you will carry with you for life.
You’ll be able to face your concerns, discover more about yourself, and try new things if you try new things every once in a while.
Do you have an opinion and want it to be heard?
Voting is a powerful thing for anyone but as a new adult, you are going to want to share your opinions and have your voice heard.
While you may have little interest in who is running the country, you can still vote for things that are important to you.
From your college’s curriculum to joining a union at your place of employment.
Voting comes with incredible power and responsibility.
Make sure to do your research on the issues you are voting on and making the right decision for yourself in the long term.
As a young adult you may think that you are too young for investing but this is not true.
Anyone with a small amount of money can begin to invest and start growing their wealth.
Everyone, from college students to the CEO of a company should invest.
Most importantly they should invest in themselves.
This can be done through opening a retirement account.
Roth IRAs can be opened by anyone who is currently employed and are a great way to start saving for retirement.
You can also invest in the stock market. Now, this requires a lot of research and risk taking.
But if done correctly it can be a sure fire way to grow your assets.
Younger investors have more time for their money to grow in the market and increase their wealth.
Many 18 year olds are not walking around with a mountain of money that they are able to donate to charity.
However, there are many other ways that you can donate to society.
Donating blood is a common way for young people to help those in need.
Anyone can become a blood donator without the consent of an adult when they turn 18.
Ensure you meet the requirements for your state before going to donate blood.
You can also volunteer at a multitude of locations to give back to the community.
From helping the elderly to building houses in 3rd world countries, there are a plethora of ways to volunteer.
Not to mention it will look incredible on your resume when applying for college and jobs.
Be Free Of Toxic People
Once you turn 18 and either move out for college or become more financially independent with your new full time job (see also “When Is The Best Time To Move Out And Get Your Independence?“), you will have the ability to cut toxic people from your life.
From a romantic partner to a controlling friend, you will have more strength and independence to remove them from your life.
This may even be the hardest thing to do when you turn 18 but you will only feel better as time goes on.
You might have been prevented from expressing yourself, becoming independent, or developing a stronger work ethic by some of these harmful influences.
As you move on with your life you will be introduced to people who share the same interests and values as you that only brings you positivity and joy.
Register For Selective Service
This one is for all of the males turning 18. Now registering for the selective service does not mean you are being shipped off to the military.
However, it is a requirement for males to register for selective service when they turn 18.
If you do not register you could face an intense fine or even jail time.
Make sure to register for the selective service when you turn 18 to keep yourself on the right track.
You don’t want the government to come knocking because you forgot or didn’t know to fill out a form.
Ever wanted to see the inner workings of a courtroom?
At one point or another you will be called for Jury Duty.
This is part of your civic responsibility and cannot be ignored unless you have a serious reason that has been approved by the court.
You will be given the opportunity to be part of the jury, listen to both parties involved in a crime, and then debate on the verdict you and your peers wish to provide.
It is important to remember that the decision you make will impact someone’s life forever.
The decision is not to be taken lightly. Ensure you understand the implications of your decision before you enter the courtroom.
Get A Full Time Job
Upon graduating from high school, you may already know your next step. College.
If so, you will more than likely not have the time to commit to a full time job as you focus on your studies.
However, those who decide to not go to college will have to find employment somehow.
The most common avenue is a full time job. While it is more traditional to go to college, get a degree, and then find a full time job, many others decide to go a different route.
You may find that you have to start at the bottom and work your way up the ladder.
However, having a full time occupation can open many other doors for you.
From a retirement scheme to insurance to renting your own apartment.
The perks of a full time job almost make the work worth it.
Rent An Apartment
Renting your first apartment is a true milestone in a young adult’s life.
Once you turn 18 you can legally rent or own your first property.
This may not be a viable option straightaway, however, many 18 year olds move into their first apartment when they move for college.
It will be your first real experience of freedom and independence. Both physically and financially.
Whether you decide to move into your first apartment on your own or find a flatmate, it can be a liberating experience.
Although, doing your own laundry may suck the excitement out quicker than you may think.
You do not want it to build up and leave a lingering scent.
You can now legally leave the country without a parent or guardian’s consent!
From taking a road trip throughout the States to backpacking across Europe, the world truly is your oyster.
There are thousands of countries, cities, and islands for you to explore and why not do it while you’re young?
It is common for high school and college graduates to take a gap year to see the world.
This is your chance to see what the world has to offer.
From alcohol to landscapes you can have once in a lifetime experiences from the minute you step off the plane.
Once you have all of your documents and vaccinations you are free to travel as you please.
Just don’t forget your passport!
Rent Or Buy A Car
Having your license may seem a little redundant if you got it at the age of 16.
But have you ever bought or rented a car of your own?
Once you turn 18 you can experience freedom like no other by purchasing your own car.
Or rent one to get you around on vacation.
This is where having those personal documents will come in handy.
Ensure you have everything ready to go when purchasing or renting a car. One failed check and your dreams could be crushed.
It is also essential to confirm the age restrictions of renting and purchasing cars within your states.
Some states have a 25 or even 21 year old age restriction.
Go Sky Diving
This may seem a little extreme but for those searching for their next rush of adrenaline, sky diving is one way to do it.
You can also go bungee jumping, paragliding and a whole lot more.
All you need is to prove you are 18 years of age.
These extreme activities are enjoyed by both young and mature adults all over the world, so why not do something crazy and jump out of an airplane?
Make it extra special by doing it with someone you love.
You can even raise money for charity as you embark on this wild adventure through the sky.
Growing up you may have felt like you never truly knew yourself.
This is extremely common as we are all pressured by society and other expectations.
As a new adult you now have the ability to find your true self.
Whether you are extremely outgoing or are more of an introvert, explore your own self and find happiness.
This is a lifelong journey and you should enjoy every moment.
All of the highs and lows will shape you to be the person you are and there is no rush to find out.
There you have it! 18 things to do when you turn 18.
While you may not be able to legally taste alcohol like other parts of the world, there are much more interesting things you can do.
We cover both the serious and exciting aspects of turning 18.
From opening a bank account to going skydiving, this is just a taste of what you can do as a new adult.
It is time to take control of your life and enjoy your newfound freedom.
Explore this new chapter and make new memories!
All from the age of 18.
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