I. Introduction

Turning 18 is a big milestone in life as it signifies a newfound independence and adulthood. It’s a time where one can legally make decisions and take on responsibilities that were not previously available. In this article, we will explore an array of things one can do at 18 with a focus on legal rights and responsibilities, higher education, career planning, traveling, money management, building relationships, and self-reflection.

II. Legal Rights and Responsibilities

At 18, individuals are entitled to an array of legal rights and responsibilities that come with being an adult. Here are 7 of the most significant.

Voting in Elections

One of the most important rights that come with turning 18 is the ability to vote in local, state, and federal elections. This means one can have a say in who represents them and the laws that govern their community.

Serving on a Jury

Another responsibility that comes with adulthood is serving on a jury. While it may not be the most glamorous duty, it is an essential aspect of our judicial system. Individuals can be called for jury duty starting at 18.

Opening a Bank Account

Turning 18 also allows for the ability to open a bank account. This is a crucial step in managing one’s finances and developing financial responsibility.

Signing a Contract

At 18, individuals can legally sign a contract, such as a lease agreement or car loan. It is important to understand the potential consequences and to seek guidance if needed before signing any binding contract.

Getting Your Own Credit Card

Another aspect of financial responsibility is obtaining a credit card. At 18, one can apply for a credit card in their own name, which can help build credit when used responsibly. It is essential to note the dangers of overspending and accumulating debt.

Obtaining a Passport

Another advantage of turning 18 is the ability to obtain a passport. With a passport, individuals can travel anywhere in the world, which is an excellent way to explore other cultures and gain new experiences.

Legally Consuming Alcohol (in some countries)

While it is not legal to consume alcohol in every country at 18, in some countries, it is legal to purchase and consume alcohol. With this privilege comes significant responsibility and should be used in moderation.

III. Exploring Higher Education

At 18, individuals have many options regarding higher education. Here are some of the most prominent options and their advantages and disadvantages.


College is often seen as the traditional choice for higher education. It provides a well-rounded education in various subjects and opens up many career opportunities. However, it can also be expensive and may not guarantee a job upon graduation.

Community College

Community college is an excellent alternative for those who want to save money or who are unsure of their major. Many people start at a community college before transferring to a four-year university. However, community college degrees may not be as prestigious as a four-year college degree.

Trade School

Trade schools are a great option for those who are interested in hands-on work and vocational training. They offer a more specialized education and often lead to well-paying jobs upon graduation. However, trade school degrees may not be as versatile as a college degree.


Apprenticeships are a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. They provide valuable skills and work experience while earning a wage. However, apprenticeships are often highly competitive and require significant commitment.

IV. Career Planning

At 18, it is essential to start planning for a career. Here are some of the most essential career planning suggestions.

Informational Interviews

Informational interviews are a great way to learn about someone’s job and gain useful insights. They can help individuals explore various career paths and learn about the skills needed for a specific job.

Industry Research

Researching industries can help an individual identify potential career paths and gain a better understanding of what they want to do. It can also help one determine what skills are needed for specific jobs and the potential salary range.

Resume Building

Beginners may not have much experience, but they can still create an excellent resume. A well-written resume can help catch the attention of potential employers and lead to more job opportunities.


Internships can provide valuable work experience and allow individuals to explore different career paths. They can also lead to job opportunities upon completion.

Job Shadowing

Shadowing someone at their job can provide insight into the day-to-day responsibilities and help an individual determine if a specific job is something they want to pursue.

V. Traveling Abroad

Traveling abroad is an excellent opportunity to gain new experiences and broaden one’s horizons. Here are five travel options to consider at 18.

Solo Travel

Traveling alone can be an incredible experience and is an excellent way to challenge oneself. It can lead to new experiences, new friends, and independence.

Gap Year Programs

Gap year programs offer the opportunity to travel while also participating in educational programs like language immersion, cultural experiences, or community service.

Study Abroad Experiences

Studying abroad can provide the opportunity to earn college credits while exploring a new country and culture.

Volunteering Abroad

Volunteering abroad allows individuals to make a positive impact while also gaining valuable travel experiences.

Taking a Language Course Overseas

Taking a language course overseas can help individuals improve their language skills and gain a deeper understanding of the local culture.

VI. Managing Money

Managing money is a crucial aspect of adulthood. Here are seven money management tips to consider.

Creating a Budget

Creating a budget can help individuals track their spending and ensure they are saving enough money for their goals.

Building an Emergency Fund

Having an emergency fund is crucial to ensure unexpected expenses don’t lead to financial trouble.

Saving for Retirement

It is never too early to start saving for retirement, and the earlier one starts, the more benefit they can receive.

Paying Off Student Debt

Student debt can be a significant burden on young adults, and it is essential to have a plan to pay it off.

Building a Good Credit Score

Building a good credit score is essential for financial success and can lead to better borrowing rates and higher credit limits.

VII. Building Relationships

At 18, it is crucial to start building relationships outside of high school. Here are seven relationship building tips.

Attending Social Events

Attending social events can help to expand one’s network and meet new people.

Joining Clubs or Groups

Joining clubs or groups can help individuals meet like-minded people with similar interests and passions.


Volunteering can provide the opportunity to give back to the community while also meeting new people.

Online Dating

Online dating can help individuals expand their dating options and meet people outside of their social circle.

Building a Network

Networking can be useful for finding job opportunities or getting help with career goals.

VIII. Self-Reflection and Growth

Self-reflection and growth are crucial parts of life, and here are seven self-reflection and growth suggestions.


Journaling can help individuals reflect on their thoughts and emotions and identify areas for growth.

Setting Goals

Setting goals and actively working towards them can help individuals achieve their aspirations and lead to personal growth.

Taking Care of Health

Taking care of one’s physical and mental health is crucial for overall well-being and personal growth.

Practicing Gratitude

Practicing gratitude can help individuals focus on the positive aspects of their lives and help to reduce stress and anxiety.

Learning a New Skill

Learning a new skill can help individuals expand their knowledge base and improve their mental agility.

Engaging in Mindfulness Practices

Practicing mindfulness can help individuals to live in the moment and reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with daily life.

IX. Conclusion

In conclusion, turning 18 is a significant milestone that can open up numerous opportunities for growth, learning, and exploration. From the legal rights and responsibilities that come with adulthood to exploring higher education and career planning, traveling abroad, managing money, building relationships, and practicing self-reflection and growth. It is essential to utilize all the opportunities that come with turning 18 and start building a foundation for a successful future.

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By Happy Sharer

Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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