Welcoming the big one eight


Emily Pavlik, co-editor-in-chief

I find myself in my new single-room apartment as I peer out at a fresh patch of snow settling onto my brand-new Honda Civic. Now that I am 18 years old, it’s my job to move out and become an adult. I’m more ready than ever to start a new life on my very own. 

Except, I’m not. This is what really happened this morning.

As I woke up to my obnoxious alarm, my mom rushed into my room with a wide grin on her face. She woke me up with a loud “Happy Birthday!” before returning to the kitchen to prepare for work. Prior to leaving for school she wrapped her arms around me like a security blanket and wished me well for my day. I’ve always enjoyed my mom’s birthday wishes. Today’s different though; I am now an adult.

I have found that entering adult life can be intimidating, especially for someone that has been quite dependent on family. 

It seems to be a societal norm that as an adult, family time is limited to holidays, celebrations, and birthdays. Adulthood brings the idea that everyone must experience the Hollywood “coming of age story”, where you must make it on your own. But this isn’t always the reality. I communicate with family on a daily basis and still hope to turn to them when I need help in the future. It is truly terrifying to think about losing the bonds I have today with my loved ones. 

However, what I needed to realize is that it is my decision to see my family, not society’s, and turning 18 shines the light around only me—it’s my time to make the decision to become a team player. Life is full of decision-making, and sometimes society can get the best of us regarding the circumstances of our age and expectations. 

For one, the pressures regarding college decisions have been on my back since the start of my freshman year, but why? I was only 14. Standing here four years later. I still haven’t made a decision yet, and that’s completely normal. I’ve learned that life is a journey where you make decisions when you’re ready and make the decision that fits what you need at that precise moment. 

When I turned seven, I had to decide if I would continue my passion for soccer and play at a more competitive level. While I decided to play at a more competitive level, later in life, I learned that soccer was obviously not my path. It didn’t make me happy, so seven years later, I quit. Another decision was made.

When I turned 14, I had to decide what my passions were and whether I would continue with them or not. I was able to get through those decisions, find my paths, and I’m still discovering some today. 

Now as an adult, I have the power to make bigger decisions in life. Whether they are good or bad, the world will be watching. 

Although it may be nerve-racking, turning 18 gives the opportunity to make a wide variety of decisions. Whether that is voting, continuing your education, getting a tattoo, or serving as a juror— there is a lot presented to you at once. In spite of that, I am here to tell you that you’re going to continue the way you’ve always been. Your whole life has prepared you to make decisions, and as you blow out your candles on your 18th birthday cake, you’ll be ready. 

As an 18-year-old, I still can’t tell you what my first job is going to be, what my future children will be named, or even what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow. What I can tell you is that you’ll make the best decision when the time is right for you. Don’t ever rush your story.