Should 18 Year Olds Be Considered Adults?

A lot of countries legally declare 18 year olds as adults. Even then, their rights and privileges are limited. It thus begs the question: should they be regarded as adults at all?

Too Young

Some people think that they shouldn’t be classified as such. They can’t rent most vehicles and are not allowed to drink alcohol in bars. Although they can legally marry, some would say that they are too young. Not a few would suggest that they finish school first.

The point here is that since their rights are so limited, why declare them as adults in the first place? Rather than give them rights piecemeal, why not just treat them as adolescents? Rather than declaring 18 year olds as adults, some suggest moving it to 21.

Maturity Level

Another problem to be considered is the maturity level. A lot of 18 year olds are still in school. As teenagers they are still going through a lot emotionally and mentally.

Some are of the opinion that they lack the maturity to be regarded as adults. It makes no sense in legally stating they are adults when they aren’t yet capable of acting like one.

Yet it can’t be denied that there are some teenagers who act maturely and sensibly. While there are some 18 or 22 year olds who still act like petty kids, some 15 and 16 year olds display wisdom beyond their years. This is one of the difficulties with declaring 18 year olds as adults. Some are capable, but some aren’t.

It’s also not an exaggeration to say that a lot of 25 to 30 year olds are immature. Lacking maturity, they remain jobless and rely on their parents for financial support.

Facing Challenges

That being said, the fact is that 18 years is the adult age as
defined in the law. For this reason, people who turn 18 must try behaving like adults.

Of course you can’t be fully mature until you go through some of life’s challenges. But recognizing your limitations and the tough road ahead is a step in the right direction.

A Legal convenience

If you look at other countries, the legal age is sometimes 18, 19 or 21. This indicates to some that the number 18 is just an arbitrary number. Even though the law says you are an adult, it doesn’t mentally make you one.

It would be absurd to think that reaching this age will instantly turn you into an adult. Those who support this view say stating that 18 year olds as adults is nothing more than a legal
convenience.

By assigning an age, it makes definition of juveniles and adults easier. But that’s all it does. Just because the law says you’ve become an adult doesn’t instantly equip you to deal with life’s challenges.

Again, some teenagers are able to display maturity beyond their years. This fact, argues some, is proof of the uselessness of defining a legal age.

Debating the matter is good for the intellect. However the rule of law must still be followed. While you may disagree with the law stating 18 year olds as adults, it’s incumbent upon everyone who reaches that age to act like one.

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