18 Things You Can Do When You Turn 18

By: Ava Breemes (Adult as of February 12th)

Turning 18 years old is a monumental step in life. You shift from your immature, incapable, childish self into a responsible, strong, wise adult all in the span of only one year! As you shift from 17 to 18, you gain many privileges that can change your life, ranging from buying a lottery ticket to adopting a child. The following is not a bucket list, but an informational article of what you are able to do the day you turn 18. *Disclaimer to angry parents: I am not responsible for giving your child the idea to get a tattoo without your permission. 

  1. Vote

Becoming an adult brings many responsibilities, including the right to vote for who you want to run our country, state, and counties. Instead of participating in political debates in TikTok comment sections, you can voice your opinion by contributing to our elections!

  1. Buy a Lottery Ticket

Nowadays, many teens are broke due to our small paychecks and excessive spending on fast food during lunch. Buying a lottery ticket gives you the opportunity to profit, even if it’s just a few dollars. Head over to your local gas station (but not to Sheetz during Saturday night truck meets) and purchase a lottery ticket!

  1. Get a Tattoo or Piercing  (Without Parental Consent)

Although Claire’s is a great place to get your ears pierced, going to an edgy tattoo and piercing parlor on the corner of a street seems more adultlike. You can legally consent to a piercing or tattoo without your parents approval, so the possibilities are endless! I recommend thinking long and hard about this decision because it may end in regrets and removal later on.

  1. Buy a Pet

Remember that dog you begged your parents to get? Go ahead and pull out your lottery money and head on over to the pet store to purchase your very own furry friend (or fish or chinchilla or whatever your heart desires). 

  1. Change Your Name

On a serious note, changing your name is a big decision and requires a lot of thought. Under North Carolina law, you can only change your name once; unless you are reverting back to your original name. If you are unsure about changing your name, stick with the one you’ve had for the past 18 years of your life.

  1. Book a Hotel Room

What’s better than your comfortable, personalized room with clean sheets and the thermostat curated to your personal liking? A hotel room! Head on over to your local Marriott hotel to enjoy a nice stay with complimentary breakfast and Wifi.

  1. Become a Realtor

Who needs a minimum wage job when you could be a realtor? In North Carolina, realtors make between $47,000 – $140,000, which is definitely more than making $8.00 an hour at your job. Brush up on your neighborhoods and people skills, because selling houses is a great job.

  1. Skydive

The adrenaline rush of turning 18 is nothing compared to skydiving. If you’re a complete psycho or thrill seeker and enjoy jumping out of a plane and falling to the ground at 120 mph, you can now live your dream and go skydiving. 

  1. Use a Deli Slicer

Head on over to Harris Teeter for a meat slicing adventure on your birthday! You can now get a job in the deli and slice up different kinds of meat (but don’t slice your finger off). 

  1. Be Called for Jury Duty

Nothing sounds more adultlike than jury duty. Unfortunately, transitioning to adulthood means the possibility of sitting in a courtroom and listening to a court case. Lucky for you, there is a possibility you may see a celebrity there. In 2016, Taylor Swift showed up for jury duty on a Monday in Nashville like a normal U.S. citizen. If you show up for jury duty, maybe Harry Styles will be there!

  1. Open a Bank Account (Under Your Own Name)

For all the lottery money you earn, you will need an account to store it under. When you turn 18, you can open up a bank account under your own name (maybe even your new name if you decide to change it). This is actually very beneficial for the future because you will need to start saving up for future investments and start balancing your checkbook.

  1. Get married (without parent permission)

Although you may want to marry the love of your life (also known as the person you met six months ago in your third period class and have been dating ever since), getting married is a large step in life. Before getting married, I do recommend talking to your parents and dating your partner for longer than six months, but you are legally allowed to get married at 18. 

  1. Get a Costco Membership

The best part about turning 18 is the ability to get your very own Costco membership. Costco has everything you need, from a 40 pack of Sharpies, to a beautiful mini fridge, to the most delicious organic strawberries you will ever eat. Costco is the superior store so make sure you sign up for your membership as soon as possible. *Not sponsored by Costco.

  1. Drive a Taxi

Driving your first car is a monumental event in your life, but what about driving your first taxi? You can apply to become a taxi driver when you are 18 years old and have your full license. This is a great way to make money and it’s such a flex to own a taxi. As long as you’re a registered driver, you can use it to drive anywhere you want for personal reasons.

  1. Adopt a Child

Your favorite underclassman can become your child if you choose to adopt them when you turn 18! This does require legal paperwork and will most likely fail because their parents will disagree, but adopting a child is a great thing to do when you grow older and are ready for a family.

  1. Sue Someone

If you’re angry at your friend for stealing your crush or mad at your teacher for failing you, sue them! Although it isn’t that simple, you are allowed to sue someone or even get a restraining order if you’re being followed…

  1. Buy Spray Paint

Feeling like vandalizing something and getting arrested on your birthday? Head to the store because you are now allowed to buy spray paint. For your first experience with spray paint, try using it on an art project instead of public walls.

  1. Bet On A Horse Race

Betting on a horse race can be one of the most risky but lucky forms of betting. If you enjoy watching horse races, or are just good at betting, you can now put down your money on the best horses.

As you can see, turning 18 allows for a lot of new opportunities in your life. While I do not recommend trying these all on your birthday, keep this list in mind for a rainy day or when you seek adventure in your new life of adulthood.


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