Saturday, April 16, 2011

That Empowering Time of Year Again

Every year on April 17 since age 12, I've been getting more rights and privileges. A while ago, I tried to find a comprehensive list online, but I couldn't find one. Here are a few benefits of growing up that I've compiled for people from ages 12 through 35:

12- sit in the front seat of a car.

13- COPPA doesn't apply anymore- that means you can get an online life! Also, pre-registration of voters and organ donors.

14- eligible to work part-time, fly commercial alone, get a glider pilot license, minimum age to be charged as adult in some states, get married in some states (with parental consent, of course).

15- be a lifeguard, sit in an airplane exit row, get authorized on a credit card, take aspirin, fly alone on most airlines.

16- There's quite a bit of things you can do; a lot of them are related to 16-y-o's making adult choices. Some include eloping to Elkton and get hitched, w/o parental consent in some cases, moving out of home, saying adios to school in most states (editors note: Use this option to make learning work for you; not to slack off!), age for a standard marriage in a number of states, adult membership in many social clubs, work a full 8 hour day/ 40 hour week, take a Fed Reserve tour, register to vote (if 18 by next general election), get a driver's license, full-privilege ATM card and checking account, qualify to work in a number of semi-skilled professions such as pool operations and entry-level shipping jobs, get a pilot's license, get an adult passport, cross international borders without a notarized letter of consent, participate in a blood drive w/ parental consent in some states, use a weightroom or spa or sauna without an adult, participate in certain vices pertaining to the ATF's domain (though not purchase them).

17- watch an R-rated movie without an adult, participate in a blood drive (w/o parental consent), vote in a primary (some states), join the military.

18- Voting, signing forms yourself, graduating from young driver restrictions, and participating in behavioral surveys is just the start. Essentially you get all the adult goodies except as below...

19- clubbing age, and marriage age in some states and, yep, some states raised the tobacco purchase age. Intent? Keep high school kids out of these activities.

20- this is when you're an adult in East Asia (20 by the Western or Eastern age-counting system?).

21- clubbing age in a number of areas of US, legal etoh purchase age in US, rent a car or hotel room, sign a mortgage in some states, CDL in some states, some heavy machinery licenses, get a concealed weapons permit.

23- become a commercial pilot

25- lower rates on insurance and , become an US House Representative

30-become a Senator or Governor in many states

35- become President or Vice President

And then we have what I'll call the AARP-type benefits that kick in at 55 with Senior Discounts and adult living communities.

My birthday is tomorrow, or later tonight by grown-up terms. I had plans to attend a Landon-endorsed rooftop event to dance my way to legality, but it was cancelled due to rain. In lieu of this turn of events, a friend invited me to go clubbing tonight. "Well", I said, "I'd have to wait 'til midnight. I'm done with teen clubs- over the line". "No, this party starts at 2(am)". Now how would I stay on good terms with my parents if I clubbed my sleeping time away? So I've spent this night at home, tonight feels like a last bachelor party for me- a final night unconstrained by adult responsibility. Yet, shouldn't I be on the edge of my seat waiting for midnight to hit to indulge in legal-aged excess? While I'm not biologically 18 until 8:15pm tomorrow, I'm legally adult in less than 2 hours. Some of the privileges I've already enjoyed, such as signing a waiver for an event on April 30th. Some I will enjoy soon, such as voting in DC's special election on April 26 (single votes hold more sway in special elections!). I'll keep my readers up to date as I exercise these privileges.

Next up: Golf Carts for Suburban Early-Teens!

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