Turning 18 is a big milestone that signifies the transition from childhood to adulthood. With this new phase of life comes a lot of new responsibilities and opportunities, and it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 18 things you can do when you turn 18.
However, note that these are just ideas, and you don’t have to do all of them – choose the ones that make sense for you and your values.
Whether you’re looking to start building your future, have some fun, or just try something new, there’s something on this list for everyone. So without further ado, here are 18 things you can try when you turn 18!
1. Go to a concert
Going to a concert is a fun and exciting experience for anyone, but especially for young adults like you! Whether you’re a fan of K-pop, pop, R&B, rap, or others, there could be an event happening near you (especially if you live in a big city). Feel free to do a bit of research on social media, TicketMaster, artists’ websites, etc. to find the perfect concert for you.
While searching, make sure to consider factors like the safety of the venue, cost of the tickets, methods of transportation, your companions, etc. to make sure you have the best experience possible. Lastly, have fun and enjoy the music!
2. Buy a lottery ticket
After turning 18, you can legally buy a lottery ticket. Playing the lottery can be a fun and exciting way to pass the time, and it can also be a way to try your luck at winning big. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the odds of winning the lottery are very low, and it’s not a reliable source of income or a good financial investment.
If you do decide to play the lottery, make sure you’re doing it for entertainment purposes only and not making it a habit. It’s also important to be aware of the risks and dangers of gambling, such as the potential for addiction. If you find that you’re unable to control your lottery spending or if it’s causing problems in your life, it’s important to seek help.
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3. Travel with friends
Traveling with friends is a great way to enjoy new places and create lasting memories. Whether you’re looking to explore a new city, visit a beach, go hiking, or do something else entirely, there are plenty of options for exciting and affordable travel destinations.
One option is booking a trip through Airbnb or a hotel, which you are now able to do at the age of 18. You can also consider other options such as hostels or camping, depending on your budget and preferences. When planning a trip with friends, it’s important to communicate clearly and make a plan that works for everyone. You should also be aware of any safety concerns or travel restrictions, and make sure to have a backup plan in case something goes wrong.
Travel plans can often work out well for high school senior trips, after everyone has graduated and have free time. For example, I went to Seattle, Washington with my friends after graduation. The trip took many weeks of planning and quite some money, but it was a fun and memorable experience I still cherish.
4. Get a tattoo
For many people, getting a tattoo is a way to express their personality, interests, or beliefs, and it can be a meaningful and memorable experience. If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable tattoo artist who follows proper safety and hygiene practices.
Also carefully consider the design and placement of your tattoo, as it will be with you for life (unless you go through the pain and effort to remove it).
Make sure you’re ready for the commitment and think about the long-term implications of your tattoo, such as how it might affect your job prospects or personal relationships. If you’re still not sure, you can always try a temporary tattoo or henna tattoo first to get a feel for what it’s like to have a tattoo.
5. Get a piercing
Getting a piercing is another popular and meaningful way to express your personal style for young adults. However, it’s important to keep in mind that piercings can carry risks and potential complications if they’re not done properly.
To ensure your safety, it’s important to choose a reputable piercing studio or parlor that follows proper safety and hygiene practices. You should also research the type of piercing you’re interested in and make sure you’re fully informed about the aftercare required.
If you’re unsure, you can always try a temporary piercing first to get a feel for what it’s like to have a piercing. And today, there are many styles of jewelry that don’t require piercings at all, especially clip-on earrings.
Now that you’re 18, it’s time to exercise your right to vote (that is, if you’re in the US)! Make your voice heard and make a difference in your community by participating in elections. It’s important to be an informed voter, so research the candidates and their platforms, attend candidate forums or debates, and get information from reliable sources.
When it’s time to cast your vote, bring identification and know your polling place. If you can’t make it to the polls on election day, consider early voting or absentee voting. Your vote matters!
7. Get your driver’s license
If you haven’t gotten your license yet, now’s the time! It’s a great way to gain independence and freedom, and it can also be extremely practical for getting around town or going on road trips.
To get your driver’s license, you’ll need to pass a written test and a driving test. You can start preparing for these tests by studying the rules of the road, taking practice written tests (you can find many online), and getting practice driving. You can also consider taking a driver’s education course or getting behind-the-wheel training from a licensed instructor– in certain states, this is required.
8. Get a credit card
Getting a credit card is a common and often necessary step for young adults when they turn 18. A credit card can be a convenient way to make purchases and pay bills, and it can also help you build credit.
Before you get a credit card, it’s a good idea to research different options and compare features such as interest rates, fees, rewards, and other benefits. You should also understand how to use a credit card responsibly, such as paying off your balance in full each month, avoiding high interest rates, and not overspending.
If you’re not sure you’re ready for a credit card, you can consider a secured credit card or a debit card as alternatives. Additionally, you can consider being added as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card (like a parent or another trusted older adult).
9. Get a job
As a young adult, getting a job is a great opportunity to gain experience, build skills, and earn money. Consider what you’re interested in and what you’re good at, and tailor your job search to those interests and skills. Stay organized and make a list of potential job opportunities, research the requirements and expectations, and network with friends, family, and professionals in your field of interest.
Prepare a resume and cover letter that highlight your strengths and qualifications, and don’t be afraid to apply for jobs even if you don’t have all the experience or qualifications– you never know what opportunities might come your way.
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10. Go to an amusement park
Going to an amusement park is a fun experience for anyone, especially when you turn 18 and have more freedom to choose where you want to go. Whether you’re a fan of rollercoasters, water rides, carnival games, or just the atmosphere, there are plenty of amusement parks to choose from.
Make sure to do some research on the parks in your area or within driving distance, and consider factors like cost, travel time, safety, and any age or height restrictions. You can also consider going with friends or family, or just enjoying the park solo. Don’t forget to bring money for tickets, food, souvenirs, and any other expenses you might incur.
11. Sleepover at a hotel
Having a sleepover with friends at a hotel can be an exciting and new experience when you turn 18. Whether you’re looking to relax, celebrate, or just have a change of scenery, a hotel sleepover is a great option.
You can start by researching hotels in your area or within driving distance, and consider factors like cost, location, amenities, and ratings. Don’t forget to bring any essentials you might need, such as pajamas, toiletries, snacks, and entertainment. You can also consider booking a room with added features like a hot tub, fireplace, or balcony, though that’s completely up to you and your friends’ budget.
12. Go for a night drive
Going for a night drive can be a fun and relaxing way to unwind when you turn 18. Whether you’re solo or with friends, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the peacefulness of the night and the freedom of the open road. Just be sure to follow safe driving practices and keep in mind any local laws or curfew restrictions.
If you’re unsure of where to go, consider checking out nearby scenic drives or just pick a direction and see where the road takes you. A night drive can be a great way to clear your mind and enjoy the solitude of the night. Just be sure to keep safety in mind and have a good time!
13. Consume alcohol (in other countries)
If you’re in a country where it’s legal to do so when you turn 18 (not in the United States), you can start to try different types of alcohol and learn more about responsible drinking. However, it’s important to remember to always drink responsibly and to never drink and drive.
You can start by researching different types of alcohol and learning about their flavors, effects, and pairings. You can also consider trying different bars, breweries, wineries, or other establishments to sample different types of alcohol and learn more about their production and history.
14. Call yourself out of high school
If you’re still in high school, you’re probably in your senior year. At the end of senior year, classes can start to get boring. At this point in time, when you’re essentially done with all the content you’re supposed to learn, there’s not much harm in skipping a few classes to enjoy your senior year outside of the classroom.
If this is the case and if your school allows it, you can start to call yourself out of school. In some American high schools, you must fill out a form in order for your calls to take effect. This can feel exciting, as you’ve finally graduated from having to be called out by a parent.
15. Set goals for yourself
Setting goals for yourself is an important step when you turn 18 and start becoming more independent and self-sufficient. Whether you’re looking to achieve academic, career, personal, or financial goals, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and a plan to get there.
You can start by making a list of your goals and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps. You can also consider setting deadlines, tracking your progress, and celebrating your achievements along the way. Don’t be afraid to seek help or advice from friends, family, or professionals if you need it.
If you need some ideas, check out this comprehensive list of 121 New Years’ Resolutions for Students– they also double as long-term goals!
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16. Start saving money
If you’re turning 18, it’s a great time to start saving money! No matter what your goals are– whether it’s to buy a car, travel, or just have some financial security – having a plan to save and invest your money is crucial. One way to start is by setting a budget and tracking your spending.
My Ultimate Student Planner Notion Template has a page dedicated to expense tracking; check it out below!
Look at your expenses and see what you can cut back on, whether it’s eating out less, canceling unnecessary subscriptions, or finding cheaper alternatives. You can also consider finding ways to earn more money, such as by getting a part-time job, starting a side hustle, or investing in stocks or other assets.
Don’t be afraid to seek help or advice from friends, family, or professionals if you need it. Building good saving habits now can set you up for financial success in the future, so don’t miss out on this opportunity!
17. Enjoy being an adult
As a young adult, you have the opportunity to truly embrace your independence and make the most of your freedom. Enjoying being an adult is all about finding balance, personal growth, and fulfillment.
This can involve finding activities and hobbies that bring you joy and relaxation, such as sports, music, art, or volunteering. You can also consider finding ways to contribute to your community, such as by participating in local events, charities, or organizations.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and take risks, and remember to always be responsible and respectful. Embrace your newfound freedom and use it to grow personally and make a positive impact on the world around you.
18. Figure out “what next?”
Figuring out “what’s next” is all about setting long-term goals, finding out your values, and understanding the world around you. As a young adult, you have the opportunity to shape your future and make a positive impact on the world.
This can involve finding a career or path that aligns with your values and passions, and setting goals for yourself that are meaningful and achievable. It can also involve learning about the world and your place in it, whether through education, travel, or other experiences.
However, remember that you’re just 18! You have a lot of time, so don’t feel pressured to start “adulting” immediately and forget what it means to be a teen.
Turning 18 is an exciting and memorable time, and there are so many fun and meaningful things you can do to embrace your newfound freedom and adulthood. Whether you’re interested in getting a tattoo, buying a lottery ticket, traveling with friends, or any of the other 18 ideas we’ve discussed, there’s something for everyone. Just remember to be safe, responsible, and respectful, and you’ll be well on your way to making the most of your 18th year.
I hope you found this list of 18 things to do when you turn 18 helpful and inspiring. Remember that you don’t have to do all of these things, and that it’s totally okay to do your own thing and create your own unique experiences. The most important thing is to have fun, grow personally, and make the most of your freedom. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy your 18th year!
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