Turning 18

Navigating the good and bad that comes with becoming an adult


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Becoming an adult can be scary. Seniors at HCP share their hopes and fears for the future.

Pao Zapata, Editor in Chief

Growing up can be scary between paying taxes, living on your own, and making your appointments, it’s frightening.  

However, it can also be exciting! Some seniors are more ready than others to start a new chapter of their lives.  

New Responsibilities 

“I feel very confident now that I am 18. I see this as a time to grow and figure out who I am. I’ve never really been dependent upon my parents and I am becoming financially independent more and more each day,” said senior Anne Daniel. 

“The future doesn’t scare me at all. I know that as long as I work hard and make the choices that will benefit me, I will always be fine,” Daniel added.  

Despite that, it is not always as simple for everyone.  

“I am going to have to do everything by myself and be on my own. That is scary; I am not sure what to expect,” said senior Delnaz Kazemi, who turns 18 in March.  

Adding on more responsibilities than she’s used to is something that Kazemi is not quite ready for. Kazemi expressed that it makes her anxious to think about the future. 

“I am scared about getting a job, getting married, having kids, everything, just life,” said senior Danny De Leon.  

“Turning 18 is not just becoming an adult, but it is about starting a large chapter for young adults and it is the end of a large chapter of your childhood,” said senior Blake Reed.  

Reed continued to say that it can be intimidating but feels like there is a lot of joy in this new chapter of his life.  

New Opportunities 

Turning 18 comes with so many new opportunities and there are many great ones. Having the ability to vote, getting a tattoo/piercing without your parent’s consent, and even being able to buy things that you cannot as a minor.  

“Well, I am excited to vote, that’s pretty much it, like I know I can get a pet by myself and go different places. But since I am still in high school, I don’t think much will change. I can buy a house or whatever, but I probably won’t do anything like that,” said Kazemi.  

“As an adult, I am excited to go to a club,” said senior Ian Messiah. 

“I opened up a bank account without an adult co-signer. It was awesome it made me feel empowered and in control of my finances. I also have planned to get matching tattoos with my dad,” said Daniel.  


The American school system can only do so much when preparing students for the future. However, for these seniors learning about paying/doing their taxes comes with a mix of not knowing how and knowing exactly what they are doing. 

“I feel like I have so much more to learn about taxes, but I think you can say I am ready,” said Kazemi, laughing.  

Reed expressed his emotion by chuckling saying, “I am not ready to pay taxes and I am not ready to figure out how to pay them.” 

Contradicting that fear, Daniel, mentioned that she has been paying taxes since she was 14 and started working! 

“I’m a law-abiding citizen. I have worked since I was 14 and they took taxes out of my paycheck and like social security and all that jazz. I don’t own any property yet so no property tax just simply income tax,” she said.  

Adult Consequences 

Along with turning 18, these seniors are now becoming aware of what it is like to get into trouble as an adult. Going to jail is something that most of them fear. 

Kazemi mentioned that she hopes she’ll never go to jail or do anything that will get her there.  

“It is scary to know that there are little to no consequences up until you are 18 and then boom you are an adult like you get the same consequences as a 40-year-old, and I just hope I am prepared for that,” Kazemi said.

“I am a little afraid about going to jail, I need to watch out while driving,” Messiah said.

“Once you’re 18 it changes everything,” De Leon said.

Not feeling like an adult yet 

While turning 18 is considered a milestone birthday event for many, the reality for others is that nothing has really changed…yet.

“I feel the same really, nothing much has changed, but I think [turning 18] is really going to change when I leave home and go to college,” DeLeon said.

Messiah said he still feels the same, but now there is a whole new world for him to explore.  

“It’s a little intimidating, but at the same time it is also exciting because you get a lot more freedom,” Messiah said. 

“With [turning 18] coming up I thought it was going to be this big change. That I was going to mentally change and something exponential would happen, but the only thing that changed was that I got a little extra pain,” Reed said with a laugh.