The Habitual Change When Being Of Age

Nicole Tran, Editor-in-Chief

The legal age of an adult here in America is eighteen-years old, with rights such as being able to vote and work full-time. When someone becomes eighteen years old, it comes with a lot of changes in choices of actions when attempting to fit in with social norms.

Social norms are very common and prevalent in our lives, but most of these arise when someone becomes 18 years old. For example, it is now considered unacceptable to go trick or treating during Halloween because you have become the legal adult age. Another example is that if an 18 year old commits a crime, they are charged as an adult instead of a minor which comes with more severe punishments.

However, turning eighteen impacts other habits and action choices that have been within a person since their youth. Personally, I have developed several “strange” habits since I was younger, and now I am forced to change them to fit the social norm. One habit I have developed is being verbally and physically affectionate with my loved ones. A second habit I have is having an affinity with cartoons and animated material. Another habit that I have is going out late at night to hang out with my friends.

After my birthday, I started the process of changing my habits. For example, I started to be mindful of where my affection is going to, meaning that if they are not of legal age, I restrict myself from being heavily affectionate but instead opting to showing them through my body language. Another habit I had to change was my affinity for cartoons. As a “legal adult” it’s socially unacceptable to like cartoons since they are for younger children; this resulted in watching shows that I do not necessarily enjoy but are live-action because of the fact that I am “supposed” to watch more live-action shows. However, one habit that remains the same is my habit of going out late with friends has not changed since I now do not have a curfew and can do as I please as long as I am safe.

To be frank, I believe that habits like those are not necessarily “bad habits”, but instead those from someone who isn’t ready to grow up. Now, I understand that people base their social norms from what the media provides. Examples of social norms of turning eighteen years old include being able to distinguish between good and bad choices, being mature in terms of interests,and being surrounded by people of my age. They can originate from literature and cultural inheritance. These social norms affect me by not only pressuring me to be how society views an adult which in turn, has me to believe that I have to be how society wants adults to be.

Although being of age is something to celebrate, it is not the time to change all of your habits at once. A person has all of their life to change their youthful habits into mature ones with consistent practice and determination.