For a while I have been battling with the idea of being independent and what makes an adult an adult.
If ever I decide to rely on the law of this land to tell me, it always comes back to one thing; capitalism.
How do I draw that connection?
It’s very simple. Everything in this country is based on making money. (And when I say everything, trust me, I mean everything.) The milestone ages we reach are mostly set by the government
for their own benefit the benefit of the “economy.” Of course it doesn’t hurt that we like and willingly partake in the little teasers along the way. Oh, you’re 15? You can drive legally now–with an adult in the passenger seat. Sixteen? Here’s your license and your first job. No driving past 1 a.m., though, so don’t take a night shift. Eighteen; you can smoke your way to lung cancer, party, vote, and are considered an adult. Twenty-one; hooray for legally being able to destroy your liver.
None of these things really prove independency or adulthood, except for culturally–which doesn’t help much outside of your house. It might be nice to tell your parents, hey I’m 16 now I’m grown, but big brother does not want to hear it.
The fact of the matter is, if you are still in school and looking for somewhere to live you need a guarantor to sign for you saying that, in case of anything, they will be able to pay your rent. Companies need to know that the money will be paid at all costs. Being a full-time student does not give you enough time to work a well-paying job, and being out of school and within the 18-24 age group probably means that wherever you do work probably does not pay you enough for them to take your name and signature only. That makes you a dependent. If you want to rent a car, hotel room, or go on a cruise, you need to be over 21, or at least have a friend who is. Sorry, being 18+ does not mean a thing. You still need a babysitter.
The one that gets me the most, which I just recently discovered, is that if you are applying for school and claiming residency you cannot put yourself as independent. Even if you survive on your own, you are still considered a dependent as long as you are under 24 and single. In a way, I guess it can be a good incentive for you to maintain a good relationship with your parents, but it does not help when you do not and therefore cannot get their information. It simply gives them the power to control whether or not you get to school and that is unfortunate. It is sad to say, but not all parents are good to their children and I find it very unfair that they can still have so much power, especially if they use it to negatively affect their child, even after we are termed to legally be adults.
At 18, though we can vote and determine who heads our country, there are too many other things we cannot do. And though we will put thousands of other drivers and ourselves at risk, at 16 we are deemed fully capable of operating a motor vehicle on our own. Driving a car is a big deal. If we wait until we are 18 though, there is no need for a practise permit. It is assumed that by then you would have magically learned how to drive by
illegally practising watching others around you.
It is all just for the money. Being on the road at 16 just means that we need cars sooner than later. God forbid you have an accident, that’s more money to insurance and fixing the car; and the more you are on the road the higher your risk to be in an accident, so why not start from young. Being able to party at 18 means that we need money. We have to look nice, pay for gas, parking and cover when we get there. Being able to legally drink, well that one should be obvious.
So since money makes the world go around, is that what makes us adults? Is our level of independence and ability to be classified as an adult measured by the amount of money in our bank account, not by our age or ability to drive, vote, drink or smoke?
Looks like it.