Here’s A Look Back At The Deeply Confusing Things We Did When We Hit 18

Contributor: Louis Costello

Only in Australia would our lawmakers think it’s a wise move to allow 18-year-olds to drink legally and obtain their licence all in the same year (well, at least in Victoria), and so the age-old tradition was formed of wanting to show off your brand-spankin’ wheels while battling the desperate need to go out and get absolutely wankered.

It might come as a shock but the drinking or driving (never both at the same time, stay woke kids) dilemma isn’t the only one that our fresh-faced adults are confronted with. There’s an abundance of expectations both self-inflicted and lumped on 18-year-olds by society, and often we start making choices that we feel are expected of us…until we become older and realise we were still legit amateurs.

cat glasses GIF

We asked around and found the most common manoeuvres people made as soon as they hit the legal voting age.

Give Unsolicited Advice To Our Months-Younger Friends

All of us who have birthdays at the start of the year are guilty of this. Even if you claim you never gave friends pointless advice simply because you turned 18 first, you’d be lying through your teeth.

“My birthday is (un)fortunately in February, so I had the privilege of lording that over all of my friends. For a sweet four weeks I was able to say shit like ‘you know, as the oldest and wisest friend, I highly suggest you straighten your hair and wear fluoro to every future social event’. Turns out my knack for trends that age well was wayyy off.”

– Megan

Spend Lavishly After Receiving A $1.20/hr Payrise

Oh, to experience that sweet feeling of wealth and superiority again once you turn 18. Hands down one of the best perks was to cop that slight bump in your payslip, resulting in excessive spending and a strong sense of superiority.

“I felt like a boss rolling up to school with my newfound rich-boy attitude. ‘Oh, you plebs only earn 15 bucks an hour? Here, let me take care of you.’ I think people liked me less for it but at the time I was in my element.” 

– Rob

Answer Back To Our Parents Because We’re Too Old To Take Their Guff

We might think it’s our right to start mouthing off to our folks because we feel we’ve earnt it, however, as we learn pretty damn quickly, that’s never a good idea. While you are legally allowed to vote and you can drive yourself around like a strong, independent adult, you are very likely still heavily dependant on your parents for everything else in your life – you know, food and shelter – so best keep your sassy remarks to yourselves.

“I once told my parents that I was too old for them to be lecturing me about my room. They suggested I either clean my room or move to the beach. I tried the beach thing for about an hour but I hate sand and wind, so I was back home grovelling pretty damn quickly.”

– Adele

little women la crying GIF by Lifetime

Getting Our Licence As Soon As Legally Possible

This is a certified rite of passage for 17 or 18-year-olds (depending on what part of Australia you come from) that isn’t necessarily suited to everyone right away. If you’re not feeling confident, feel free to hold off until you’ve really got the knack for the wheel.

“The first day of getting my licence, I thought I was seriously cool and took my mate out for a spin. We went to visit another mate and parked down this pain in the ass court, and when I was leaving I reversed straight into a parked car. We sped to the nearest petrol station to get a pen and paper so I could write a note. Apparently, they had just fixed their car a few months earlier because another car had hit it in the exact spot. So, really, it was their fault for parking in the same spot again.”

– Tom

Plan To Move Overseas Like The Adults We Are

While it may seem normal to want to high-tail it out of whatever perceived hell-hole you live in as soon as you’re legally allowed to get a job in some dingy bar in Europe, the pressure to go straight to uni is high in a lot of families. Still, that doesn’t stop some of us more adventurous folk.

“On my 18th I booked a one-way ticket to Europe because I was finally old enough to leave Aus on my own. I left 3 weeks after my bday and didn’t return for a year. Over in Europe, I travelled until I was broke and then got a job in a small whisky bar in Scotland.”

– Dana

Only Take Responsibility For Things When It Suits Us

As you start to enter adulthood, you realise that all of this newfound freedom also comes with a tonne of responsibility that you may not have necessarily asked for or wanted.

“I had what I like to call ‘selective adulthood’. At one point I’d wanna act like a grown-up person and start paying for my phone bill but then I’d get a parking fine and cry to mum until she buckled and paid for it.”

– Tyson

credit card dog GIF

Take An Enlightening Trip Through A Museum

Sometimes, we just have to accept that certain activities just aren’t for us – regardless of whether we think we should be doing them every available weekend.

“Oh Jesus, this is still something I do because I feel like I have to – I don’t think it’s necessarily a ‘freshly 18’ thing. Even travelling through Europe, we kept going on these tours that insisted on stopping at every damn museum in a 5km radius, and I’d do the same thing in every one of them…just stare at the photos while trying to stop my eyes from glazing over.” 

– Sam

Embrace Our True Horny Identities

Now look, when we’re still in school and still technically not allowed to click ‘Yes, I’m Over 18‘ on certain adult websites, it’s easier just to sweep your sexualised self under the rug. On the upside, as soon as you hit 18, everything becomes more acceptable. Not welcomed, but acceptable.

“I had 50+ people in my pool completely naked at my 18th. Really peaked early!”

– Blair

Drink Like An ‘Adult’

As majority of the people I know can vouch, nobody *really* learns how to drink like an adult. Sure, we may pretend to know what we’re doing or even what we’re drinking, but deep down we’re all just kids in desperate need for a good ol’ box of goon to satisfy our unrefined palettes.

I turned 18 around the Nek Nominate era. Naturally, I was nek nominated on my birthday so I put on a fedora and TV Rock’s ‘Flaunt It’ and lapped up a whole Jim Beam out of my dog’s bowl. It still had chicken-flavour pellets in it.”

– Lucinda

I got force fed a stein of some wicked concoction before blacking out and projectile vomiting all over my dad’s bookcase – not my finest moment.”

– Jack

“I remember a stage where I would exclusively order Mojitos at bars when I turned 18, because I felt so “adult” getting a cocktail. Cue my late 20’s when I CBF ever ordering a cocktail bc they take 40000 years to make.”

– Mel

Unlike so many of us who struggle to handle their 18th in the appropriate manner, Maxibon has pulled out all the stops in celebration of their own 18th birthday. So, while your own life may be in shambles and you feel like you’re drowning, take a breather, grab a Maxibon and just chill. Being 18 isn’t so hard in the scheme of things.