When are you truly considered as an adult?

Jazmine Routin, writer

The recent laws including the law that has raised the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 has set some questions that should be answered. Since the new tobacco law came into effect in December of 2019, some are questioning whether they are viewed as an adult or not. Children have been told that they are considered an adult at 18 years of age, but is that still true?

If 18-year-olds are considered an adult, why not give them full legal rights?

What rights do 18- year-olds have then? At the age of 18, a person can buy a house, legally sign a contract, join the military, vote, etc. They cannot, however, purchase tobacco or alcohol. So 18-year-olds are supposed to be adults and be capable of making their own decisions, but are not allowed to make some decisions for themselves. Instead, their choice gets taken by the government.

Why does the government get to decide what age an adult should be? Being an adult does not have an age, but instead, it is a maturity case. There are some “kids” more grown then some “adults”. If 18 to 20-year-olds can be tried as an adult in court (and sometimes even younger with some cases), be drafted into armed forces, pay bills, vote, and more then why are their still restrictions on these young people.

In July of 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the national minimum drinking age act and withheld a percentage of highway funds until all states had raised the age to 21. Thirty years later, there was a group of people with PhDs and MDs who took issue with the law. They said, from a scientific standpoint, that the law may target the wrong teenage behavior. According to CNN health, before the minimum drinking age law, 16 to 20-years-olds were the most common drunk drivers.

So, when are you truly an adult? There are several opinions about this discussion. Legally it is 18 years old, morally it could be younger or older.