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When are You an Adult?

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Since my 18th birthday is coming up I began thinking about all the things that I will be able to do on my own, and also the things that I will be forced to wait to do even though I will be an “adult.”  This leads me to the question when are you an adult in society? Why are 18 year old’s adults legally but not socially?

alcSo here comes the age-old argument about being able to join the military and put my life on the line for my country and not being able to consume or purchase alcohol. We’ve all heard that one before, it’s an old argument so I won’t be wasting my time telling you what you already know. Instead, I will tell you some things that may be surprising that you are not old enough to do in adulthood.

SONY DSCRecently, I was surprised to find out that in the state of New Hampshire you must be 21 years old to purchase fireworks. What? You can buy a rifle but not fireworks? That’s insane — back to the military. You can launch missiles in a war but not launch some fireworks for a back yard BBQ?

The FAFSA requires parental income information until you’re 24 years old. So what about kids that aren’t getting any support from their parents? Kids that took a gap year and live on their own? Apparently you’re not old enough to be considered a separate entity from your parents financially even if you don’t live with them until the age of 24.

Society gives you the right to vote for the leader of our country, your state, representatives etc. at the age of 18. So, you’re old enough to decide who runs the country but not old enough make healthy decisions about alcohol? That’s just swell, isn’t it?

carYou can’t rent a car until you’re 25. That sucks! What if you’re 22 years old working two jobs and your car breaks down? Living on your own, supporting yourself maybe trying to save for college? Maybe you even have a child. But no, no rental car for you. Apparently being an adult is null when it comes to renting.

gunYou can’t purchase a hand gun. But rifles, shotguns and other “long arms” that cause much more damage in most cases are perfectly acceptable.

You must be 25 years old and have a valid license to supervise someone learning how to drive in the state of NH. That sucks. Maybe your mom works 60 hours a week and has no time to teach your sister how to drive. Oh well, you’re not adult enough to  help out.

tatYou must be 22 years old to receive silicone breast implants. Okay? So you’re old enough to modify your body via tattoo, piercing, and saline breast implants but silicone is off-limits? Not to mention at 22 you can now drink alcohol too. I guess you’re body just isn’t ready for silicone boobs.

All of these potentially useful or interesting things that you can’t do but heck,  you can be sued, join the military, be kicked out of your parent’s house, and any crime you commit won’t be sealed in a juvenile record. Wow, if you look at it that way you really are an adult!

I guess I’m just a little bit unclear on adulthood. I can be a legal adult at 18, but still, society doesn’t trust me with certain things until I’m even older. With so much legal responsibility thrown on you at 18, you would think that society would give you all the good benefits that an actual adult has.

If 18 year old’s are legal adults in all sense of the law then they should be given the same benefits of other adults and not just all the adult responsibilities. If society thinks we should be slowly transitioned into receiving all these privileges, then maybe they should transition us into the world of legal adulthood as well.

Senior Pictures!

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It’s that time of year again! All the seniors at our high school pay large sums of money to be photographed by professional photographers across the valley. Or, if you’re lucky you have an amateur photographer friend, with a decent camera, who can snap a couple great photos of you so you can be on your way without burning a hole in your pocket.

Unfortunately most seniors, girls in particular, will find the photo selection process to be far more difficult than the actual photo shoot. So here are a few suggestions that may be helpful in your selection process!

First: When you receive your photos from the photographer chances are, if you have gotten them done professionally, the photographer has probably selected their best photos out of hundreds. Now it’s your turn! Most of the time there will be a few standouts right off the bat. Try and choose 4-5 pictures of varying look/pose/color that you like the best. Try to avoid choosing pictures that are obviously over edited. People will notice, and it’s just not “organic” if its not really YOU then what’s the point, right?

Second: This might sound lame but go ahead and upload them to Facebook, in some cases the photographer may have already uploaded some and tagged you, that’s fine too. The reason I say this is because its the quickest and most effective way to get feedback from friends and family. See which ones people like the most, that may help narrow down your choices. Or you might see the beauty in a picture you were unsure about before, you never know!

Third: Get final input from the adult(s) who’s opinion you value you most, and two or three of your closest friends. The trusted adult(s) will have a different perspective, they will be able to judge what you will like to see as your senior picture when you look back on it years from now, and they will pick a picture that they think in compasses you as a whole.
Your friends opinions are important because they will choose a picture that represents you as you are now and how they’ve seen you for the last four years.
Ultimately the decision is yours. Try and find a picture that represents you in a way you wish to be looked back upon for years to come, a daunting decision, I know. Try and balance between something that’s you now and something that’s you as a whole, ie something that won’t date itself and become irrelevant to your personality.

Fourth: Picking your top two. First decide, if necessary, if you’re choosing a black and white or color photo. Then look at the pictures side by side. Figure out what’s most important. Smile, hair, outfit, face/head position, etc. I know it sounds silly, but make a pro/con list. What do you like most and least about each photo? If there is obviously more pros to one photo then you probably have a winner! Besides the logical approach, you may just have a gut feeling about a particular photo. Go with it. If you love it you won’t regret it.

So here are some things to remember when considering your senior photo: narrow it down, choose a photo that is natural and representative of you, take input from friends and family into consideration, make the final decision yourself and choose the one you love. Don’t forget that it’s YOUR senior photo and that you should love it (that’s the most important!). Don’t let anyone pressure you into choosing a picture you don’t love. Good luck and have fun! You’re only a senior once!

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