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What Turning 18 Means to Me

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Here's something you probably don't know about me- I'm a twin-and no, before you ask, we're not identical. This month, we turn eighteen - but we're celebrating in very different ways.

She's having a blow-out party, complete with two marquees, a bar, caterers and a DJ.
(Cue me escaping to a friends house for the night to watch Pitch Perfect, gossip and gorge on popcorn. Trust me, I know how to live it up.)
She's had to 'narrow' her guest list down to 'only' 70 people.
(I'm going out for a quiet meal with five of my closest friends.)
She's been planning the perfect outfit, playlist and menu for months.
(I haven't even decided what restaurant we're going to yet.)

So, I guess you might have gathered that birthdays, even the big 18, just aren't really that much of a deal for me. I know they should be; the look of complete horror on my mother's face when I told her I didn't want a big fuss was a small hint and the amount of times I've heard "but it's your 18th?!"

Ok, so I'll be turning eighteen.But it's not like my life is going to change overnight; I'm not suddenly going to spend every night clubbing or getting drunk. Yes, legally I'll be able to get married without my parent's permission- am I likely to? No. Will I still be living at home? Yes. Will I still be going to school, having to obey somewhat petty rules and attend lessons? Yes. Taking out a mortgage? Er, no.
Of course, everyone's point is I could do these things, if I wanted that's my point- I don't want to, so what will make my birthday any different from the day before?

Most people say turning eighteen is about taking responsibility for yourself, becoming an active member of society, etc, etc, etc. I'd like to think I do these things anyway; a number isn't going to change that. So I guess what changes is societies perception; instead of a teenager, I'll be more of a young adult. Be given more legitimacy, perhaps?

This, more than the actual number or birthday, is what I look forward to. Eighteen marks a new chapter in anyone's life- this time next year for example, I'll be at university.
(Providing I actually pass all my exams but y'know, dare to dream and all that.)

So while I'm not going to be in a fever of excitement on the 13th of January, I'm not ignorant of what it means in perspective of my future- so here's to next year, and the years after that, celebrating as a fully-fledged adult.