Saturday, January 31, 2015

Rite of passage

Juliana Discher I Staff Writer

With great power comes great responsibility.

Turning eighteen is a milestone that many seniors reach in high school. It’s the transition from being considered a rambunctious teenager to a legal adult. While some allow their eighteenth birthday to slip by like any other day, a few Mason students decided to celebrate in a big way.

According to Lifestyle Magazine, at eighteen you are legally able to: vote, buy a lottery ticket, change your name, get a tattoo, sue someone, get married, buy fireworks, join the military, go skydiving, go bungee jumping, and gamble.

Skydiving seemed like an adventure worth pursuing, according to senior Elizabeth McDonald.
“My eighteenth birthday was in August, but we ended up skydiving the weekend after,” McDonald said. “It was a bit like conquering a fear for me. Just getting out there and doing something crazy. It was on my bucket list for the longest time.”

The experience of free falling through the air is unique from any other, according to McDonald.
“It was terrifying first jumping out and the free fall was kind of scary, but once the parachute is pulled, it was actually really relaxing and so cool to just kind of float through the air,” McDonald said.

Although she went big on her eighteenth, McDonald said there are other smaller, but still fun ways to celebrate the milestone.

“I have some friends who ordered stuff from the TV because it says like ‘You have to be eighteen or older to call and order,’” McDonald said. “My aunt gave me a lottery ticket because if I won then I could have cashed it. I didn’t, but the idea of it was fun.”

Senior Justin Uth wanted to do something that would visibly mark his coming of age. According to Uth, he is designing his own tattoos that he will get soon after he turns eighteen.

“I am planning on getting two tattoos as long as I have enough money,” Uth said.  “I am getting one that will wrap around my arm that’s a rattlesnake and a rose. I play guitar and I have been writing lyrics lately and the rattlesnake and rose are really relevant to the lyrics. The one I plan to get on my leg is a wolf head.”

There are other perks to being eighteen, Uth said.

“Now I can vote, which is nice,” Uth said. “Plus, since I am in a band, now I will be able to play in venues that I wasn’t able to play in before. There are a lot of open gigs that you have to be eighteen to play in, so now I’ll have more opportunities.”

Uth said that he appreciates the privileges he has with the age mark.

“Every time I have had a birthday in the past, I have felt the same, but with the tattoos now they will help me express myself more,” Uth said.

McDonald said that now more than ever, it’s important for her to use good judgment in her choices.

“Since turning eighteen, I feel like I’m treated as more of an adult,” McDonald said. “While there are some really cool things I can do, such as skydiving, there’s also a lot of responsibility to be on my best behavior. I know that the decisions I make will impact the rest of my life.”

Tattoo designed by Justin Uth
Skydiving picture from Elizabeth McDonald
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