Why don't you just act like an adult?

Essay by Vixen2312College, UndergraduateB+, May 2003

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As a young girl growing up, a phrase which was often heard in my home was "Why don't you just act like an adult?" Truth to be told, being an adult never quite appealed to me, as it implied having to deal with such disadvantages as taxes, pressures of working full-time, voting, and deciding whether or not to legally drink alcohol. Once I turned eighteen, I was bombarded with many new rights issued by the Constitution, such as voting, buying cigarettes, enlisting in the military, and getting married. Being faced with all of these life-altering decisions was stressful, to say the least. Would I risk cancer, and actually smoke cigarettes? Would I become more than a citizen of the United States and allow myself to be a part of the army? It was a small relief to know that I did not have to worry about buying and drinking alcohol, as the legal drinking age in our country is twenty-one.

In order to sustain this stress for all adolescents across America, I propose that the drinking age should stay at twenty-one and not be lowered to eighteen.

Many of my friends anticipate turning twenty-one as much as they anticipated high school a few years ago. We were eager to embrace the social integration, the sports events, and the knowledge. Unexpectedly, high school brought on more responsibility, more anxiety, and more future-altering decisions. According to Joyce Walker, who works in the Minnesota Center for 4-H Youth Development, 39% of all adolescents suffer from mild to serious depression, and 9% of all high school students are depressed (Teens in Distress Series, 1986). In addition, 88% of all adolescents who attempted suicide were depressed. This is significant in the sense that with the addition of tension in home and school life, there is...