Am I really an adult at 18?

“Can I see your ID?” This is a question that haunts, and sometimes upsets, anyone who wants to sneak in a drink or acquire alcohol under the age of 21. That being said, I probably seem like a typical angry college student who wants to buy alcohol on the weekends. While this may be half true, my main purpose for ranting is that I genuinely doesn’t understand why the drinking age is still 21. It would make more sense to change it to 18 because at this age, you’re legally considered an adult. You can join the service, get married and go to jail, but you can’t purchase alcohol? This doesn’t make sense.

At 18, we are entitled to all the punishments and consequences of adulthood without any of the freedoms. A The New York Times survey showed that America has the highest legalized drinking age in the world, yet it hasn’t reduced underage drinking. By senior year of high school, over 72 percent of the population has consumed alcohol. Let’s be real ― alcohol is easy to get, even though the legal age is 21. All the drinking age does is encourage those who are under-age to buy fake IDs, become a little sneakier or find friends who will purchase the alcohol for them.

Most of those who support a higher drinking age believe alcohol causes people to make poor decisions since the brain is not fully developed until 21. Additionally, they believe teens will drink and drive, which will eventually lead to the increase of accident rates. However, a study from the Office of National Statistics in 2009 showed that other countries have drinking ages under 18 and have extremely low accident rates. Other countries are more lenient about their drinking age and have very few problems. For example, Ida Krogh, a 24 year old from Denmark, grew up with a lower drinking age and has been able to drink since she was 16, but she wasn’t able to drive until 18. So at 18, when she could finally drink and drive, she knew not to mix them together.

Another reason the drinking age should be lowered to 18 is because drinking is a fun and enjoyable activity, which, at age 18, we should legally be able to do. Why should we be denied that enjoyment, when we’re allowed to do other pleasurable activities at the same age? If you can join the military, and risk your life on a daily basis for the U.S., I think you should be able to buy alcohol. It’s astonishing to know that you’re considered an adult in every aspect of life at 18, except for when you want to relax and have an alcoholic beverage.

From wanting to drink on the weekends with friends, to just wanting to relax on the couch and have a drink after a long week, we should be able to enjoy both of these activities at the age of 18. Though, until that day comes, ladies and gents, drink responsibly to avoid trouble.

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