This was My 18th birthday; how about yours?

This comic panel cracks me up. :stuck_out_tongue:

It was pretty much understood by everyone I grew up with that you left your family’s house as soon as you were able, at 18 if possible. The thought of free rent was nothing against the freedoms of making your own rules. No, I didn’t get empty boxes as presents, but I did leave a week after I was 18, with only 75 cents in my pocket, after the ‘last straw’. (To be straight, I thought I had a place to go, and I was right; also I’d graduated 6 months before and was more than ready.)

So…what was your experience like?

Well, I was a legally emancipated minor at the time I turned 18. I was working the evening shift at Ponderosa. Some kid threw up in my section. After I cleaned it up some asshole customer told someone to tell me to make sure to wash my hands. So, I did (obviously.) And then, once his dinner was up, I kind of felt bad for him, so I went back and washed my hands a second time.

When I brought him his food he bitched me out for not bringing it right away. He told me he’d timed me and completely lied about how much time it took me to bring him his food. He verbally abused me pretty much the entire time I served him, then left without tipping.

Yay, adulthood.

I turned 18 the day after my graduation. I was off to college the next August. Technically, I still lived at my parents house. But any time there after that was really just visiting my parents house. I lived on campus two states away for my last summer before my senior year and moved into an apartment near the school after graduation.

I joined the Air Force. Never lived at home again.

I turned 18 the summer between graduating from high school and leaving for college. I worked as a clerk in a gift shop. I had my wisdom teeth removed. That’s about all I remember…

I turned 18 6 months before graduation so DSS couldn’t kick me out of my foster home. However, my social worker came to my foster home and forced me to sign myself out, effective the day I graduated high school. I still have no idea why she did this since I was college bound and it was perfectly acceptable for kids to stay in foster care while in college and my foster parents had already agreed that they’d love to have me stay. My social worker claimed that the college arrangement had recently ended and I was no to be grandfathered in.

Anyway, after I graduated, my foster parents stopped receiving money for me but they let me stay until I found my own place, which took me 2 months. I went back to visit a few months later and found out that my younger foster sister was being allowed to stay for college even though she was also 18 and a high school graduate.
I was not a problem child. I got along well with my social worker and my whole foster family. My foster mother suspected that I was kicked out because the powers that be in DSS felt I was capable of landing on my feet while other kids were not (I landed on my ass, BTW).

I turned 18 in July of 1972. The state of Georgia had lowered the legal drinking age to 18 as of July 1, 1972. I went to the store and bought beer legally as opposed to all the times before I had gone to the store and bought beer illegally. :smiley:

Small town in a different age. Nobody got too caught up about id if you looked like you could be old enough.

Oh, I guess we’re talking more generally. As I mentioned before, I was already emancipated and supporting myself financially. I was still in high school. I was definitely taught that the minute I was 18 I would be on my own - I think that is very common in working class families.

I left at the age of 17 of my own accord because I just couldn’t stay there without losing my goddamned mind. I had $600 in the bank and I used $300 to buy the car from my parents. That turned out to save me because my Mom ended up taking away my driver’s license just to spite me so that I could not drive to school. She cut it up in front of my guidance counselor and said she didn’t care if I never graduated. I really had no choice but to legally emancipate so that I could get my driver’s license back and finish high school. Also my working hours were restricted as a minor and I needed to be making more money.

I was living with my Aunt and I had financial responsibilities like food, gas and electric but since I was in school she didn’t ask for rent. She had been telling me since I was 13 that if I could ever afford it I was welcome to live with her, and she made good on her promise.

I emancipated in October, got my license back, turned 18 in March of the following year and started college in September.

And even though I had to bend over backwards to prove it, my poverty was a windfall for my education. The damndest thing is, if I hadn’t moved to a different county to live with my Aunt, I would not have qualified for the almost full ride scholarship I ended up with - a scholarship I didn’t even apply for. If you’re academically successful and very poor, and willing to jump through a shit ton of administrative hoops, you can get a lot of help.

The kids with the real problem were the ones whose parents made good money but weren’t paying a dime of their education. The federal government required that they report their parents’ income anyway.

I turned 18 in August of 1967. I had my Selective Service physical (1-F) and then went off to college, 2000 miles away. It felt like liberation. Turns out I wasn’t really ready to be away from home; my 2nd year at college was a disaster, and at the end of that year I had to drop out and go back home. 6 months later I finally left to become truly independent.

Strangely, for such a milestone, I have no memory at all of the actual birthday.

My father left home as soon as he turned 18 due to the poverty in his family, and his desire to help his mother by having “one less set of feet under the table”. He used to say that we would be out the door on our 18th birthdays, but he didn’t mean it.

I was into my sophomore year at university, living 700+ miles away from home. My 18th b-day was just a forgettable Sunday.

It was only April of my senior year of high school when I turned 18, so I still had a couple months of school left. And college didn’t start till the fall. So I think I lived at home for about four or five months after turning 18. But that was it – I never went back, except for short visits and vacations and such.

But unlike what other people have indicated, it was never a case of me being forced out of the house. I left when it was natural for me to leave, and I knew that I could always go back if circumstances necessitated it. Fortunately, they never have.

January birthday, so I turned 18 halfway through my senior year. I had oral surgery to remove 4 impacted wisdom teeth. I spent my 18th birthday in pain and eating soft food. My mom stuck a candle in some yogurt for me.

I lived at home through college. My parents were more than happy for me to live with them during that time. I didn’t pay rent, but I did pay for everything else, including picking up groceries from time to time. Oh, and shuttling my little brother around.

I turned 18 during my freshman year in college. I was in the dorms. But after that I moved into an apartment and I never lived at home again.


I moved out when I was 16, joined the airforce at 17 and turned 18 at CFB Borden during my trades training. I celebrated by drinking 18 shots slurs If you’re old enough to serve you’re old enough to be served passes out

But oh the joys of youth, I was tired the next day but no other ill effects.

My departure from home wasn’t forced, I was actually pretty happy living with Dad it was the result of two stubborn people and one stupid argument. A friend of mine (and the daughter of a friend of his) had recently dropped out of high school and when we were discussing it I said “Aren’t you glad I’m smart enough to not do that?” and he responded “Yes but if I wasn’t paying the bills you wouldn’t be”. At which point I was honour bound to prove him wrong. And I did. Worked nights at a gas station, split an apartment with my cousin and dropped my grades from honour roll to barely passing but I did pass and I did finish. A semester early even.

Something of a similar experience without the animosity. It was just understood that you left around that age. People now living with their parents in their 20s and 30s… what the hell?

Even in the worst financial circumstances I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that.

Comfortable or not, you might have to do it if the alternative is homeless and starving. It happens.

I turned 18 a couple of weeks into my college career. I probably spent the day in class. Later birthdays were more interesting. I tell everyone it’s not necessary to buy me stuff for my birthday, but a few years later a friend’s roommate took umbrage at that, and informed me that if I didn’t tell her what I wanted she was going to buy me a giant pink lawn flamingo at Wal-Mart.

I think that was the year after my birthday was on a weekday, and I showed up at my Japanese class the next afternoon looking so haggard that we got a short lesson on the words for “drinking”, “booze”, “drunk”, “vomiting” and “hangover” from the instructor. :smiley:

My 18th birthday was in the summer between graduation high school and starting college, so I still lived at home. My half-brother and I got stoned and saw *Top Gun *in the theater. Good times.

I honestly don’t remember what I did on my 18th birthday. I was away from home as a college freshman when I turned eighteen.

On my 18th birthday the space shuttle Challenger blew up. That’s my main memory.