Everyone knows that turning 18 is a big milestone in the U.S. In addition to being legally an adult, you are entitled to do several things that are restricted while you are a minor. Some of the obvious ones include being able to vote, buy a lottery ticket, purchase porn, or get cigarettes. But it’s the more obscure rights and privileges that are associated with turning 18 that are really interesting. How many of these are you going to do on your 18th birthday?
1. Change your name – You can legally change your name while you’re a minor as long as you have a parent or guardian present, but you may find your parents aren’t too amendable to you abandoning the name they chose for you and going with something else. Once you reach legal adulthood, however, feel free to head to your local civil court and petition the judge to let your change you name. Just remember that there are still a few rules. You can’t change your name to something with fraudulent intent (i.e. assuming the same name as a celebrity), and your new name can’t contain any obscenities.
2. Pawn something – Maybe you want some extra cash but your birthday money hasn’t come in yet. Or maybe you just want to feel like one of TV’s Pawn Stars. Regardless, you can’t legally pawn something until you turn 18. Take advantage of your new age by getting a small loan at a pawn shop—something you won’t have to pay a lot of interest on—and enjoy the feeling of power associated with walking into the shop with an item of minor value and walking out with cash. Just don’t forget to buy your item back after a few days.
3. Get a Costco membership – Joining a warehouse club is just sensible shopping as long as you can afford the membership. Being a member Costco or Sam’s Club gives you access to great prices simply by buying in bulk. What many people don’t realize, however, is that these stores don’t only sell name brands, but they also carry their own store brands of many types of products. Stock up on a year’s supply of generic over-the-counter medications, for instance, for a fraction of what you would pay for the name brand at a typical retailer. The same is true of other toiletries and foods as well.
4. Buy something from an infomercial – If you listen to the fine print being quickly read by the announcer at the end of every infomercial on TV, you will be familiar with the line “must be 18 or older to call.” Therefore, when you are legally an adult, why not celebrate by buying a Wonder Mop, Shake Weight, or whatever other new and exciting product you are enticed by on an infomercial. You will be much more likely to have success with your purchase if you have also opened a checking account and obtained a debit card when you turned 18.
5. Be on Jerry Springer – You might not actually want to follow through with this ability even once it has been granted, but you can legally be on The Jerry Springer Show when you turn 18. If you want to confront your ex-boyfriend or the ex-best-friend he cheated on you with, you will have to wait until you (and the others) are of age. Be prepared to tell your story to the crowd, and be aware that the guests on the show don’t actually get paid. You will get your round-trip airfare to Chicago and your hotel room paid for, but you should definitely be ready for the whole situation to get a little out of hand.