They had their cake and ate it too
The jig is up
Does anyone ever think it quite funny how age and privilege are paired in this country? I sure do. In fact, the whole shebang seems quite fishy after looking into it. As a senior, we're all looking forward to turning 18, or have turned 18 and are curious as to what we can actually do once we get there. The simple answer is: not a whole lot. But young adults need to realize, that's not entirely the case.
Here's a list of the most popular things (according to common knowledge) you can do once you're 18:
Pretty interesting how we can go to jail, get a credit card, enlist in the army for God's sake as well as vote for the leader of the free world-but God help us if we want a bottle of Mike's Hard Lemonade. I mean, what in the world? If you want to prohibit young people from taking part in activities that are potentially dangerous, that's alright. Alcohol is certainly dangerous, as is marijuana and such. But then why in the world can we purchase cigarettes - which are worse than the latter item? Why is it that we can purchase vaporizers and other nicotine products? Oh, right, because of the $$$. Always. But the tobacco industry took major hits since then, so, why hasn't the law been changed if we're aware of how the lobbyists behave for these companies? Because young people purchasing these products still continues to aid the economy.
The subject of alcohol interests me most, to be frank. Because this is a product that inhibits your mind, true, but so are other products that you can buy at 18 and still be addicted to or harmed by. American conservatism has a long history where drinking is concerned, the most known example of this being the Prohibition. But as we saw with those times, the complete banning and illegalization of a product only leads to a higher demand thanks to the resulting scarcity.
Teens and young adults are to the drinking age as speakeasies were to the Prohibition. It's harder to find a college party without some type of alcohol than a party with some. Why in the world can 18,19, and 20 year old adults in the legal term not partake in alcohol consumption? What exactly changes between 20 and 21 that suddenly renders one's judgement to be significantly better?
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) forced the minimum drinking age in all states to rise definitively to 21, and it did save over 17,000 lives since 1988. But as I said, the scarcity of legal access to alcohol resulted in widespread misuse among American college campuses - most commonly in the form of binge drinking. Rather than educating young people on how to consume alcohol safely, we banned it - and of course, it wasn't met with compliance. And In my opinion, it shouldn't be. The 17,000 lives saved over decades and decades pale in comparison to the annual 1,700 deaths, 599,000 injuries, and 97,000 cases of sexual assault among college students.
But don't worry, America.
We're just old enough to die for our country, be financially crippled by student loan debt, attacked by aggressive credit card marketing, and partake in cancer-stick-inhalation. It's apparently all good here.
But don't you dare touch that champagne - you're old enough for jail, too.
18, Freshman Finance major at Howard University in Washington DC. Can't wait to go to Law school though!