18 Things To Do When You Turn 18 (By a 20 Year Old)

things to do when you turn 18

Congratulations on becoming an adult! Want some practical life advice? Here are 18 things to do when you turn 18!

Being of legal age comes with a lot of fun perks, but also a lot of responsibilities. You should feel excited, eager, and motivated to start your journey as an adult.

Hopefully you’ll understand what values are truly important when you turn 18 after reading through this.

Let’s dive in!

Buy a Lottery Ticket

You finally have the ability to join the lottery!

Although it’s not advised to spend all your money on lottery tickets every day, buying just 1 ticket on your 18th birthday is a satisfying feeling.


Voting comes with a lot of power and can be very important depending on what you care about and where you live.

If you don’t care about voting for president, you can still vote for things like the school board to make change in education.

Open a Credit Card

Opening a credit card is extremely important! Get one as fast as you can.

However, a credit card is a huge responsibility and should be treated as a tool to build your credit. Don’t spend more than you can afford.

In fact, I advise only spending less than 10% of your available credit card balance and paying it off in full every month.

Credit may not seem important right now, but it will be sooner than you know it. Use it responsibly!

Related Post: 10 College Dorm Essentials Every Guy Needs

Open a Bank Account

Chances are, your parents have already created and chosen the best national bank for you.

When you turn 18, not all banks transfer over that account in your name. Make sure that the bank account becomes yours, and yours only.

Having a checking and savings account with your bank is an important step in becoming financially literate and learning how to budget.

Start Investing

If you have the money to do so, investing is a great way to start growing your wealth!

Opening a Roth IRA is an excellent choice for you if you’re currently employed and would like to save money for retirement.

The younger you start investing, the more time your money will have to grow in the market and expand your wealth.

If you know absolutely nothing about investing, start learning now. I recommend using the Acorns app for investing because it invests your money for you without having to do any research into stocks.

Related Post: How to Get Started Investing as a Teenager

Apply for Higher Qualifying Jobs

Before the age of 18, finding a job is quite difficult. Especially finding a job that actually pays well or that you can manage on your own time.

Once you’re of legal age, you’re in the same pool as everyone else for finding a job. Take advantage of this and apply for better jobs.

You can also sign up for food delivery services or reapply to places that you’ve always wanted to work at as a teenager.

The point is, you could probably be doing better in terms of making more money.

Register for Selective Service

Attention all men!

If you are a male that has recently turned 18, you must register for selective service. This is essentially the registration for the military.

Registering for selective service does in no way mean that you have just been drafted to the army. It is just a requirement for males to fill out in the case of emergencies.

You can register for selective service here.

Failing to do so may result in a fine of up to $250,000 or 5 years in jail. It’s best to just register real quick and get it over with to avoid that mess.

Keep Hold of Your Personal Documents

This is one of the most crucial things to do when you turn 18!

Ask your parents to give you the following items:

  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Identification
  • Insurance Cards/Docs
  • Bank Checks
  • Visa Documents

These things listed above should be in your possession. Especially before you go off to college.

Just make sure you store all of them in a very secure place where you can remember to retrieve them as needed.

Invest in Yourself

You’re an adult now. You have responsibilities.

One of your largest responsibilities is taking care of… yourself!

Skin care, hygiene, getting in fitness, and educating yourself constantly are just a few of the things you should start looking out for if you aren’t already.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so make time to focus on them.

At the end of the day, you’re only going to be happy once you are fully comfortable with who you are as a person.

Related Post: How to Get Clear Skin for Teenage Guys

There are plenty of ways to donate or contribute to society as an adult.

You can donate to whoever you want and it doesn’t just have to be with money. Donating blood is another option for you to help out those in need.

Volunteering is another noteworthy option for you if you don’t want to donate money or blood, but want to help out in a physical manner.

Learn About Life’s Basics

Sadly, high school or college doesn’t teach you these important things in life:

  • Finance
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Relationships
  • Cooking
  • Etc

It is your duty, as an 18 year old, to learn about these things on your own. Trust me, you’ll be so happy you did.

Most new adults won’t take action and do this, so you’ll be ahead of everyone else if you learn these by yourself.

Resources such as books, Youtube, and even talking to other adults is a great way to get started in learning. Always learn… always educate yourself. Even past college.

Consider Community College

Being in high school makes you focused on 1 thing after graduation… college.

That’s the goal, right? Well, not for everyone.

Going to community college will save you or your parents tons of money in the first 2 years of education. Here are a few more benefits of community college:

  • Classes are cheap/free
  • Avoid paying rent
  • More freedom to work on yourself
  • Stay near friends in your town
  • Get used to college before the real headaches

There are plenty of benefits for going to community college. Just consider it as an option, because a 4 year university can be a big mess in the beginning.

Related Post: 15 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting College

Be Kind to Everyone You Encounter

As an adult, you have the responsibility to be a good person. You should always strive towards that goal.

Whenever you meet someone new, focus on being kind to them. You can go a long way with kindness by your side.

Greet people with a smile, speak respectfully, don’t make assumptions, and be yourself. You never know who you can run into and the opportunities that may arise from being a good person around them.


Traveling the world will open your eyes to a new environment that you’ve never experienced before.

Being so young comes with the exploration phase of life. Understanding different cultures, trying new foods, learning a country’s history, and more can help you see a different side of things.

Travel is ultimately knowledge. The experience you receive from traveling doesn’t compare to many other experiences.

It’s your duty as an adult to explore the beautiful world that Earth has given us and seeing the amazing things that people have done with it.

Fix Bad Habits

Fixing bad habits will be easier when you’re young. Work on them now!

Bad hygiene, laziness, lack of fitness, or a poor sleep schedule are all examples of bad habits that can be easily worked on.

You should also strive to create new habits. It takes around 3 weeks to develop a new habit or break an old one.

All you have to do is stick through with something for 21 days and… poof! You’re a new person.

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Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

At 18 years old, this might seem impossible. Especially if you’re an introvert.

You need to understand that you only get one life on this Earth and you should do what you can to make the most of it!

Go on dates, new adventures, and try everything you’ve always wanted to try (aside from drugs and alcohol).

Doing so will help you overcome fears, learn more about yourself, and experience new things.

Remove Negative People From Your Life

Whether that’s a friend, family member, relationship, or job, you should work on removing negativity.

Negative people and environments only bring us down. If you avoid that, you’ll be on your journey to a more positive outlook on life.

Some of these negative influences may have hindered you from expressing yourself, being independent, or improving your work ethic.

Find new people that share the same interests as you while also being positive people. Trust me, there are people like this in the world, even if you haven’t found them yet.

Related Post: 7 Ways to Avoid Negativity 

Start Finding Happiness

At the end of the day, we all just want to feel the same exact emotion… happiness.

It’s what keeps us going. It’s what keeps us motivated and excited to stay alive.

You are just now starting your journey at 18 to find that happiness. All I ask, is that you remember that this is the end goal.

Do whatever it takes to get to that point in life. If you’re already happy, then do whatever it takes to stay that way.

Just remember that knowledge, experience, and work ethic will actually get you there. Good luck!


Hopefully those 18 things to do when you turn 18 provided you with enough insight to start off your adulthood the right way!

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions leave them down below. Thanks for reading!

  1. I am really looking forward to share with you all when I turn 18 years old and I know this will help because it helped me while reading through it so I guess it has been helpful to me already.

  2. thank you so much
    I’m 17 now so I’m very stressed about when I’m 18 because I’m so depressed ,and want a change . I have so much work to do in my self . reading this give motive, and thank you

  3. Hi Laureen,

    I understand where you’re coming from and I’m glad to hear that you want to change. That’s always the first step! Write out your goals (how you want to change and what you need to do) and achieve them one by one. You got this!😁

  4. Hello, I’m 17 and going to be turning 18 in the coming months and wanted to say how amazing I thought this article was. It helps a ton to kind of give us the stepping stones in the right direction. Thank you so much!

  5. Hey Cody,

    I’m so humbled by your compliments on the article! It means the world. The fact that you’re already looking up these kinds of things at 17 shows me that you’re taking a massive step in the right direction. Keep it up dude!

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