English II Accelerated Period 2
9 December 2013
Every little girl or boy has dreams to become a “big girl” or “big boy”. When the time comes and reality strikes to become that “big girl” or “big boy”, many people are not ready to assume the new responsibilities. In America, we have age limits to everything; when one turns sixteen it is a rite-of-passage as one can receive a license to drive, eighteen is when one becomes a legal adult and can begin voting, at twenty-one, one can drink alcohol. These laws to have certain rights and responsibilities, due to this age bars are significant and relevant. Everyone grows and matures at a different pace and there is not a fixed age where you can do a certain thing. For example, the law says one can learn to drive at the age of sixteen; every person cannot handle driving a car at that age, so the age of responsibility can vary. Scientists have discovered that many parts of the brain are not fully formed until the age of twenty-five (Greenblatt). The societal exposure that kids get are also highly varied and depend on many socio-economic factors. This makes relevant the question that the ages set for laws depends largely on the person, but laws cannot have an open range of ages, for this reason laws should be revised. Everyone does not grow at the same pace and the law should be able to recognize the age of responsibility for certain rights. As adolescents grow older many responsibilities have to be faced. The responsible age when voting, driving with full rights, and drinking alcohol should be twenty-one.
I realize that eighteen is an age decided by the law to vote. At this age many people have learned about the government and have educated themselves with prior knowledge about the political process in America. At eighteen many people have graduated or are about to graduate high school and ready to embark on to college studies. However many students do not have any more than a basic knowledge about the serious societal issues or the representatives that they will be electing with their important right to vote. Many eighteen year olds pick whichever option sounds “good” to them rather than watching the news and enlightening and engaging themselves with the issues and candidates and the relevance of their vote. This shows the lack of responsibility and the ignorance of these freshly graduated people and how they are not ready to vote at such a young age. Therefore the law should increase the voting age from eighteen to twenty-one. Also, an eighteen year olds brain is far more under-developed compared to the brain of someone in their twenties (West). When one turns eighteen they are like a freshly picked apple, they are new; they don’t know what is going on, as they are just about to experience what life is. Whereas an apple that is at a store (sorted, arranges, polished, branded) is like a twenty-one year old, the apple has experienced a little bit of reality and meaning of life, and has the ability to make decisions. Similarly a twenty-one year old has experienced a little bit of college or practical work experience and the extra years of work or academic experience has exposed them to the many realities and shades of life and allowed them to think independently on complex issues. When voting a lot of teens make very ignorant decisions. Many people just follow the government’s propaganda and usually vote for whichever one has the largest emotional impact on them (Grasso). During major elections the candidates usually puts out a lot of advertisements and propaganda to catch people’s attention. Since many teenagers are naïve to this process, they just choose whichever one “looks” the best at surface, without reasoning through the ramifications of their decisions. Twenty-one year olds can be immature, but they have gone through college and a little bit of adulthood and have had many opportunities to face complex life situations and made