Old Enough to Die But Not to Drink


By: Sydney Holloway

Adulthood comes with many responsibilities.  For most individuals under 21 it includes voting, paying bills, opening a bank account, and, for a large faction, it means living on their own for the first time. So, it’s not difficult to see how these responsibilities leave young adults scratching their heads when asked the tough question of what qualifies a person as a responsible adult capable of making sound decisions in America today.  

The saying, “age is nothing but a number” never rang truer than to our young troops serving our country all over the world willing to give their lives for liberty and justice, yet at the age of 18, 19 or 20 they can’t even celebrate a victory with an alcoholic beverage.  Young men and women have been entrusted to operate million-dollar aircrafts, helicopter, and tanks. They’ve also been instructed to carry automatic firearms and use their best judgment when to use them to kill our enemies in pursuit of liberty; and still that judgment is belittled when it comes to the consumption of alcohol. There is an intrinsic problem with this way of thinking that frankly is insulting and deeply hurtful. 

“Rah, Rah…Let’s go team” was the chant of tens of thousands jammed into arenas around the country in support of their favorites hardcourt teams in this years maddening March madness tournament. Of those thousands, many were students.  The strictly enforced nationwide law of a 21-year old legal drinking age restricted underaged students from enjoying an ice-cold beer being sold within the very walls of the very institution they helped pay to build and maintain. Words like bright and innovative are often used in conjunction with these young adults that are forging new roads for all to traverse. These same students who made the responsible decision to attend college in order to give themselves the best opportunity for a successful and prosperous future are somehow deemed too dumb to drink responsibly. 

According to Big Future college boards, the average cost to attend a private four-year institution is nearly $130,000. Most would agree this is an incredible amount of money to invest at any age not to mention an 18 to 20-year-old young adult. But the real insult comes when the definition of adult comes completely blurred. In most states the legal driving age is 16, an adult fare at the movies starts at 12, but that same child must be accompanied by an 18-year-old real adult to see a rated R movie.  

Confused? Good.   

The constitution is by far one of the greatest documents ever written and every single day young adults put their lives on the line to defend it.  Therefore, serious questions need to be asked of our law makers regarding the declaration of a clear and universal definition of what constitutes a “real” adult in America today.  Chew on this and try not to choke, a two-day ticket with admission for one of Disney’s main theme parks cost $197.00 for (Ages 3-9) and the “adult fare” is $209.00 for (Ages 10+).  Yes, that right, even Mickey Mouse considers a 10-year-old an adult.  

The most egregious are the airlines. If you are over 2 years old and take a seat, you’re an adult.  There is no wonder that our youth are on the fast track to adulthood and the glory days of bike riding and playing with dolls may be lost forever.