est. 21/09/2019

Message to Readers

writing this when I have an exam tmr .-.

going to try and hit 18 likes for pure fun
btw, guys, if anyone is willing to dish out a review here, I would absolutely appreciate it
and, I'll do one back for you if you'd like! :)

update: love y'all <3

18 [and if I'm actually an adult yet]

October 18, 2021

PROMPT: [Insert Age]

Normally, in most countries, being 18 crosses the second threshold of independence, besides being 16. It's the year you get to move out, live alone, go to college etc.

But being eighteen means a completely different thing in Singapore.

It means, you're taking GCE 'A' levels this year (if you're in Junior College). It means you get to drink, it means you get to vote, it means you get to drive. It also means you're not in a university, not in a job, and still living with your parents (which will most likely last until we're 35 here). But for all biologically male persons in Singapore, it means your time is coming for the ever-dreaded National Service.

Now, I'm not biologically male, so the little red dot doesn't believe in dragging me to train in the army, peppered with a lurking, stereotypical, possibility of death...but I found this all so ironic.

Here we are, allowed to engage in activities adults do, voting, drinking, driving, and even literally training to be a soldier for two years. Yet, we are strongly prevented from living on our own. It's almost like tearing the adult card, giving us half, promising we'll get the other half 17 year later.

Officially, Singapore states that unless you are married, or at least 35 years of age, you aren't allowed to own a HDB (Housing Development Board) flat---a set of houses subsidised by the government. Thus, these houses tend to be a ton cheaper than the other condominium buildings and landed properties---which are, remarkably high in price, because of land shortage in Singapore. So, long story short---35, married, or no HDB flat.

Combine that with falling marriage rates in the country, and you get more and more people living with their parents until 35.

I'm not seeking to tear down this whole idea that living with your parents is a horrid thing to do. It does, in fact, align with a key value in most of our cultures, filial piety. So, many Singaporeans don't really see a big issue with living with your parents a couple more decades, if it means you get to take care of them.

Besides, what's the hurry if our nanny state isn't rushing us?

All I'm saying is, as a person who saw 13 year old Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service live away from her parents, it shocked me to realise I may not be doing that until 35. (Or, unless I convince them to let me stay in a University dorm next year.)

So, this really got me thinking.

Does the country think we are not mature enough? Not out of adolescence yet? Where do they draw the line on that? 35? 18? 21? In between?

And anyway, does it matter what stage of growth the country believes we are at?

Because, being an adult, psychologically, is an extremely relative thing. It doesn't have a specific definition (besides the biological one), or a specific number to it.

And sure, it is natural for people to fall back on actions to qualify a person an adult. Like say, buying a house, getting a job, getting a credit card, learning to drive...and a horde of other things we don't do as kids.

But, think about this---all judgements aside.

If a wealthy child as young as 12, owns a house, has a credit card, knows the basic mechanics or driving a car, are they an adult?

Many people might decide he isn't, because he's not even hit puberty yet, or, because he has not done a ton of other things...some involving euphemisms, or, he still behaves like a kid.

So, I present another case.

A person in mid 30s who hasn't earned their driver's licence, haven't got a job, still grappling with academics and living with their parents.

Are they an adult?

Most people tend to give ambiguous answers, because this person hasn't gained any sense of responsibility, and yet is fully grown by nature.

Hence, the day I hit 18, I came to realise one thing. The process of becoming an adult is a unique and personal one. All biological definitions aisde, there is no concrete explanation to what it means to feel like a grown up.

That, has to be determined by yourself.


See History
  • October 18, 2021 - 1:05am (Now Viewing)

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  • Dakota_Lyn

    RE: I love that! would you like me to let you know when i write it?

    3 months ago

    Also - this is a wonderful piece. Wording is great, the idea is great, and I'd never heard of this before so it was new to me. Definitely about to go down a rabbit hole and try to learn more about this...

    4 months ago

    8/10! Not bad XD

    4 months ago
  • rosie_

    Woah- the message, the tone, the word choices... this is amazing

    4 months ago
  • Written_In_Water

    wow this is excellent - you make a load of super interesting points

    4 months ago
  • Mineyo

    I love the message you put out here for everyone! so powerful!!

    4 months ago
  • nervousbibliophile

    re: thx for feedback :) (also yes, surrealism is so great)

    4 months ago
  • Stone of Jade

    oh wow i never knew any of this!! this is a strong message which is very well written. well done! that last line is so perfect

    4 months ago
  • nervousbibliophile

    the message in this is powerful! totally following u

    4 months ago