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Turning 16: Is It Important?

Ella Wachtel
For many people, a sixteenth birthday is a day to throw a large celebration. But not everyone may believe in throwing a large party in order to celebrate a sixteen year old.

Since the 1970s, sweet 16s have been extremely popular, but is turning 16 as big of a deal as people make it out to be?

The years before turning sixteen create a lot of excitement around a 16th birthday. Sweet 16s come with huge parties, grand entrances, potentially a new car, and a lot of excitement. These are huge events for turning 16 but what about turning 16 is truly that exciting that a party as big as a Sweet 16 is needed?

“I’m excited to turn 16 because I will be able to drive, and I get to have a sweet 16,” said freshman Annais Mandel, who will be turning 16 on Oct. 30, 2024. 

It’s clear that there is a lot of hype around sweet 16 from people who are turning 16, but from people who have already turned 16, it seems to be the opposite.

“Turning 16 is just turning another year older,” said sophomore Kensley Harrison, who turned 16 on Dec. 13, 2023. 

The biggest reason that turning 16 isn’t that important is because there are no large milestones that come from turning 16. When you turn 18, you are legally an adult. When you are 21, you can legally drink. When you turn 16, the only new thing you can do is drive. This is a milestone, but being a large one is debatable.

Turning 16 is sort of a middle ground. You’re not becoming a teenager like you are when you turn 13, and you’re not becoming an adult like you are when you turn 18. Turning 16 is simply boring and irrelevant. It’s a stage in your life where you aren’t a child but you also aren’t an adult. The importance of turning 16 can vary depending on the person. 

Some cultures and beliefs have more milestones that come with turning 16 than others do, which would create a good reason for having a big sweet 16. It’s up to each individual to decide.

Overall, turning 16 seems to lack the importance that many people give it. There’s not much to be excited about, except being one year closer to having to deal with adult issues, and really, how fun is that?

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Ella Wachtel, Photographer
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