Lots of birthday milestones are celebrated in childhood, such as one’s first birthday, one’s 10th birthday (double figures), 13th birthday (teenager, at last), sweet 16th birthday, and of course the 18th birthday, which legally marks one’s crossing into adulthood. So, the 18th birthday is the first childhood milestone that’s also an adult birthday milestone, but what others are there for people in Australia? What do these milestones typically denote?
Celebrating one’s 18th birthday is of course important in Australia and in many other countries around the world because it is the legal age of majority. In other words, it’s the age when you become a legal adult under the law. In more celebratory terms, it’s also a time when you gain the rights to purchase alcohol and tobacco products for yourself legally.
If the 18th birthday is the age of adulthood, why do so many people still pay as much, if not more attention to the 21st birthday? If you’re in Victoria, you might look into 21st birthday party function rooms for hire in Melbourne so you can have a big blowout with family and friends, but what’s the significance?
While not the legal age of adulthood, many still view turning 21 as a more traditional move to adulthood and maturity. It’s the age at which many people complete their bachelor’s degree, and so they’re college graduates and moving into the world of work and independent living. The traditional gift on one’s 21st birthday is a key to the house, symbolising your new freedom to come and go whenever you want.
The 30th is a birthday that most 20-somethings dread for years until they finally celebrate it. When you’re in your 20s, turning 30 is a sign of “getting old,” but very quickly that view changes to being a sign of maturing and entering some of the best years of life. When you hit 30, you’re suddenly a more credible adult, more mature and having gained some wisdom and experience. On the other hand, you’re still plenty young enough to enjoy an active social life!
They do say that life begins at 40, and in the modern age that’s certainly true. Where 40 used to be the gateway to middle age, it’s now the final decade of one’s “younger” life where there’s still much to enjoy, but where one also has more money thanks to advancing well in their chosen career up to this point.
Turning 50 is another dreaded milestone for some, but more and more people now see 50 as another positive time in life where one’s career or business aspirations are maturing, they are reaping the rewards of a working life, and beginning to plan what they might do in their later years. Their kids are growing up, and they’re typically starting on a more stable and happy life with friends and family.
The 60th birthday milestone is a big crossroads for many people as it sees them make key decisions as to what they’ll do in their golden years. Turning 60 is symbolic of one’s working life starting to draw to a close, retirement drawing near, and the need for ideas for what to do with an empty nest at home, and potentially 20+ more years of great life still ahead.
Why Do People Even Care?
Naturally, these so-called milestones are also just numbers, and there’s no reason for us to feel so governed or controlled by what they mean. However, milestone birthdays remain important to us as important times for reflection. They allow us to take stock of where we are in life, and what we want to do moving forward. As our longevity seems to improve, it seems that hitting the 70th and 80th milestones may become as normal as hitting 60 years old was all that time ago.
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