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The United States of America is not defined by a certain race, ethnicity, or religion. America is a country that is defined by its citizens liberty, freedoms, and equality for all. Being a naturally born citizen or an immigrant in the United States gives you ample opportunities for success. Every day American individuals are offered “The American Dream” along with new opportunities to help them grow. As a United States of America citizen, you have both duties and responsibilities. Some responsibilities include voting, participating in your local community, being informed on issues happening around you, and more.
Duties of American people are paying taxes, serving jury duty if you are chosen, and defending the country if needed.
As an 18-year-old male adult you must sign up for the draft in case America goes to war with another country. In America 18-year-olds are not forced by the government to join the military after high school. Instead, 18-year-olds have the right to decide on their own if they want to enlist full time into one of the branches, or take a different path in life.
Being 18 years old and a recent high school graduate, you start to realize all the different opportunities there are throughout the world. These amazing opportunities vary from person to person as everyone’s interests are different. After high school graduation a considerable amount of people make the decision to go straight to college.
As one study showed, “In October 2017, 66.7 percent of 2017 high school graduates age 16 to 24 were enrolled in colleges or universities”.
Some people may also decide to go to trade school as an alternative to college. Trade school can be defined as, “a specialized educational institution that allows you to pursue a course of technical education related to a specific skilled vocation” . This is an option for some individuals because it is usually cheaper than college and, “In addition to providing a course of study that dispenses with extras like electives and liberal arts studies, trade schools tend to offer hands-on training and even pathways to apprenticeship”.
Other high school graduates may prefer to take a year off from their educational experience. “Many teenagers in other countries wait a year after high school before heading to college”. To many people this year is known as a gap year and can be very beneficial because it allows for people to take time and get their decisions together. In Denmark, Norway, and Turkey taking a gap year is very common. Within this gap year graduates can travel, work in order to save money, or do something else they desire. “For most students, gap year experiences have an impact on their choice of academic major and career – either setting them on a different path than before a gap year or confirming their direction”.
Due to the different benefits of these three paths people may take after graduation, America is doing a great job by not forcing 18-year-olds to join the military and allowing them to decide on their own what they want their lives to look like. Once American citizens turn 18 years old, they are legally an adult to the federal government. Therefore, more decisions and responsibilities come with aging and being considered a grown up. As an 18-year-old you have the right to decide if you would like to join the military. It is up to you if you are ready to take on a huge commitment or chose another purpose in life.
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