Legal age of minority

Columns

21 is the new adulthood as 18 is just a legal term

By Elizabeth Casella, Managing Editor

Within the United States the legal age that adulthood is  forced on the youth of the nation and thrust them into a new chapter of life is 18. New opportunities such as being able to be drafted  into the military or legally being able to sign up to join the service are opened up and create a new sense of responsibility. Owning a house or apartment  is allowed and parental approval is no longer needed. The world now trusts that one knows how to be an adult and is ready to begin their own independent life, but does so in an ironic way that does not actually unlock all things. Society still does not allow a full legal adult to experience some major events. Drinking, renting a car, or even simply staying in a hotel room  are all off limits.

It is virtually impossible to rent a hotel room within the United States if under the age of 21. According to Hotwire.com, hotels require the primary guest to be 18 years of age on the day of check in, but many make the minimum age 21 instead. Hotels are privately owned companies that have a right to set their own age limits on who they offer their services too, but not allowing an 18 year old to rent a room is pretty ridiculous. Hotels that offer both bars and casinos pose a problem to those that not the legal age of 21. Most hotels are chains or simple sleep ins for people to pass through for the night. However, hotels are frequently used as places to stay  while on vacation,  and this age limit excludes a significant part of the population from participating in taking a simple trip out of town. According to Quora.com hotels that require the age limit of 21 to check in is due to a mini bar being offered in rooms which can be saw as  a hazard with underage guests or use liability clauses as an excuse.

Over Spring break my friend and I wanted to take a trip to Grand Rapids. Upon arrival to check in I was denied access due to my age of 18. The hotel required that any occupants be accompanied by a 21 year old that must be in the room at all times with anyone underage due to liability and their owners preference of serving only older demographics. This was not posted anywhere on their website or their franchise owner’s policies. Calling the hotel did not help either, as I was not told this until I was being thrown out the door.

Simple adjustments before guests of the age of 18 arrive can be made such as clearing out the mini bar in the fridge so there is no alcohol access and tightening liability clauses, if necessary. Even those over the age of 21 can destroy property and become irresponsible at any time. Places need to accommodate to the legal age of adulthood due to many young adults now leaving home early and becoming more independent earlier in life.