What can you do at 16?

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Turning 16 can be an exciting and pivotal moment in a young person’s life. It marks the transition from childhood to adolescence and brings new opportunities and responsibilities. But what can you actually do at 16? In this post, we’ll explore the various activities and rights that become available to teenagers once they reach this milestone age.

What can you do at 16?


One of the most common activities that teenagers can do at 16 is to start working. While there are some restrictions on the number of hours they can work and the type of jobs they can do, 16-year-olds can find employment in a variety of industries. Some popular options include retail, food service, and babysitting. Working can provide valuable experience and teach young people important skills such as time management, customer service, and financial responsibility.

However, it’s important to note that work can also be a significant source of stress and exhaustion, particularly for students who are also juggling schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Employers are required to adhere to certain labor laws and regulations to protect young workers, but it’s still important for teenagers and their parents to carefully consider the potential impact of a job on their overall well-being.


Another major milestone that often comes with turning 16 is the ability to obtain a driver’s license. While the specific requirements for obtaining a license may vary depending on the state or country, many places allow 16-year-olds to start driving with a learner’s permit. This allows them to practice driving with a licensed adult in the car before taking the final driving test.

Driving can be a liberating experience and provide greater independence for teenagers. However, it also comes with significant responsibilities and risks. Car accidents are a leading cause of death among young people, and inexperienced drivers are at a higher risk of getting into accidents. It’s important for young drivers to receive proper training and guidance, and for parents to establish clear rules and expectations around driving.


In some countries, 16-year-olds are also eligible to vote in certain elections. This is the case in places like Austria, Brazil, and Scotland, where the voting age has been lowered to 16 for some or all types of elections. Giving teenagers the right to vote can help to engage them in the political process and encourage them to become more active citizens.

However, not everyone believes that 16-year-olds should have the right to vote. Critics argue that young people may not have the maturity or life experience to make informed decisions, and that their views may be easily swayed by peer pressure or other factors. This is a contentious issue that continues to be debated in many countries around the world.


For teenagers who are looking to make a positive impact in their communities, volunteering can be a rewarding and fulfilling option. Many organizations and non-profits rely on volunteers to help with a variety of tasks, from working at a soup kitchen to cleaning up local parks. Volunteering can also be a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, and gain valuable experience.

Some schools and colleges also require students to complete a certain number of volunteer hours as part of their graduation requirements. This can be a good opportunity for teenagers to explore different interests and causes and to develop a sense of social responsibility.

Joining the Military

In some countries, teenagers as young as 16 can join the military with parental consent. While this can provide a sense of purpose and adventure for some young people, it also comes with significant risks and challenges. Military service can be physically and emotionally demanding, and it requires a high level of discipline and responsibility.

It’s important for teenagers and their families to carefully consider the potential impact of military service on their lives and futures. Joining the military is a major commitment that can have long

term consequences, both positive and negative. Prospective recruits should carefully research the different branches of the military and consider the benefits and drawbacks of military service before making a decision.


For many teenagers, turning 16 also means having more opportunities to travel. They may be able to apply for a passport or travel without their parents for the first time. Traveling can be a great way to broaden horizons, experience different cultures, and gain new perspectives. It can also be a lot of fun and a chance to create lasting memories.

However, traveling can also be expensive and time-consuming. It’s important for teenagers to carefully plan their trips and to consider factors such as safety, language barriers, and cultural differences. They should also be aware of the potential risks of traveling alone or with friends, and take appropriate precautions to stay safe.

Pursuing Hobbies and Interests

Turning 16 can also be a time for teenagers to explore their interests and passions. They may have more free time and resources to pursue hobbies such as music, art, sports, or writing. Pursuing a hobby can be a great way to develop new skills, express creativity, and build self-confidence.

However, it’s important for teenagers to strike a balance between pursuing their interests and other responsibilities such as schoolwork and social obligations. They should also be mindful of the potential costs of pursuing certain hobbies and consider alternative options such as joining a club or group.

Starting a Business

For teenagers with an entrepreneurial spirit, turning 16 can be an opportunity to start their own business. This may involve selling products online, providing services such as lawn care or tutoring, or starting a small business with friends. Starting a business can provide valuable experience in areas such as marketing, finance, and customer service.

However, starting a business also comes with risks and challenges. Teenagers may need to invest money upfront, deal with legal and regulatory issues, and navigate the competitive marketplace. It’s important for teenagers and their parents to carefully consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of starting a business before making a decision.


Turning 16 can be an exciting and transformative time for teenagers. They may have access to new opportunities and experiences that can help shape their future. Whether it’s working, driving, voting, volunteering, traveling, pursuing hobbies, joining the military, or starting a business, there are many options available for teenagers at this age. However, it’s important for them and their parents to carefully consider the potential benefits and risks of each activity, and to make informed decisions based on their individual goals and circumstances.

What can you do at 16?
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