© 2023 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

18 in the Bay

Jiro Bevis for Matter

Turning 18 is a big deal. You can rent an apartment, you can get a tattoo, you can vote. Perhaps most importantly, you're legally recognized as an adult.

You might remember that moment yourself, but almost everything else about being that age is changing fast, even in the past few years. So what’s it actually like to be 18 right now?

This spring, KALW's Ninna Gaensler-Debs teamed up with a class of high school seniors in the Bay Area and Matter -- the flagship magazine on Medium.com -- to answer that question. Over the course of several weeks, students shared stories about where they grew up, how they navigate high school, their struggles, fears, hopes and dreams, and the experiences that have shaped who they are today.

On Monday, we heard from a student who struggled with depression during high school - and the event that helped him to start to heal:

On Tuesday, we heard how a high school party changed the course of this student’s life - and also from a young woman who is learning what it means to be a feminist:


On Wednesday, one student told us about her passion for karate, and how it’s helped her deal with the hardships in her life.


On Thursday, we heard from a student who shares her journey of graduating high school and attending college as an undocumented immigrant.


Note: Some of the subject matter in these pieces is sensitive in nature. We've refrained from using the students’ names in order to protect their privacy.

Find more stories and student work from the series "18 in the Bay" here.

Crosscurrents KALW archivesEducation