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           The big 2-1. Unlimited access to clubs and bars.  Glasses of wine with dinner and fancy, pink drinks with friends.  Permanent access to the grown-up table at Thanksgiving.
          Even though I’m not a drinker, I had high expectations for my twenty-first birthday.  Maybe because I live in a city that requires a horizontal ID to get in anywhere from concerts to comedy clubs, or maybe because I have a weird maturity complex (I hate feeling stupid or young), but, for whatever reason, I was dying to have access to a world of big kids and fun times I’ve felt left out from for years.   
          And so naturally, because I was both looking forward to something and hopelessly cynical, I was sure that my birthday couldn’t live up to all of my wild expectations.  (Birthdays are usually like New Years or your Bat Mitzvah: a lot of hype for a party that just stresses you out and lets you down.)  
         But I’m happy to report that, although my actual birthday was nice, albeit unspectacular, being a legal adult is everything I expected. 
         I can go (almost) anywhere in New York, and now there’s nothing I love more than a strict bouncer at a crowded bar.  To all you almost legal adults, you really should get psyched for the big 2-1…I’ll buy you a drink!

Rachel Peck is a senior at Barnard College, Class of 2012, where she is majoring in English and Theatre and minoring in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Although she admits to actually enjoying high school in her hometown of Bexley, OH, her favorite thing to do is explore her new--slightly more exciting--home, New York City. When she isn't watching good (and bad...) TV, finding excuses to plan dinner with friends, window shopping, or napping, Rachel enjoys working for the Barnard admissions office, serving on her sorority's various boards, and writing for whoever will read it.  You can also follow her on Twitter (@peckrachel) if you're into that.
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