The Ups and Downs of Turning Twenty-Fun

All new things are bright and shiny at first; that brand-new boyfriend and those killer Steve Madden booties. Until that brand-new boyfriend quits calling and those booties experience bar tar for the first time. Don’t get me wrong, turning 21 is an experience you’ll never forget (or remember), but most people who are new to the drinking age can agree there are ups and downs to the milestone.

Pro: Your favorite activity is now legal

Finally! No more running into a cornfield in heels or crouching in a stranger’s closet to avoid a minor. You can drink wherever, whenever, with whomever, and without the risk of a nasty fine.

Con: Some of the excitement is taken away

Is it just me? Or are those so fun house parties just not so fun anymore. You're no more than a few years older than the rest of the people there, but all of a sudden you feel like you should be playing chess in the retirement home. Of course nobody wants to get slapped with a minor on a Friday night, but you can’t deny the excitement of getting away with something forbidden.

Pro: Going to the Bars

The beauty of the bars is that they are a guaranteed party. There’s no need to text your friends asking “How’s is it?” or “Should I come to that frat?” to see if it’s worth finding a sober cab. The bars are a sure-fire way to get where people are drinking and dance music is playing.

Con: You are now the “freshman” at the bar

As a freshman it always seemed like a good idea to walk into a random person’s house party, until you realize you are the youngest person there and hardly know a soul. If you’re one of the first in your friend group to turn 21 you get a similar feeling going to the bar. It’s not quite as bad, but you are the rookie of the bar and getting a drink isn’t like it is in the movies. Lifting a finger won’t cut it; I suggest a body slam.

Pros: Going to the liquor store

We’ve all dreamt of the moment we get to go into the liquor store and purchase our favorite drink. Dreams come true at 21. Finally, no more hoping your friend gets the right flavor or brand. There’s a whole world of alcohol out there for you to explore.

Con: Alcohol is expensive

If you’re a regular drinker you probably know the average price of a bottle of vodka or a case of beer. Those prices don’t change, but the availability does. Now that you have free-range in the liquor store you are 100x more likely to impulsively buy wine that’s in a cat shaped bottle or 12 mini shots. Oh, and if you’re on a tight budget, forget the bars. That vodka soda can range from three to five bucks, and unless you’re blessed with a low tolerance that adds up fast.

Con: The awkward “I’m 21 and you’re not so…”

Unless you’re the last one of your friends to turn 21, you’ve probably experienced having to tell your roommate or buddy that no, you don’t want to go to a trap house downtown, you’re going to the bars. And if you do decide to check out that house party and it’s lame, you’re secretly in the corner planning the best time to ditch and head downtown. It’s not your fault you were born a few months earlier, but it’s always an uncomfortable situation.

I don’t think you’ll ever hear someone say, “Man I wish I was underage” because there are a lot of pros to turning twenty-fun. There are some downfalls that no one realizes exist until they turn a fresh 21, but don't let them take away from such an awesome experience. Just remember to drink responsibly and have fun, this only lasts a year!