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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

About two weeks ago, I celebrated what may be the most exciting birthday for most people: the big 21. Now normally I don’t do much for my birthday; I may go to dinner with some friends or family, or have a movie or game night, but I wanted this birthday to be different. I have been trying to step out of my comfort zone a bit this past year, and so I wanted to make this birthday memorable and do the “classic college things.” By this, I mean get ready with friends, pre-game, and go to the bar, specifically Ted’s at UConn.

To start my birthday weekend off right, my boyfriend came to celebrate with me which was a huge gift for my birthday! The day of, I got some errands done at the grocery store and hit the liquor store to stock up for the night. After this, we hit the movies at the Mansfield Movie Plex to see The Creator. After the movie, it was time to head back home and get ready for the night ahead! I’m not one to normally wear “going out” clothes or put makeup on, but you can bet I did that night! Then, my friends and I decided to go to Ted’s to get stamped early because we weren’t sure how busy it would be later. I know there are a few different ways to go about getting into Ted’s, whether it be getting stamped early as we did, getting line leap for later on, or just waiting in line to get in. However, I did like getting there early to get stamped and then coming back so there wasn’t any rushing or stress.

After this, it was time for dinner! I feel like a birthday dinner with the people you love most is a classic and at UConn, I truly believe the best place to have this dinner is Chuck’s Steakhouse and Margarita Grill. My group and I ended up sitting in our own little room (the Silo) at Chuck’s which we were lucky to get! My recommendations for a great drink to start your 21st would be any one of the margaritas, but I chose the frozen pomegranate one to start and finished with a regular mango margarita. One of my best friends got the frozen rose-arita and this one was by far the best. We had the classic chips and salsa, Mexican food for dinner, and of course, enjoyed the drinks and each other’s company. For any birthday, not just your 21st, I think Chuck’s has some of the best food and the best atmosphere for the celebration!

After dinner, everyone came back to my house and we took some pictures, ate cake, and had some more drinks before going to the bar. If you plan to have a few drinks, I highly recommend drinking what you want before going to the bar to save money. A pack of drinks at the store is almost equivalent to the cost of one drink at the bar, so pregaming can save lots of money! Also, while I ended up having a few different things, I wouldn’t recommend mixing alcohol and sticking to one type for the night! My favorite pregame drinks would be Mike’s Hard Lemonades, Truly’s, or High Noons.

At about 10 p.m., we decided it was time to head back to Ted’s and gratefully, two of my roommates decided to be the designated drivers for the night, so we didn’t need to Uber. Once we got there, I was surprised there still weren’t many people there, but this gave us the chance to get our drinks without having to wait in line. Also, I was able to get the bionic beaver shirt from the bartender because it was my birthday! The only catch is you have to buy a beaver to get the shirt, so I decided on the pink beaver (which I’ve heard is the best) and it was really good, but I found one was enough! There was a DJ at Ted’s that night, so my friends and I all went out to the tent area for the rest of the night to dance and sing and it was perfect! I definitely didn’t realize how packed the bar would get by the end of the night, but it was fun to be surrounded by my favorite people and to have complete strangers wishing me a happy birthday everywhere I turned. While I know going to the bar isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, this type of day was the perfect way to celebrate my 21st at UConn!

Maggie Brand

U Conn '24

Maggie is a senior at the University of Connecticut majoring in diagnostic genetic studies. She is very interested in learning about the growing field of genetics and especially, genetic counseling. Following graduation at UConn, she hopes to pursue a career as a prenatal genetic counselor. Outside of school, she loves to workout at the gym, watch new movies, and stay caught up on her favorite sports: football, soccer, and hockey.