My Experience and Tips for Turning 21

Many college students wait for the day when they can legally drink and are able to have a carefree bar experience with their friends. My 21st birthday was everything I hoped for and more. Here are some of my favorite memories for the night and tips for how I survived through it. Enjoy this picture of my 21st birthday cake!

On December 22nd of 2018, I finally turned 21. I had past drinking experience but was never someone to go out or party often. I was very nervous about how the night would end for me. There was a lot of build up to the day, as my parents were tired of purchasing alcohol for me, and I was tired of having to leave bars early, even when I was with my parents. When the 21st of December came, at 11:55 my parents and I went to a local bar where I had my first legal drink at midnight, which was a margarita! This was a great first legal drink because I was with my favorite people and it was nothing crazy. It also allowed me to get a good night’s sleep, which was necessary because I knew the next day was going to be crazy.

I woke up on my birthday and went to get a Hawkeye tattoo with my mom (LOL). After the tattoos, my family and I went to a Mexican restaurant so we could enjoy some margaritas. We had some tequila shots as well as margaritas - my go-to-drink. After that, I got all dolled up and ready to go out with some friends. Around 8 o’clock my friends and I began our bar crawl where we went to a variety of bars downtown. At around 1 o’clock, I called my Uber (who was just my neighbor) and got some McDonalds. I then went home and crashed on my couch. It was such a fun day and I was so happy that I paced myself out throughout the day so I wasn't too hungover in the morning.

A fun thing I did, was I purchased personalized tattoos from Etsy that I handed out to my friends, as a way for others to identify that we were together as a party. I also had a crown and a sash, which I thought would make me self-conscious with all of the attention, but the more I drank the more the insecurities went away and I just lived my best 21-year-old life.

Here are three tips for turning 21:

  1. Surround yourself with friends who will have fun and be drama free, but who are also responsible. Make sure that you are with people who are willing to be there for you if things go south.
  2. Do not mix different types of alcohol. Pick beer and stick to it or pick hard liquor, then go through with that. If you mix your liquors, the night could end up rough and all your time may be spent in the restroom. 
  3. Relax and do not care what others think about you. Remember that it is your birthday and you can do what you want to because it is your day to hang out with your friends and enjoy yourself.

Overall I had a great experience on my 21st and I love that my family and friends made it such an enjoyable day for me.

Image Credit: Cover Photo