Perks of Being 21: Beyond the Blunt and Booze

Turning 21 is America’s rite-of-passage. When my time came, I hopped in a SUV with my cousins to Las Vegas. As a December baby, the rest of my friends were still underaged, but I was the first to experience bloating from Fat Tuesday, losing $60 from three rounds of Black Jack, getting ID’d for playing slot machines in the casinos, and the pain on my ankles after an hour of dancing in heels in the club. Everything felt like a classic 21 dream as I ended the night ordering myself a Cosmo like Carrie Bradshaw. But beyond the gambling, smoking and drinking, the age represents much more than adult fun and games.

 

Getting Treated Like An Adult

There really is something magical about that transition to 21. Handing your ID to the bouncers to prove that you're worthy enough to go behind the closed doors of the “Adults Only” zone opens new adventures. Besides that, even my relatives have been treating me like an adult, like asking beyond the school questions to more professionally oriented ones.

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Escape from Reality

Besides being treated like an adult, being 21 also gives you a chance to let go of the stress and worry of real life. Since 21 usually means third year in college, you're still able to let loose and enjoy life before commiting yourself to a 9-5. You can enjoy your time with your friends at a rave or the 21+ club, or you can just enjoy a nice brunch on a late Sunday morning because you probably won’t have the time to soak up the sun later on in life!

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The age of possibilities

21 is a state of liminality. It's the first step to being adult, even much bigger than 18. While there are many legal perks of being 21, you're still trying to figure out your career, your love life, your friendships, your academic life, and so much more as you transition into adulthood. This age gives you multiple possibilities as you can fully explore each avenue. But, most importantly, enjoy your youth!

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