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21 Things To Do on Your 21st Birthday

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


You’ve been waiting for this day for what seems like forever and now it’s finally here. Your Twenty. First. Birthday. Year after year, your birthday proves to be the greatest holiday known to man you and this year should be no different. Except, this birthday will trump all other birthday celebrations. It’s a time for you to reflect on 21 years filled with crazy memories, uncontrollable laughter and immeasurable amounts of fun while looking forward to being a mature, fully-functioning member of society. But first, you must complete the ultimate checklist guaranteed to make this night unforgettable.


  1. Pop champagne- Start the evening off right by popping a bottle of champagne. I guarantee it won’t look nearly as extravagant as they make it look in the Great Gatsby but hey, it’s your 21st and it’s worth a try.


  1. Make a toast- You have 21 amazing years under your belt with the best friends and family you could’ve asked for. Here’s to many more anniversaries of your 21st birthday to come!
  2. Take a shot without using your hands- It’s the perfect time to showcase your highly advanced skills.
  3. Take a shotski- Grab your closest friends and do the closest thing to exercise for the day- “skiing.” Gotta squeeze in that workout after all that cake, right?


  1. Collect 21 dollar bills throughout the course of the night- Ask random strangers for singles. You’ll be able to buy something special for yourself on your birthday later! Or you could use it to buy drunchies for the night. Priorities.
  2. Make a drink behind the bar– Create a custom drink at your favorite bar featuring a mix of your favorite flavors. Be sure to give it a clever name because who knows, it could be world-famous someday. With that in mind, don’t even think about using cheap alcohol. You have to at least make people think you’re classy. Say goodbye to the days of freshmen (…and maybe sophomore…and junior) year when you would drink Burnett’s from the bottle because you didn’t know any better. 
  3. Have someone take a body shot off of you- That’s right, birthday girl. Get on the bar. Now.
  4. Convince someone you know them even though you’ve never met before- Pretend that you went to high school with them or something and get a picture with your “friend” that you’ve missed so much. You’ve been doing weird shenanigans for 21 years, why stop now?
  5. Find a way to get from one bar to the other without walking or cabbing there- You can get a piggy-back ride, find a rickshaw, ride in a horse and carriage, bring a wheelbarrow, limo…


  1. Have the whole bar sing you ‘Happy Birthday’- I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of people realizing they don’t know your name during the “Happy birthday dear_____” part.
  2. Get someone (sort of) famous to autograph you- It could be the quarterback of your school’s football team or maybe a Campus Cutie. The possibilities are endless!
  3. Use a pickup line to get a random person’s number (bonus points if they’re hot)- If you need some inspiration…Unlike Congress I’d approve of you by midnight #GovernmentShutdownPickupLines
  4.  Start a conga line- Or have everyone twerk like Miley Cyrus, do the Cat Daddy, Dougie, Macarena, your choice.


  1. Convince someone you’re from a different country- Fake an Australian or British accent. Bloody ell it’s my birthday!
  2. Chug for 21 seconds- This may or may not require a two-story beer bong. Plan accordingly.
  3. Give someone a single rose and pretend like you’re on the bachelorette- Will you accept this rose?


  1. Do karaoke- No birthday would be complete without belting out your favorite song. Today’s the only day of the year when you can sing songs like 2 Chain’s “Birthday Song” or Rihanna’s “Birthday Cake” so take advantage.
  2. Use the men’s restroom- Beware of cooties, though.  
  3. Find a birthday twin- What better way to share your excitement with someone else who’s celebrating the same special day? Make sure to get a cute pic that puts even Mary Kate and Ashley to shame.


  1. Get a birthday kiss- Since you’re celebrating being a year older, shouldn’t this also be considered a New Year’s kiss? Deep thoughts.
  2. Get a picture of being ID’d for the first time legally!!- YAY! YOU SURVIVED YOUR UNDERAGE YEARS!  


And if your one of the lucky ones celebrating your birthday in the Fall…


Madison's very own Gossip Girl. HCXO 
Becca Bahrke is a junior at the University of Wisconsin- Madison majoring in Retailing and minoring in Entrepreneurship and Gender & Women Studies. Becca is currently the CC/EIC of Her Campus- Wisconsin, and will continue writing news. Becca's primary hobby is blogging on her tumblr http://beccahasnothingtowear.tumblr.com