21

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I am officially 21 years old! My birthday was May 17th, and I celebrated with some of my best friends. I wanted to write a post about my birthday because I think a lot of people were expecting it to be some sort of crazy—excuse my language—shit show. In fact, it’s almost a given.

The entire week leading up to my birthday, I was getting calls and texts from friends, distant and close, asking me what my plans were. The funny thing was, all the conversations ended in “can’t wait to get you drunk!” or “you’ll be so blackout, it’ll be great!”, and my personal favorite- “Don’t worry, I’ve got extra ponytails for when you puke!”

Don’t get me wrong- I love my friends. But, really? Now I know they would never let anything truly bad happen to me, but going into the night with those sort of expectations… Well, it made me a little weary.

Anyways, I am proud to say I did not blackout on my 21st birthday ..and I also…. wait for it…. was *gasp* coherent at the end of the night! But, the whole thing got me thinking, why is 21 such a big deal?

A lot of people like to pass off the whole issue as an age thing: “Well, if we could drink at 18 like in Europe, it wouldn’t be such a big deal.” No. That’s just not true.

At least not in the college town I reside in. There is no such thing as a casual drink, there is getting “wasted”, “trashed”, or “blackout”. Again, not saying everyone is like this, but it does seem to be the trend.

So, why is 21 such a big deal? I think it is because instead of getting arrested or making yourself sick or blacking out for no reason with possible consequences, it’s suddenly acceptable, in fact, it’s what you’re supposed to do. It’s the only right of passage that matters. Don’t have a story like that for your 21st? Well, you just didn’t do it right…

The picture above was taken on my birthday. I was holding the second drink for a friend while she used the restroom and I decided to get silly with the straws. Later, I uploaded the picture to my Instagram account and it got close to 90 likes. 90 “thumbs-up” for getting drunk. That just goes to show what it means to be #21 and what others expect of you once you are.

I want to end this post by saying- I love my friends and I love a good drink. But, drinking to get drunk is what 21 had planned for me, and it just wasn’t meant to be!

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