10 Things That Will Inevitably Happen to You When You Turn 21

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If you’ve already turned 21, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And, if you’re approaching the legal drinking age, well, my friend, you haven’t yet tasted the f-r-e-e-d-o-m that comes along with it. But, you will. And, it will be awesome—minus a few teeny-tiny setbacks.

We know turning 21 will make you a bit more broke and definitely more lazy… so let the adventurer collection do the traveling and decorating for you:

the adventurer collection

Turning 21 seems super exciting…until it actually happens.

1. Everyone will start referring to you as “an adult.”

By any modern-day standards, this is a complete and total joke. You’ve probably already driven a car, voted, worked a job, studied at a university or college, paid your own rent, dated around, and maybe – just maybe, you’ve tasted an alcoholic beverage, which would qualify you as an adult in most countries. And if you haven’t, well just get ready, because celebrating your 21st birthday has a funny way of sending you straight into adulthood.

2. You’ll also feel pretty cool, confidently showing your I.D.

Plus, you can yell, “I’ll call the cops!” whenever a doorman accuses you of using a fake. Just kidding, I’ve never done that. But, I have seen it happen on more than one occasion.

3. You can also count on being completely and totally broke.

Mainly because, for the first few weeks of being 21, you will consistently forget that you can buy drinks wherever and whenever you want. It will be a pleasant surprise every time you enter the supermarket and haphazardly grab your favorite drink on the way to the check-out. You will completely disregard how much said drink costs when compared with your college-job hourly wage.

4. You’ll end up buying a round…

…for the guys – even when you are not … a guy. Just because you can. Yep, that’s the problem when a majority of your friends are dudes and they have zero manners. You, being the fun-loving person you are, will end up offering to buy everyone drinks. As a new 21-year-old, you’re all about having a good time, despite any acceptable social norms.

5. You’ll become obsessed with the idea of ordering a giant fishbowl.

Then you’ll sip it with all of your friends and sipping it until the wee hours of the morning. Just a quick FYI in case you didn’t know: fishbowls are typically made from vodka or rum and mixed in a giant fishbowl with some kind of sugary mixer goodness. Basically, it’s every girl’s dream. However, as strongly as I feel about fishbowls and their ability to grant instant happiness, I would advise against getting too emotionally invested in your fishbowl dreams and aspirations. Your classier, hipster friends will trump you once the conversation turns to pale ales and away from your fishbowl fantasies.

6. You’ll start realizing all the times you couldn’t order a drink.

And you’ll take full advantage. In an airport. On a plane. At brunch. You’ll find yourself spenfing even more money at pricey concerts like Beyonce and Jay-Z. But, drinking those $9 and $10 Bud Lights while watching the most powerful couple in the world perform, was worth it, right?! Totally.

7. You’ll start to feel bad for your friends who are only 20… and a half.

“Being 21 isn’t that big of a deal! It’s all about convenience!” you’ll say to soothe any pre-21st sadness. However, once they turn 21, all coddling will transition into, “See? I told you! Being 21 is awesome!”

8. You’ll begin begging your friends to come drink with you.

Drinking wine alone, on a weeknight, while watching Orange is the New Black is not cool. After a few months of impulsively purchasing each and every bottle of wine that costs $10 or less, you now have a pretty impressive collection sitting unopened in your dorm room.

9. The gym will become a much bigger priority.

Unfortunately, the saying “You booze, you lose” isn’t always the case when it comes to your weight. Alcoholic beverages tend to be high in calories, but they can also cause your body’s digestive system to slow down in terms of burning fat and sugar. One tip for avoiding 21st birthday weight gain? Rotate your beverage of choice with soda water and lime in order to stay hydrated and eliminate some of those calories.

10. You’ll realize turning 21 isn’t the peak of your twenties.

The most important thing to remember about your 21st is that turning 21 doesn’t have to be the pinnacle of your adult life and it shouldn’t be. Heck, you still have a majority of your twenties left to do whatever you want. Run a marathon, land your dream job, travel to 21 countries or just burn off those extra couple of pounds you likely gained … following your 21st birthday.

Now that you’re prepared for the inevitable, we’ve mapped out 21 ways to celebrate your 21st birthday.

Treat yo’self to some dorm decor so turning 21 doesn’t seem so bad.

hang in there tapestry

kitty cone duvet

Check out even more awesome college stuff in our shop!

*Updated August 14, 2016 with amazing college products and links to get them.

Sophomore > News-Editorial Journalism > University of Illinois

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