The day has come, or more importantly the night has come- your 21st birthday celebration. The Facebook event has been made and all the ugly Snapchat photos you have ever taken have resurfaced on the Internet. Your parents have warned you about all the bad things that alcohol can do to your body, but you are officially legal – nothing is stopping you now. Find out how students celebrated their big 2-1 to help you plan accordingly.
1. Like them sober, love them drunk
“Your 21st birthday should be celebrated with people you like when you are sober and love when you are drunk. And if its not celebrated with those people, at least you will be too drunk to remember it anyway.” –Gabriel Sykes, graduated from the University of Miami in 2012
Wise words – so make sure to take plenty of pictures so you can look back and see all the crazy shit you don’t remember happening.
2. Check it off
“Make a bucket list of 21 things to do that you’d only accomplish with your closest friends on that special night.” –Melanie Rubin graduated from University of Miami graduate program in 2014
Bucket lists are the best type of to-do lists, so why not make one for your birthday? Make sure you check everything off because if not, you’ll just have to celebrate again. From getting 21 people to buy you drinks, getting carded and finally showing your real id, to dancing with a hottie you just met, this list can be as creative as you want.
3. Project X- 21st birthday edition
“My 21st birthday was literally like a scene out of the movies.” –Alex Boven, senior at Florida State University
Whether it’s Project X or another movie glorifying drinking to no end, make sure your birthday defies all expectations.
4. Help me, I forgot everything
“My 21st celebration was the best night that I will never remember.” – Josh Hytner, senior at Florida State University
As the famous friendship quote goes, “to the nights we won’t remember with the friends we will never forget.” This is the one night where it’s acceptable to forget everything, so take advantage.
5. Keep the drinks coming
“My favorite part of my 21st birthday was the free drinks everyone bought me. Take advantage because you’ll soon realize going out frequently is quite an expense.” –Chelsea Leighton, senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
College is expensive and going out and buying drinks just adds even more of a burden. Food, living, and (once you turn 21) alcohol are the prime necessities.
6. CELEBRATE OTHERS MORE
“I think I actually preferred celebrating other people’s 21sts to my own. At one of them my friend’s dad dropped us off at the bars and was the best chauffeur,” –Allison Smith graduated from University of Richmond in 2011
Sometimes the excitement leading up to your own 21st may make it not as exciting as expected. While you celebrate others, you can still have a fun night and make sure your friend has a great night as well. It’s really the best of both worlds.
7. BRING ALL YOUR FRIENDS
“21st sign nights are always special but what made mine even better was my best friends from high school who came from FSU/UCF to celebrate with me.” – Tandy Tiramai, senior at the University of Florida
Every school does 21 differently. Some students host “waltzes” for their newly legal friends where everyone dresses up according to a theme that represents the birthday person. Others celebrate with “sign nights” in which the person’s closest friends create a sign for you to tote around town. With a huge poster around you, everyone at the bars will know it’s your special day.
8. 21 MEANT NOTHING
“Turning 21 was no big deal because we became legal at 18. When I turned 21, I was in the infirmary with the chicken pox.” – Susan Heidt, personal trainer at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.
People had it easy back in the day when the drinking age was 18, so when they turned 21 they were just kicking it back and relaxing, or if you were unlucky, in the hospital.
9. KEEPING IT CLASSY
“The only thing I remember about my 21st birthday is throwing up on the drive thru wall of McDonalds while the car was moving. It was a class act.” –Laurel Kauffman, graduated from the University of Miami in 2012
I don’t know about you, but vomiting is definitely not a way that I hope to celebrate my 21st. Since you know you are going to be drinking a lot make sure to eat plenty and keep drinking water. Keep the 21st celebration as classy as possible, you are an adult now after all.
10. PASS GO AND COLLECT…SHOTS
“Your 21st birthday is your one free pass in life to get completely shit-faced and no one can judge you for it. Also, if you remember the night, you did it wrong.” – Sophie Bacha, graduated from the University of Georgia in 2013
No one can judge you on your celebration because if they do, they suck. Do what you want to do and in the morning you can go back to your normal life, just hope you don’t get the “go to jail” card.
For more on 21st birthdays, check out 21 Ways to Celebrate Your 21st.
*College Magazine does not promote underage drinking. Please drink responsibly.