Twenty-one. A lot of experiences and moments and favorite memories of mine revolve around this number. My favorite band, twenty one pilots. 21, the card game. That one vine with that little kid saying 21. Twenty-one means a lot of different things to different people, but on the whole most people hear it and think of tequila. You’re finally able to walk into bars, get some drinks and get legally sloshed. As kids, we’re trained to have a huge project x style party for our 21st birthday with cake and clubs and music and most importantly: alcohol.
On the May 12, I turned 21. I ordered my first legal drink at midnight at the local Smokey Bones, drank two sips of bourbon, and then immediately gave the rest of it to a friend.
I have mixed feelings about alcohol. I’ve seen what it can do to people. It’s claimed more than one of my friends’ life. We all know we shouldn’t drink and drive–it’s illegal for a reason–yet it’s one of the leading causes of death here in the U.S. I’m not saying i don’t drink , or that I’m against everyone ever drinking again. I do drink. I was raised in a hispanic household where family members would slip you some aguardiente when you were fifteen. I just think that society has glorified alcohol so much that we’ve reached the point of only drinking because it seems the thing to do at social gatherings.
I wish that alcohol wasn’t something that we just did because that’s what 21-year-olds do. I think that there’s so much more to life than getting wasted. Drinking socially and drinking for pain is something i’ve witnessed on multiple occasions, and 9 / 10 someone will end up drunk or passed out. Babysitting your drunk friends can be fun the first couple times, but do you really want to be the sloppy friend that is throwing up at IHOP at 3 a.m.? That just isn’t a good time for me anymore. I hope your 21st birthday is full of shots, whether off a camera or at a bar.