You hear all about the long wait for everyone's 21st birthday. They can finally buy drinks legally. They can go to a bar and order without the fear of their ID being taken away. 21 means twenty-fun, right?
I took this on as a challenge for myself. My 21st birthday was a few days ago and I made the intentional decision beforehand that I was not going to get drunk. (Crazy, right?) I just wanted to go to dinner with some close friends and enjoy each other's company. I would order my first drink, flash that ID, and carry on with my night. Believe it or not, that is exactly what I did. You hear a lot about people saying they're only going to have a few drinks and end up being walked out because their friends kept buying them shots. News flash, you are allowed to say no! If your goal is to be present while still "having fun," put a limit on the drinks you take and stick with it. It is not impossible. I've heard people say, "Well they just kept buying me shots, what am I supposed to do? Say no?" Yes! If you want to walk out of that club while still knowing where your phone and purse is, you can say no. It doesn't make you a buzzkill, it's actually admirable. Be your own person and don't let anyone dictate what you do. If you had real friends, they wouldn't try to force something on you that you didn't want.
Waking up the next morning without a hangover or any embarrassment for what I did that night was pretty awesome. It felt great if I had to be honest. I was able to hang out with my close friends, get a few drinks, and allow myself to be present with everyone there to celebrate with me. If I had to go back, I wouldn't change a thing. I would not take any of it back. I honestly think that it beats getting wasted just because you're expected to since you're "finally 21." Enjoy your 21st birthday how you want to, but know that if getting wasted isn't what you want, know you don't have. You have a choice and you can choose to stick with it. I promise you that will make you much happier in the long run than those drinks will in the moment!