We've all been there. It's your 21st birthday, you're pre-gaming with 8 of your closest friends, waiting to go out. It's 9:30, but the best time to go to the bar isn't until after 10. You go, you party your ass off until closing time, order the only pizza that is still open at 3 a.m. and call it a night. You can do this up to four times per week if you want (and you do).
Flash forward a few years... phew, if you're out past 11, you start checking the time every 10 minutes. If you don't go home and have a few glasses of water, you're fucked tomorrow. And you have to cut the lawn, which makes your hangover twice as bad.
With that, here are the 5 ways that going out drinking changes as you reach your mid-20s.
1. You have to mentally plan around drinking
Remember when your friends would spontaneously suggest last minute that you put off your homework and hit up a bar? You contemplate this for a moment and decide, sure! Of course, shots of fireball prevail over your intro to statistics homework, that's a no-brainer.
Once you hit 25, those days are gone. You'll need to mentally prepare and fully plan at least a day in advance.
Text me the day of, asking me if I want to go out tonight? Pff! I had pizza for lunch, my stomach is not equipped for tequila. Besides, I'm already hanging out with my cats.
2. If you don't eat right, forget it
The day that you go out drinking is an important one, like an NFL quarterback preparing for a game. You can't just show up unprepared for a night out of drinking because if you do, the alcohol is gonna blitz. You'll end up on the ground thinking, "What the hell just happened?"
There is no more important preparation than getting your diet right for the night you go out. Early in the morning, you'll want some carbs, so you have the energy to make it a long night. Perhaps a small bowl of oatmeal. For lunch, some light protein, such as tuna, or maybe a salad with some chicken in it. WARNING: Stay away from anything acidic or fatty.
3. You'd rather drink at home
You would rather sip on a glass of wine and watch “Stranger Things" than you would listen to some kind of blaring new song from Soulja Boy, or whatever the kids are listening to nowadays. At first, you think this is lame, but then you begin to gradually accept your lack of FOMO.
4. You begin to appreciate wine
Remember jager bombs? Lmao. Hit 25 and forget that shit. I have a lovely glass of room temperature Cabernet Sauvignon with your name on it, and if you concentrate while you're sipping, you'll really get that oak flavor.
Bar crawls turn into wine tastings, complete with crackers, cheese, and an afternoon of dissecting different types of grape vines.
5. Weddings are the exception to the rule
Once you hit your mid twenties, people around you just start getting married. It'll start gradually around the time you're 23, but by the time you're 28, you'll know every song that the venue is gonna play ("to the right, to the right, to the right, to the right...").
This is where all bets are off. There's an open bar, everybody is wearing fucking suits, you're eating little skewers of lamb, your normal boring life is something in the distant future. You party with strangers and bond over your similar taste in movies. You throw back tequila without regard for your incoming hangover. You dance, full well knowing you look like a jackass. 90s music has never sounded better. You feel young again.
I can't stress enough how much weddings just kick ass. You will see married couples that haven't left the confides of their living room but once a year just absolutely tearing it up on the dance floor. By tearing it up, I mean showcasing their best dad moves, but nobody cares, so go ahead and move those shoulders around unrhythmically, Gregory! You earned it!
The day after weddings suck, because it's back to real life, but for 8 hours, you have your superpowers back. All it takes is an open bar, some 90s music, a kickass DJ, and a fancy 4-course meal.
Outside of that, be ready to be old and boring, but embrace it. Drinking a beer by yourself in your living room while you're watching football kicks ass. Just make sure you have a glass of water after.