Turning 21 is an experience, and I wanted to share my experiences with you.

1. Drinking isn't that fun.

Drinking out is only fun for the first couple of months. When I turned 21, all I wanted to do was go out with my friends who were old enough to go out with me and just drink. The month of my birthday I got drunk and had a horrible hangover three different times throughout the month. It got to the point where my mom told me I had a drinking problem, and I wasn't even 21 for a month yet.

2. Jealousy.

Your younger friends feel jealous of you being older. I am older than most of my close friends, so when I turned 21 I had to go to people I don't regularly talk to, to go out with me. My close friends would be jealous of the fun times I would have without them and be counting down the months and days until we could go out together.

3. Going out is expensive.

Going out to drink is expensive. I knew from hanging out with my parents at bars over the years of how expensive bar drinks are, but until it was my turn paying for them I had no idea how ridiculously priced they can be. One simple drink can cost upwards of ten dollars and I could make it myself buying the supplies at a grocery store for five to seven dollars and be able to make way more than just one drink. Not to mention the places that have cover charges just so you can enter the bar. It got to the point where I just bought alcohol and just took it home to drink.

4. Adulthood becomes real.

You feel more like an adult. Although you legally become an adult at age 18, I didn't feel that adult until I turned 21. Something about being able to legally buy alcohol just gave me more maturity I guess. I also became more aware that now that I was drinking more I needed to be more cautious about not drinking and driving. I'm a broke college student who can't afford a DUI legally or financially.

5. Your parents become your best friends.

Your parents might be your favorite drinking buddies. I am very lucky that both of my parents are OK with me drinking and normally will drink with me. I can honestly say I have probably gone out more times with my mom to a bar than any of my friends. We have different preferences for drinks, but we just enjoy each other's company and so it's fun going out for a night.

6. You don't have to buy alcohol just because you can.

Being able to legally drink and buy alcohol doesn't mean you need to. There were several times when I was thinking about having a drink just cause and then I looked at my bank account and thought never mind. Other times I would realize I still had a bunch of homework to do that was more important. I realized that sometimes I had more important things going on that made booze come last or not at all on the list of importance.

7. Drunk you is not sober you.

You are not the same person you are while intoxicated. If you know anything about alcohol or other substances it's the fact that people are not the same after they consume it. They might become aggressive, or really emotional, or just more outgoing than they normally are. I found out I am the goofy and laugh at everything kind of person. I will also dance any time there is music playing. But I also found out which of my friends are the emotional people and which are the aggressive people. I don't drink with the aggressive people anymore.

8. You expand your drinking palate.

You figure out your preference of what to drink. Before I turned 21 I rarely drank, and if I did it was a margarita or a glass of rose. I very rarely ventured outside of those two drinks. When I turned 21 I tried a little bit of everything and found out more drinks that I liked and several that I could pass on.

9. Partying is not for anyone 21 and older.

I was getting really close to graduating college and I just now started partying. I never was a party person when I was younger. I was the DD if anything. I started hanging out at parties right after graduating high school, but drinking at parties didn't start until I was older. I realized quickly that my party crowd was younger than me and I felt like the mom in too many situations trying to make sure people didn't drink too much and were able to safely get home. I was 21 and felt about 40.

10. Screw fashion.

I didn't need to follow the newest fashion trends and was still called stylish from time to time. I more prefer to go against the grain and just do what I want rather than conform to the new trends of my age bracket. I love hand-me-downs and shop more resale stores than any other stores. There are several reasons I love resale stores: they help the environment by not need ing to use new material to create clothes, it might be out of trend clothes but they have a story, and they are definitely cheaper than retail stores.

11. You find true friends.

Getting rid of toxic people from your life is important to stay in a positive state of mind. My first semester at ASU was right before I turned 21 and I quickly realized that the friends that I had from community college and the few I still talked to from high school, we're not going to keep in touch as much as they used to now that I was farther away at university. I began to realize how I really did not want to take the effort to still be in contact with them. I really began to think about who I wanted to hang out with and make the time for. I started, I hate to say it, but easily weeding out who my true friends were and would hang out with me no matter the distance.

12. You test your limits.

Turning 21 was a year of me seeing how much I could get away with. I would see how much I would drink before I got drunk. I would see how many guys I could talk to at a bar. I would see if I could get away with bringing alcohol into an environment where I was not supposed to. I tried to see how much haggling I could do to get the cheapest price on things. I tried seeing how little sleep I could get and still be well functioning the next morning, surprisingly, I function well off of only two hours. I also tried to see how much sleep I could get in one day: eighteen hours, and I do not recommend it.

13. Tattoos, tattoos, tattoos.

I realized I was eventually going to be a heavily tattooed woman (sorry mom and dad). At the age of 21, I got my fourth tattoo during a Friday the Thirteenth special. It's the initials "BXB" that represents the first letter of the first names of my mom, brother, and dad respectively. However as I was waiting in line looking at the various pages of tattoos that I was supposed to choose from, I came across an interesting stencil of a cat. I almost got it as a representation of my cat Fluffy but decided that might be my next tattoo or one of his paw print. Anyways, there are a lot of things I would still like to be permanently inked on my body. It's just the matter of where and finding the money to pay for it.

14. Losing a pet sucks..

August 24, 2018, my baby boy Fluffy passed away from a blood clot that burst. He was the first ever pet that I had outside of fish. He wasn't even four years old yet. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to keep him for a full cat lifespan. He had a heart murmur, and he stopped having full mobility in his back legs right after turning two and a half. We made sure he had the best life for as long as it lasted. It was the saddest day of my life watching him die in front of me. I don't know why we allow ourselves to go through that, but here I am wanting another cat.

15. Traveling without your parents is awesome.

I went on a study abroad trip to Italy for three weeks. I stayed with some of the best people. I ate some of the best food. And I didn't have to worry one bit of whether or not my parents would OK the decisions I was making. I was in a completely different country and could relatively do what I wanted as long as I participated in the school required activities and wasn't too much of a handful to take care of. In short, I took literally the term "you only live once" (YOLO). And that's all I'm going to say about that.

16. Drag Shows are for everyone.

You should go to a drag show. I had the pleasure of photographing one of my friends from high school as he was getting ready for a drag show. All I have to say is "WOW." The time and creativity that goes into getting into drag was amazing. Once we went to the show, it was an experience, to say the least. It was definitely something on my bucket list that I happily crossed off.