Turning 21, or whatever age is the legal drinking age where you live, is a big milestone in most people's lives. It can become hard to navigate this new 'territory' and many of us learn our lessons the hard way. Here are my top 10 tips for newly 'turned' legal drinkers!
Always bring the bottle of wine with you
Whether you're in the living room, tub, or anywhere else in your or your friend's home, always have the bottle handy. You're more than likely to decide you want more much sooner than you think you will.
Learn some drink names
Learn what you like. Always asking for 'something sweet' or a suggestion from the bar tender will not always work in your favor.
It is SO okay to not always order a drink
We get it! It is super fun and exciting to order a drink every where you go... every time you go out... but it is NOT necessary! Just because you CAN doesn't mean you have to! Now that you're legal, you literally have the rest of your life to order drinks, don't waste money and get drunk at unnecessary or unwanted times just because it's new.
Don't become the DB (designated buyer)
Being freshly 21 oftentimes means you have many friends who are not yet 21. This doesn't mean you should feel obligated to purchase alcohol for all of your friends all of the time. It is OKAY to say no. Whether they are your drinking buddies or not, you should NOT feel like it is now your 'duty' as the older friend to constantly purchase alcohol for those who cannot get it for themselves yet.
Don't be afraid to have a 21+ night
Trust me, once your younger friends are 21, they will understand. Don't feel like you have to change plans to include all of your friends. A lot of fun places are 21+ only, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to go. Enjoy yourself, and that way you will know the best places to take your younger friends when it is their time!
Don't feel obligated to drink every chance you get
Drinking can be a lot of fun, it can also be not so fun. Don't feel like just because you can, you should. I've said it before, but you have literally the rest of your life to drink. If you don't feel like drinking, don't! I promise no one is actually going to remember or care years down the road if you did or didn't drink every time you were offered the opportunity.
Don't be ashamed if you do drink - a lot or a little
You're 21! It's legal! As long as you are a responsible and law-abiding drinker, there is no shame in it. Don't let anyone else's opinion get to you; if you enjoy drinking - or don't - just live your life how you want! It isn't anyone else's life to live, so their opinion shouldn't affect you.
Don't force yourself to like something because your friends like it
If you aren't a wine, beer, tequila, rum, vodka, etc. person, don't force yourself to drink it with them solely because they like it. It is OKAY to have preferences and be clear and honest about them. Your friends might not always understand, especially if they are intoxicated when you tell them, but they will be fine. I promise. It is 100% okay to be honest about your opinion on a drink.
Bars are crazy, and people are crazy. Don't go out alone, or if you must... tell a friend. Share your location with your close friends or family and always let someone know when you're going out, especially if you plan on waking up in someone else's house... if you know what I mean. The more the internet grows, the more we hear about what is truly going on in the world, and it ain't safe. No matter who you are.
Drink if you want to, and don't if you don't
At the end of the day, your life is YOUR life. If you enjoy drinking, go for it! If you don't, don't! No one else should have the control over you to make you do or not do anything. Live your life how you see fit for YOUR life. There is nothing wrong with that. Just do what makes you happy.