Turning 21: Things You May Not Realize

The day is finally here. The sun shines a little brighter. You hear the sound of birds chirping, a sound you’ve been too miserable to notice before. The whole world is finally at peace.

No, this isn’t your wedding day or your first day at your new job post graduation, it is day much more planned and coveted – you are finally 21 years old! This is certainly is a date for celebration and obviously, going to a bar for the first time. However, there are other things about this age, both good and bad, that you may not realize when the clock strikes 12 p.m.

You are not immune to the law

If you haven’t received an underage, you are officially in the clear! However, just because you are of legal age does not mean you are never going to encounter friendly officers again. Now that your license officially says beautiful ’21’ on it, you can now legally be charged with both furnishing alcohol to minors (aka your friends who have summer birthdays) and an old favorite, public drunkkeness (see the guy relieving himself on the side of Taco Bell at 2 a.m.). You are more of an adult now than you shockingly were only yesterday, and with that comes more awful responsibilities. Go crazy and enjoy yourself during your honeymoon stage of being 21, but be sure to keep yourself in check. Both those charges are way worse than an underage, so continue to power through!

You may not be able to go out at midnight

Going out at midnight the day of your 21st birthday is a rite of passage. Since the day you were born, that day has been set in stone, and you should deserve it! However, you may have a great night, but for the next night, you might not get so lucky. See that thing in your wallet that unless you have a car on campus you never even acknowledge? That is your license, and depending on the state your license was issued, it expires the day after or even on your actual birthday. A lot of bars, etc won’t even let a person in with an expired license, even if your birthday was the day before. Plan on seeking out the local DMV in State College to update your license in advance, or plan a trip home for the day after. Taking care of this (and getting a sweet new license photo) will be ten times more enjoyable if handled with care in advance. Party on.

Don’t just stick to the bar

Let’s get back to the birds chirping and the sun shining. Seriously, the world is now your oyster, and you should experience all that being 21 has to offer! While your first instinct may scream “bar” or “State College”, try to think outside of the box! What a lot of people seem to forget is that being 21 doesn’t just mean you can legally consume alcohol, it means you go places and attend events that have alcohol! For example, there are so many little bar shows in New York and in other cities where you have to be 21 to enter. Do some research and find an act you like, and take advantage of the situation! Or, if you have a gaming side, try your hand at gambling (carefully). The key to utilizing all being 21 has to offer is planning and having a sense of adventure. Make your birthday and your first few trips the best it can be!

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