A Shot of Truth About Your 21st Birthday

By: Melissa Howard (University of Delaware)

The most anticipated night of a college student’s life is their 21st birthday. Finally, you can get in to the strictest bars, buy alcohol at liquor stores and not worry about whether or not a fake ID will work. On the night of the elusive 21, a lot of people drink to the point where they cannot function, get sick, or pass out.

I know of one 21st birthday where the birthday boy pregamed to the point where he should not have drank anything else. However when he got to the bar at midnight, his friends bought him a Four Horseman shot and then a sex on the beach shot. As soon as he finished the second shot, he projectile vomited in the eye of a random girl – funny to some, dangerously gross to others. On a normal night my friend would have stopped drinking long before he got to the point of projectile vomiting, just like most college kids.

In all honesty, most people in college have consumed alcohol before they turn 21. Yet they act as if they have never been touched the stuff before. Being able to drink legally lasts for the rest of you life, not just on the night of your birthday. There really is no point for friends to be pressuring each other into drinking an obscene amount of alcohol on the 21st, but friends do this to each other regardless.

When we were children, our parents told not to give into peer pressure. By the time we turn 21, we have learned that our parents were right and actually listen. But we seem to forget all the bad experiences resulting from peer pressure at the bar on our 21st.

Its not just our peers who pressure us on our birthday. Every American seems to think people have to blackout when they turn 21, so they do their best to help. On my roommate’s 21st, the bartender shoved a bottle of tequila down her throat. Needless to say, she got very sick that night and did not remember the tequila incident in the morning.

People tend to forget that binge drinking can put a serious damper on even a 21st birthday. You will have the rest of your life to drink legally, unless of course you don’t make it through the debauchery of your 21st. Plus, everyone loves their birthday, so why not make sure you can remember the best one.

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