While every birthday of yours may be important to your family and friends, realistically there are only a few major milestone birthdays that millennials are actually excited about reaching before becoming a full-fledged adult that dreads aging another year.
The most important birthday to those who are anticipating drinking in bars and buying their own alcohol, 21 years old is a big milestone to FINALLY reach.
If you’re anything like me, you probably have a countdown on your phone, remind people countless times that you are “almost 21” and are planning a big birthday bash to ring in your freedom. And if your friends are anything like mine, they probably have one goal for the night you will be turning 21: get the birthday boy/girl as drunk as possible.
That’s why I’m here to offer a few tips to those who are approaching 21:
Tip 1: EAT.
This seems blatantly obvious, but it’s something a lot of people might neglect if they are anticipating a big night. I personally devoured an entire personal pizza from my favorite college town pizza place hours before I knew I would be consuming large quantities of alcohol. It was definitely a good decision on my part, this is the one time where carbs are actually your friend.
Tip 2: WATER.
I prepared myself by drinking water all day to make sure I would not end up dehydrated by the end of the night. Water is good for you anyway, so this is not a step that requires much convincing. Set a cup of water next to your bed as well for when you wake up in the middle of the night parched.
Tip 3: PJs.
I put out pajamas for myself on my nightstand next to my bed for when I was going to come back from the bars and go to sleep. I absolutely did not want to get caught sleeping in my “Finally 21” birthday sash and body con dress. But, just in case you ended up a little more tipsy than you thought you would, put the pajamas out so you will have easy access to your sleepwear. It’s also beneficial if you are incapable of dressing yourself later, and need a friend to do it for you. They’ll know right where your sleepwear is instead of digging through your clothes to find something for you to put on.
Tip 4: Designate one of your friends to take pictures for you.
This is essential, as you will probably be busy talking to a lot of your friends through the night, taking bathroom trips, meeting people in bars and misplacing your phone, so ask a friend to take photos of the night for you. You’ll be happy you have all the pictures to look at the next morning.
Tip 5: Pace yourself!
You have the rest of your life to drink every type of alcohol, anytime you want to! So do yourself a favor, and avoid trying every single type of alcohol all in the one night that you finally are legal to do so.
Tip 6: Spread your drinks out over the course of the night.
There’s no need to drink 7 shots of vodka, 4 mixed drinks and 2 beers all in the first hour of drinking. Limit yourself to 1-2 drinks per hour to maintain your cool.
Regardless of what people say, nobody actually WANTS to end up puking their guts out all night or feeling like a corpse-version of themselves the day after turning 21. So brace yourselves for those of you approaching 21, you can do it! You’ll thank yourself later for preparing and not embarrassing yourself on your birthday.