Tips for a safe and enjoyable 21st birthday

So I turned 21 a few weeks ago. If you’re under 21, as soon as you finish reading this, you should scold your parents for not having sex sooner. In psychology, there are different emotional states in crisis situations. There’s denial, bargaining, guilt, etc. I think in turning 21, there is a similar sequence of events that you go through.

First step – hopelessness. “I’ll never turn 21; I still have like 18 more months!”

Second step – doubt. “With my luck, an asteroid will hit the earth like the DAY BEFORE, and it won’t matter anyway.” You think to yourself, “If only that asteroid could wait one more day, it would be all good, just not before I turn 21.

Third step – retreat. “OK, I’ll just move to Canada until I turn 21. I think they have colleges in Canada.”

Fourth step – paranoia. “Watch, I’ll end up getting an underage like a week before I turn 21, just watch”it’ll happen.” For this reason, a lot of people will thus cut back in their alcohol consumption during the weeks preceding their birthday.

Fifth step – acceptance. “Fine, fine, I’ll turn 21 soon enough, it’ll be here before I know it. I’ll just be happy with today.” Pshyeah right, that step never comes.

Now when you do turn 21, be smart know your limits. That’s the problem with freshmen, they don’t know their limits, and they act like idiots. I’ve seen freshmen try to match seniors drink for drink”that doesn’t work.

Alcohol tolerance is kind of like a muscle: it gets stronger over time. I personally go to the gym like five times a week.

As you get older, you get smarter and realize your threshold. Which is why when I have kids some day, I’ll make sure they go to college knowing what they can handle.

If you go out with your friends on your 21st, you will die. Not literally (well hopefully not), but it will not be a good night for you.

You can’t refuse a shot. Some people who are underage may say, “Sure ya can.” No, you can’t, because they won’t let you. They’ll give you the shot, and make you take it.

They’ll wait all night if they have to, but you’re drinking the bloody thing they gave you. And it’ll be terrible.

When I turned 21, one of my friends handed me a shot and I took it. There was Tabasco sauce in it. I could feel the saliva glands in my mouth seizing up. I then set him on fire with my breath, so the joke was on him.

Then there’s the infamous New Jersey Turnpike. The bartender takes the rag that they are using to wipe up the bar, and then they ring it into a shot glass. Sanitary? No. Legal? Probably not. Do you have to take it? Absolutely.

Send comments to Josh Benner at [email protected]