Although your “Sweet 16” marked an evolutionary period in your life, your 21st birthday is the first legal step into “adulthood,” as well as the primary factor that reveals how you’ll approach the rest of your college career: getting by or being a scholar. So leap into the unknown and regard this opportunity as your own little Hunger Games. Strive for a greater you, but remember your limits…
1. Live a little
It’s okay to put your responsibilities and worries aside for one day and have some fun. You’re an adult now! You can finally walk into a bar without a fake and rely on your age to get you in instead of your looks. So buy a bottle of Jack with the credit card your mom gave you, as you laugh at the people who always made fun of you for being too young. #lookatmenow
#SpoonTip: Know these drinks before the big day, so you’ll be ready…
2. Go out with a trustworthy crew
You need a DD (or someone sober enough to get a cab) who typically ends up being your BFF the whole night and who’s proven him or herself reliable since the 2nd grade. He or she knows how to get you out of any situation (ex at 10 o’clock) and will make sure you are suitably drunk by forcing shots down your throat. He or she’s the “YOLO pal,” ‘cause let’s face it…you need to bring someone who’ll guarantee the best birthday ever. Even if you almost die trying.
#SpoonTip: Check out what foods are safe to cook when you’re drunk.
3. Put yourself out there
Take the opportunity to tell your crush that you like them. If you need an excuse to fall back on, you can easily say “I was drunk,” or pretend like you don’t remember. Or you could just go right ahead and kiss him or her ‘cause come on guys…we should all be like Katniss and Gale and put ourselves out there. It could turn out in your favor.
4. Keep it together
Control yo’ self, dude. If the bouncers have to carry you out ‘cause you drank too much and are acting like a crazy psycho, you aren’t gonna win over your crush (who spent lots of $$$ paying for you and your friends’ drinks) any time soon. I know the alcohol, the crowd at the club, and the people you want to avoid might be getting to you, but stick it out. Be nice and don’t throw up on anyone. Please.
#SpoonTip: Check out these debunked alcohol myths.
5. Dress to impress (and don’t ruin it with liquor)
You never know who you’re gonna meet, so don’t be afraid to show yourself off. You’ve got it all – the looks, the brains, the sass (or… *cough cough* manly charm…) – so don’t screw yourself over by getting too plastered and soiling your outfit with red juice. The fire is best when it’s blazing, not when it’s burnt out.
6. Be prepared for anything
If your ex shows up with a new girl or guy, your friend gets too flirty with you, or the bartender happens to be the jerk that cheated on your best friend…don’t instigate anything. Just embrace it. This is a time for celebration, not a reality tv show. Life is pretty complicated, so just toast to a night of wonderful possibility. No drama please.
7. Keep in good spirits (figuratively and literally)
Every person is different. Some folks become Ms. Super-Happy or Mad Max when they’ve had a couple of shots in them, and some just cry, cry and cry. So have a friend there who can lift you up (literally), make you laugh, and lure you home with late-night munchies.
#SpoonTip: Here are some snacks to satisfy your drunken cravings.
8. Pace yourself
Pace yourself when drinking. You don’t want to get smashed, before you even leave the pregame. Keep it together throughout the night and don’t drink everything in sight all at once. A shot every once in awhile will keep you drunk and not sloppy. Remember: It’s your night. Be in charge. No one can tell you what to do.
#SpoonTip: Check out this article on how to get free food at your fav restaurants on your birthday.
9. Say yes to the sugar
When a cute girl or guy offers to buy you a drink, it’s okay to say yes. Just watch the drink at all times. No spiking allowed. If he or she has got a nice smile and offers you a rum and coke, there’s no way you can say no. Especially if he or she has eyes like Finnick (or the girl on fire…).
10. Go in for the kill
See that bar? It’s YOURS. See all of those drinks behind it? GET TO THEM! You see that stage over there? Get on up there and break it down. See that cutie eyeing you at the bar? Wink and beckon them over. #Winning
11. Be bold ‘n sassy
When a guy or gal asks you to dance and you don’t want to, be direct about your feelings. It’s okay to prove a point, especially when they’re wrong. And when you’re drunk, everyone’s always wrong anyway right?
#SpoonTip: This will happen if you drink an entire bottle of wine.
12. Leave your mark
The world needs more people like you. And you know what you need? Food and electrolytes, so make a Jimmy John’s run before you get to bed. But for now remember (although you may forget the night), that you can be and do whatever you set your mind to. Just choose wisely…but not tonight ‘cause you can’t think straight.