Turning 21: When it’s finally okay to lose your fake ID

By on March 26, 2008

In the lives of American college students, one of the best moments is finally turning 21. Most people plan this night to be memorable, by not remembering it. And who says birthday parties have to stop after your 10 birthday? This is certainly a case for a party.

People spend their 21st birthdays doing different things, but all seem to follow a similar pattern: having drinks with people who matter the most. A 21st birthday can be split into three parts: the night before at midnight, the night of the actual birthday and then the next morning recovering.

Whether celebrating at home or at school, the night before is usually quieter and more meaningful. Steve Black, a senior entrepreneurship major, spent the midnight before with one of his best friends at T.G.I Fridays.

Dave Palley, a senior IDD major, had a quiet night as well. “I went out to dinner with my mom the night before,” he said.

Midnight the night before should be reserved for a few close friends or family for the memorable initial hours of being 21. Also, this will save energy for the next night. Head out to a smaller bar that won’t be too crowded, so you can enjoy your night with the most important people to you. Try to save the craziness for the next night.

There are multiple options for the actual night of your birthday. Some people spend it at home, while others spend it at school.

“I was home for my 21st,” said Black, who spent the night of his birthday at a party at his friend’s house. “All my friends were there,” he said. “Why spend the money at a bar when your friend has an amazing house?”

House parties are always a good option for turning 21. There is no need to worry about designated drivers, it costs less money and is much more personal.

If you want your 21st birthday party to be bigger than a house party, there are, of course, other options. Palley spent his birthday at school.

“At first we drank at someone’s house and then we went to Side Street,” he said.

If your celebrating your 21st birthday at Quinnipiac, there are many bars in New Haven and Hamden to choose from. Side Street in Hamden seems to be one of the most popular places to celebrate, as well as Hula Hanks in New Haven. “Most people went to places that are usually tough on carding,” Palley said.

Incorporating family into your 21st birthday is not always easy. A good way to spend time with the old folks before bar hopping is to go out to dinner with them the day of. You will be able to celebrate with your family and not to mention eat an extremely important meal. It is imperative your body has food in it the night of your 21st if you plan on making it one of the most memorable nights of your youth.

As many know, 21st birthdays are full of numerous drinks, bars and house parties. But after the fun and games are over, the worst part hits you: recovering. Black recovered by sleeping the day away, while Palley did a bit more.

“I went to the nearest couch and slept for four hours. Then I did my normal hangover cure by getting Burger King,” Palley said.

According to registered dietician, and associate professor at Hunter College, Khursheed Navder suggests drinking water prior to going to sleep the night before. She explains that hangover symptoms occur because of the shriveling of the cells due to dehydration. Although most people think drinking coffee the next morning makes them feel better, this is not the case. Navder explains that caffeine irritates the stomach lining, and prevents people from falling asleep.

Another tip, no matter how dreadful it may seem the next morning, is to exercise. She explains that this increases blood flow and helps to sweat out the beverages consumed.

Turning 21 seems to be the last rite of passage during youth. Make sure to live it up the best way possible and remain safe. And don’t forget a camera to help you capture the memories that may slip your mind.


About Arielle Sobov