A survival guide to your 21st birthday

Get ready for a wild night

Most young adults and college students spend much of their lives looking forward to reaching the legal drinking age―but really, it's the moment we've all been waiting for!

With such a highly anticipated night, many people make mistakes and regret the decisions they made. Having just turned 21, I compiled a guide on how to have a great night.

Complete assignments ahead of time.

To have a fun night, the last thing you want is to worry about school assignments. If possible, try to complete projects due within the next few days as far in advance as possible. Don't wait until the day of the night you go out for your birthday.

I had a paper due at midnight on my 21st birthday and decided to wait until that afternoon to complete the assignment. I ended up getting locked out of my house for several hours, misplaced my keys, ID, wallet, and laptop. I wasn't able to work on the paper until that evening when one of my roommates let me in.

Image may contain: Drink, Beverage, Beer, Alcohol, Furniture, China Cabinet, Cabinet, Bottle, Cup, Person, People, Human

My original plans for my birthday had to be adjusted so I could finish and turn in the paper on time. It all worked out, but if I could redo the day I would write the paper ahead of time.

Hydrate, water is your FRIEND

I'm about to sound like your mom, but please think of me as your cool older sister.

Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. You don't want to be throwing up, especially not publicly. Start drinking water early in the day and in between drinks at the bar.

Eat up, seriously

Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea. You'll become intoxicated faster and there's a higher chance of getting sick.

Eating after having a few drinks is also a good, so there is something to absorb the alcohol.

Take a lot of pictures

You're going to want to remember this night and the exact details of it will be blurry. Take as many pictures and videos as you can. It could be fun to use props for the photos. Have your friends take pictures and videos of the night's festivities too.

Image may contain: Person, People, Human

Wear something comfortable

I know you want to look good. I know. But practicality is important too. If you know you're going to be outside, dress accordingly. On my birthday, it was rainy and cold. I wore a jacket and boots and still looked great. I was comfortable and secure in my outfit choice. It was a long night, so I was glad I was comfortable clothes and shoes.

Always be safe

You know what's fun? Safety.

Be careful and watch out for your friends. Strangers in bars may not have the best intentions, so it's important to be cautious. Don't put your drink down anywhere and watch out for suspicious behavior.

Pay attention to your surroundings and watch out for your personal safety and your friends.

Image may contain: Party, Person, People, Human

Be respectful when using transportation services

Don't be the person that throws up in an Uber and has to pay $80 or more to get it cleaned. Don't do that to yourself or the driver.

Have fun!!!

The most important part of this guide is to have fun. Enjoy your night and make memories with your friends. Have a good time and enjoy the fact that you no longer have to worry about receiving an underage.

Temple University