For the last 20 years and 364 days of your life you have looked forward to this night.
The journey towards adulthood has many stops: a first car, an 18th birthday, graduation from high school, leaving your family for college. The list goes on. But perhaps the most widely celebrated is the bar crawl on a 21st birthday.
In college you watch while your friends turn 21 as you eagerly wait for your turn to hit up the bars. So why should such an experience go hand in hand with belligerently drinking to the point of blackout? For those who did it right by not drinking until it’s legal, the idea of gaining admittance to the bar scene should be a cause for celebration with friends; a night one should be able to remember.
However, the 21st bar crawl has turned into a night to abuse a very dangerous substance, especially for those new to drinking. Friends pressure you to get to a certain number of shots, often 21. (For reference, 21 drinks over the span of two hours will leave a 21 year older of average build over 4 times the legal limit.)
Take the pressure out of the situation. Do not allow your friends to force you to take shot after shot until you are in a state of total impairment.
It’s not good for you for a variety of reasons. First, your health will suffer. In college you cannot afford to miss valuable class time. A hangover as a result of 21 shots will render you useless for days on end. Second, it’s your first time in a bar district, do you really want bartenders and the regulars to think that you are some punk kid who can’t handle alcohol? It’s challenging to rise above peer pressure, but here are some tips to effectively handle your bar crawl.
Skip the pregame
Don’t show up to the bars drunk. Your senses will be dulled and you will be more susceptible to getting way too inebriated for your first time at the bars. Instead, go grab food at a nice restaurant with your closest friends. It is a big day and you should remember it for the right reasons.
Surround yourself with friends who you trust
Your 21st should be special, and of course you want to celebrate with all of those people you care for, and vice versa. But there are those people who you can tell will be a negative influence when alcohol is involved. Every friend group has the typical alcohol snob who knows way too much about the bar scene and the beverages themselves. Maybe leave him/her out of the plans for the night. It seems lame, but you will appreciate it the next morning. Those friends who want you to get obliterated are not the friends you need in your life.
Go to the bars that have a relaxed atmosphere
In Denton, that would be the Square. The obvious choice for a crawl is Fry, due to its proximity, but the Denton Square has a variety of bars that collectively provide a better atmosphere for someone not used to the scene. They are more spread out, have an assortment of seating, and do not make you feel like you are moving at 500 mph. Plus the drink selection is extensive, so a new bar-goer is sure to find a drink they enjoy.
Drink water and go to class the next day
When you get home chug a bottle of water before bed, even if you’re not too drunk. You’ll appreciate it when you’re sitting in class the next day. For the love of all things holy go to class, guys. College is about learning and preparing for your future. While it’s fun to go out with friends, do not lose sight of the real reason you’re in school.
Photo courtesy of Eater