12 Rites Of Passage Everyone Needs On Their 21st Birthday

by Blair Thill

Birthdays really conjure special memories for us.

We think about our 8th birthday party and the superhero theme, complete with costumes and an impersonator.

We remember getting our learner's permit on our 16th birthday (and the fender bender that resulted from our overzealous practicing in that abandoned parking lot).

But no birthday will EVER live up to the hype the way your 21st birthday does. It is a truly momentous occasion — both in our lives and in the eyes of the law.

To celebrate that occasion, there are certain things you HAVE to do. There are experiences that you just GOTTA have. And if your friends are as awesome as you think they are, they'll see to it that you do.

Here are 12 rites of passage everyone needs on their own 21st birthday.

And if you already turned 21 and haven't experienced them, well get cracking!

First off, go to a bar.

You're legal now! Don't waste that newfound independence in the privacy of your dorm or apartment. Get out and go to that bar you've been eyeing for months (read: years). It's finally your chance to know what goes on behind those closed doors.

Here's hoping it's as magical as you have been hoping.

Secondly, go to another bar.

Let's call a spade a spade: Whatever bar you've been eyeing for years probably isn't going to be all that impressive once you get inside for about an hour. That's why every 21st birthday needs a location change.

Chances are the bar you'll have the most fun at is one you haven't even heard of.

Tell everyone you meet that it's your 21st birthday.

Every person in your general vicinity on your 21st birthday is another opportunity for a free drink. Don't be shy: Tell everyone it's your birthday and then reap the rewards.

Order a round of cocktails for your girlfriends.

With great power comes great responsibility.

On your 21st, the best feeling in the world is knowing that, legally, you can FINALLY order a round of drinks. Honor the girls who have stuck by your side through your law-abiding years of sobriety and order them a round of cocktails.

Dance your face off.

No explanation necessary. You need to have a baller time and dancing elevates every situation.

Don't try the same drink twice.

It's the first day of the rest of your drinking life, so it's time to start experimenting to find out what your favorite cocktail is.

Are you going to be one of those low-maintenance drinkers, always comfortable with a simple beer in your hand? Or will you be more mysterious and opt for a SoBe Elixir Midnight Mojito while everyone looks on, envious of the blackberry-and-mint-flavored cocktail in your glass? Tonight's the night to find out.

Send a cocktail down the bar to a hot guy.

You look at the menu and you see the perfect cocktail name to describe how you feel about the guy at the other end of the bar: SoBe Elixir En Fuego. You just know he'll enjoy the flavor blend of jalapeno and lime.

It's your 21st birthday, and there's never a better excuse to have the bartender give him the cocktail and point in your direction. Who knows, it just might lead to…

Make out with a stranger.

You deserve a moment as spicy as that En Fuego-infused cocktail. Grab the guy at the end of the bar (or maybe even a different patron) and have a make out session. You won't regret it.

Get a group of strangers to sing you “Happy birthday.”

You should hear the “Happy Birthday” song a minimum of five times during your special day. Strangers HAVE to be a part of that quota.

Take a top-shelf shot.

It's your first day of drinking, so you deserve to be fancy AF for at least one drink. Go top shelf for a shot and taste how the other half lives — and what you have to look forward to on future birthdays when you're bringing home the bacon.

Get thrown out of the bar because you've destroyed the dance floor.

It's not a good look to get thrown out of the bar because you're too drunk. But if you're thrown out because you are having too much fun OR because the club can't EVEN handle you right now OR because you've destroyed the dance floor with your patented moves? Well, I'd say that puts you right on schedule.

Eat pizza at or after 2 am.

It is the right of every single person who has consumed alcohol and stayed out late to eat pizza either at or after 2 am. Embrace this practice on your 21st birthday, and you will be set up for future success.

Remember, though: It might be a rite of passage on your 21st birthday, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be repeating these acts on every birthday from now on. You're living in a whole new world. Let's toast to it.


Every 21st birthday deserves these rites of passage. SoBe is celebrating their 21st birthday with two new flavors, the SoBe Elixir Midnight Mojito and the SoBe Elixir En Fuego, and a huge bash in Las Vegas. Learn how to enter the sweepstakes here for your chance to win a vacation to Vegas to party with SoBe in style. #SoBeNotSorry #Ad #Sponsor