Day Drinking In Your Early 20s Vs. Your Late 20s, The Hangover Is Real

by Lauren Martin

Day drinking is something that comes with age... and leaves with it.

It’s for the youthful, the energetic and the somewhat insane. But we're all a little insane in our twenties, aren’t we?

At one time or another, we all thought binge drinking in the middle of the afternoon and pissing on a car tire in a not-so-abandoned alleyway was not just acceptable, but expected behavior.

It’s interesting how day drinking changes from age 21 to 29. It’s not that we ever stop, we just change the way we do it. Like “pre-gaming” to “cocktails,” we never stopped drinking, just found a new, classier way of doing it.

Our parents are essentially just pre-gaming in the living room -- only they’re just doing it with Stoli martinis and some brie and crackers.

Dive bars turn into bottomless brunches and tailgating turns into matinees with cocktails before (and after). The main difference, however, is the energy we have.

There’s no denying as we get older, we just aren't partying the way we used to. As much as we have that thirst and that same drive, we just can't handle the long days of shots and car bombs the way we once did.

Though we’ll never want to entirely give up on the art of day drinking, we will eventually hit a point when we just can’t keep up.

Your drink of choice

Early twenties: It doesn’t matter what you’re drinking, just that you’re getting drunk.

Late twenties: You won’t take anything less than Bacardi and your juice should be freshly squeezed.

The occasion

Early twenties: Any holiday is a reason to drink. Even if you just made it up and you’re the only one celebrating it.

Late twenties: Drinking is the only thing getting you through the holidays.

Your stamina

Early twenties: You start at 10 am and you’re getting your second wind by 10 pm.

Late twenties: You’re passed out by 3 pm and, no, it’s not in a stranger's bed.

Your motivation

Early twenties: You’re excited to get drunk again and see exactly how far you can take it.

Late twenties: You just want your hangover from last night to be gone.

The location

Early twenties: Whatever is serving cheap liquor and even cheaper beer. Most likely dive bars, open fields or parking lots.

Late twenties: It always starts with brunch. Even if you end up in a parking lot, you only got there because of that second mimosa that sent you into day-drinking mode.

Overall mood

Early twenties: You’re drinking because what else is there to do on a Sunday afternoon? You’ve got your whole life ahead of you and Monday morning seems far enough way.

Late twenties: It may have started off innocently, but there’s usually something behind your third or fourth shot. Let’s just say, it can turn dark.

The company you’re with

Early twenties: Everyone you’ve ever met.

Late twenties: One or two friends until they bail and all that's left in your apartment is you and “Friends” on TBS.


Early twenties: You make it to either class or work... or you still have the luxury of not having to do a goddamn thing the next day.

Late twenties: You finally know what it feels like to die a slow and painful death.

Your face

Early twenties: You’re all smiles.

Late twenties: Resting brunch face.

The consequences

Early twenties: You can do as many stupid things as your drunk mind allows. It just makes for good stories later.

Late twenties: All those stupid things you’re still doing now just seem like a cry for help.

How it makes you feel

Early twenties: The liquor runs through your blood like an elixir of life. You feel renewed and re-energized.

Late twenties: After the second shot, you feel like you've aged five years.

Your outfit

Early twenties: Either a sports jersey, crop top or Free People kimono.

Late twenties: Sweats or a turtleneck.

Money spent

Early twenties: You think you're balling out when you spend $40 for six rounds of drinks and shots.

Late twenties: You spend $200 on shots for all your friends and tell yourself that this is the reason you have a job.

Your drunken hookup

Early twenties: You're most likely having casual sex with some guy or girl you meet at the third bar.

Late twenties: You're most likely getting in a drunk fight with your significant other by the third bar and will not have sex for the next two days.

What you're eating

Early twenties: Fries... if you're lucky enough to even order food.

Late twenties: Eggs Benedict, a second lunch and possibly an expensive dinner you stumble into after you've decided that it's better to just keep going and spend it all.

The nap

Early twenties: There is no nap.

Late twenties: You passed out at 3 pm, only to wake up at 4 am and then you can't sleep for the rest of the night. Ahh old age!