How Celebrating Cinco De Mayo Changes From College To Your 20s

by Alexandra Strickler

When you're in college, May 5 might as well be the unofficial first day of summer.

As the end of spring semester approaches, college students look at Cinco de Mayo as an opportunity to skip classes and spend the whole day outside, chugging shitty margaritas through their fake mustaches.

But, after you've made it through your college years, you finally start to realize Cinco de Mayo is a legitimate holiday, and all the parties you attended in the past were, to say the least, ridiculous AF.

Whether you like it or not, adulting has a way of enlightening you on a whole slew of topics you really knew nothing about, and Cinco de Mayo is no exception.

Here are six ways celebrating Cinco de Mayo changes when you become a real adult after college.

1. Unless the holiday is part of your own culture, it's just not a big deal anymore.

First of all, when you're full-on adulting, life seems to move way, way faster than it ever has before.

You can hardly even remember it's no longer April, let alone that May 5 is already upon you.

Secondly, unless you're personally of Mexican heritage, good luck trying to convince your boss that you want to take the day off for Cinco de Mayo.

At best, you'll get a happy hour out of the day, or maybe someone will bring in food, like chips and salsa or homemade enchiladas.

And, believe me, you'll be thankful for it, because your appetite has somehow gotten even more out of control since your college days.

2. It's not an excuse to get drunk anymore.

Sure, Cinco de Mayo will fall on a Friday this year, which means you can technically go out and rage after work.

But, most of the time, the holiday falls somewhere in the middle of the week, and turning up on a Tuesday is no longer acceptable, or even doable, as an adult.

Simone Becchetti

Even if you do attempt to #dage all day and #rage all night, the consequences are sure to be way, way worse.

As you get older, hangovers begin to feel more and more like actual death. Plus, you can't exactly roll into work reeking of tequila and vomit.

It may have been mildly acceptable to rest your hungover head on your desk and snooze the hour away in class, but if you try to pull the same shit now, you can almost guarantee you will leave the office that day without a job.

3. You feel post-college embarrassment for your former self.

Looking back on all the Cinco de Mayo parties you attended (or even hosted), you start to realize you were ignorant AF back in those days.

By now, you've branched out enough in life that you've probably met at least one person who legitimately celebrates the holiday.

And, you're old enough now to realize that person would likely shake their head in disappointment if you tried to tell them the story about that one time you swam in an inflatable pool full of margarita mix.

It's OK. We all have to be young and stupid at some point before we learn to not be totally ignorant assholes.

4. You feel secondhand embarrassment for anyone in college right now.

You can't help but cringe as you scroll through your Instagram feed, which has been taken over by underage, sombrero-wearing monsters pounding shots of Jose Cuervo.

Although, at the same time, part of you may feel a little nostalgic, or even jealous, as you sit in your cubicle and quietly sip your Corona (if your boss is even cool enough to let you do that).

Sigh. Being a real member of society is tough sometimes (#FirstWorldProblems).

5. You don't (drunkenly) attempt to speak Spanish anymore.

This may have been acceptable in college, when you could make some half-assed excuse you were simply practicing for your upcoming Spanish final.

But, unless you're fluent in the language, you're just going to sound obnoxious to everyone unlucky enough to listen to your Spanglish ass.

6. You might actually celebrate the real holiday of Cinco de Mayo.

Getty Images

You don't need to be an ignorant jerk to celebrate the holiday. There's plenty of ways to commemorate the day, which honors a major Mexican military victory in the Battle of Puebla.

Leave the sombreros and fake mustaches at home and find a festival or celebration in your local area. No one says you can't respectfully enjoy some bangin' tacos or delicious frozen margaritas.

Stuff your face, and let someone teach you a thing or two about the holiday.