Kent S. Chen

I'm 21

14 Apr 2015

Turning the age of twenty-one is often considered one of the biggest birthday celebrations because one can legally do everything now, meaning one is emancipated from all restrictions. Today, I turn the age of 21 and here are 21 thoughts about officially becoming a 21-year old.

I can book cruise reservations
Earlier this year, my friends and I had wanted to go on a spring break cruise. However, upon further research, we realized that one had to be 21 year old to book reservations on our own so we took a raincheck for the cruise trip.

I can book hotel rooms freely
I ran into this problem while on a trip to the East Coast last year, when one hotel saw that I wasn’t 21 and attempted to deny my group our room reservation after we had already paid for it online. However, upon further review of the situation, the manager on duty allowed us to keep our reservation and in the process, I found out about the age policy that some hotel abide by.

I can rent a car
I know of a lot of car rental and car sharing companies that charge extra fees or have certain restrictions for drivers under 21. No longer the case now as a 21-year-old.

I can hit up Happy Hour I’ve never really understood what happy hour was until earlier this year and I’m excited for the fact that I can now hit up the special deals offered by restaurants, such as “Beat the Clock” or “Taco Tuesday”.

Vegas will be a totally new experience
I’ve been to Las Vegas at least eight times, always with my awesome family. However, going to Vegas as a 21 year old means I can do a lot more activities, such as using my probability skills I acquired in Stat 134 to play the slot machines.

This will probably be one of the last “memorable” birthdays in a while
In the last decade, I’ve had a lot of memorable birthdays, such as celebrating my 15th at the Grand Canyon, my 18th in Pennsylvania, my 19th and 20th in Berkeley with my family in town. The week leading up to my 21st birthday has already been memorable and even more excitement will come this upcoming weekend. Earlier this morning, I took my first legal drink at a brand new bar in Downtown Berkeley and then cam home to my roommates surprising me.

My ID will get a lot of wear and usage
Nowadays, I rarely touch my ID as there is no need since I don’t drive too often. It’s always buried deep in my wallet or sometimes I may not even bring it with me, for the sake of carrying too many cards. However, my ID will now become my best friend as I can now confidently flash my ID at a bartender or server whenever going to a bar.

Time to start planning my Napa trip
One area I haven’t really gotten to explore yet is the North Bay and that is where Napa Valley, also known as wine country, is. It’s been on my college bucket list to go on the wine-tasting tour at Napa and turning 21 makes this one step closer to becoming a reality.

The term “Let’s get a drink” will have multiple meanings
Usually when I hang out with friends, we often say “let’s get a drink” and this would refer to grabbing boba or a smoothie. However, this time around, it will be different as “drink” will need to be specified.

I will “officially” become an adult
Turning 18 is the legal age of being able to vote, open a bank account, drive without restrictions, buy lottery tickets but upon turning 21, I know I will now be fully treated like an adult and this will mean I will need to live up to the full expectations of one, such as figuring out what I want to do with my life and holding myself accountable to the responsibilities of being an adult.

My next ID will be back to a horizontal one
When I got my drivers license back in 2010, I was grandfathered into the old horizontal licenses. However, in return for renewing my license last year, I had to give up the horizontal one for a vertical one.

Don’t care too much about certain things
There are just some things in life that aren’t worth caring about. As the wonderful Frozen song goes, “Let it Go” will be something I may need to do sometimes in order to not let something or someone get to me.

The power of networking
As I age, my network expands in the process. I know for a fact that networking is a powerful tool that will allow me to accomplish many things in life such as landing my dream job. Therefore, it’s time for me to stay connected and maintain a great relationship with my network of people and friends.

Time to manage my expenses extra carefully
There will be a lot of temptation to spend the money (in college and post-college) but I will now need to carefully manage my cash flow and be sure I being to save up money in an untouchable savings account for the many decades down the line.

The Roaring 20’s continued
The 20’s is an exciting time in a person’s life. This will be the only time in my life that I am able to do whatever I want, such as traveling, trying out new things, live the city life, etc. I have no major obligations and the next few years will definitely be exciting as I have a lot I want to accomplish on my bucket list .

Mixing Drinks is a form of art
Knowing how much of what drink to mix in a cup requires a lot of experience and practice. I’m eager to learn about the process of mixing drinks, as I anticipate it should be similar to making a smoothie from a VitaMix.

The importance of setting goals
Goal setting is a skill I acquired while I was in high school and I have realized the importance of setting goals. I’ve strived to accomplish my goals and have really learned a lot about myself in the process.

Reflect Reflect Reflect
I’ve been doing a lot of memorable activities and trips over the last few years and have documented them via pictures and vlogs. However, I want to get back to blogging again as I feel it is the best way to remember all the activities and I’ve done.

Cherish family time
I’m at school for most of the year and am only at homes for a short amount of time during breaks. I am getting older and so are my family and dogs. This means I will need to cherish every single moment I have with my family as ultimately, I do not want to have any regrets whatsoever.

Carpe Diem
Seize the day. They say “college is the best time of your life” and this is definitely true. I’ve greatly enjoyed my time in college and will continue to enjoy and make the most of everyday. “Work hard play hard” is a slogan I live by.

It’s time for me to officially grow up
Soon, I will be finished with college and out into the real world, living independently. on my own This means I will have to be completely responsible for my actions as any careless action may set me back whether financially or socially. This also means I will need to continue to utilize my resources (education, internships, clubs, networking) to get to the point where I can live independently.

I’m definitely excited for this next phase of my life as I’m officially part of the 21+ club.

comments powered by Disqus