A milestone birthday. A night to remember and never forget. The big 21. Let’s take a look at the stereotypical rite of passage for someone’s 21st birthday.  You go out and get extremely intoxicated, or to put it bluntly, black-out wasted.  Every picture uploaded to the social network stratosphere is a picture with you and a bottle, shot glass, or dare I say someone taking a shot off of you with a lime clenched in between your teeth.  Many people count down the blissful days until they can walk into a liquor store, throw down their I.D., and challenge to be carded.  It’s a dream come true. You are now an adult who can legally drink alcohol. Go you!

But what if turning 21 isn’t about going out to a bar and drinking yourself silly until you become one with the floor? What if it’s a classy get together with friends drinking a glass of red wine and discussing whatever it may be over a nice dinner?  Or even staying at home with dare I say no alcohol present watching a movie with you and yourself?  Who is the world to say that every soul turning 21 should be so drunk they are led to believe they are making out with Channing Tatum, who in reality is actually a 300-pound, hairy, caveman lookalike? Why has the world turned such a special time into a day where having your stomach pumped is equivalent to a successful night?

When did it evolve into an alcohol slugging, beer chugging event? Who is the world to say that this day should be one spent pulling your head out of the toilet?  Too many times we tend to forget that we have the control and say to do whatever we want — especially on our day.

Just like college, it has become this completely worshiped event bent upon drinking, but that’s not the reality — not everyone likes to drink or wants to on their birthday.  Every single soul out there is an individual, so don’t let the media and society force you into doing something that you don’t want to because drinking excessively isn’t the norm — it’s a choice.  How you want to celebrate is up to you and no one else.  The key here is you.

Turning 21 is not going to be the biggest birthday of your life.  Every birthday should be celebrated in whatever grand way you chose.  Instead of just choosing this one birthday to glorify, celebrate them all, and make it one of your favorite days out of the year because it should be.  Every year is a milestone birthday.  Remember that.

What are your thoughts on the stigma of turning 21?