As a 20-year-old summer baby, most — if not all — of my friends have already turned 21 and are experiencing the luxuries that come with it. Sure, there is far more to life than drinking and nightlife, but when you're constantly celebrating friends' 21st birthdays, it's hard to see the silver lining.
Most people can relate to the situation ... and it is not a pleasant one. During this awkward limbo period, it seems like the world is ruled by 21-year-olds who are basking in their glory days. At the same time, by virtue of your birth certificate you're left out to dry. Here are some of the most unfortunate situations that are constantly arising during the age-gap.
You paid $100 for fake IDs that look about as legitimate as baseball cards. Your order gets you two copies so that you'll still have a leftover when the bouncer takes your first away (which you know he inevitably will). You opt to pretend to be from some obscure state like Delaware or West Virginia, hoping that the bouncer wouldn't even recognize the official license. He does, and you're not getting in. These are the moments you wish you had an older brother or sister compassionate enough to let you steal their identity and use their legal, legitimate ID.
You, with your fake ID, are the last one in line to get into a club after all of your of-age friends have already been scrutinized by the bouncer and admitted. Worse than the feeling of their tense stares as they stand, jaws clenched, waiting for the bouncer's reaction, is the realization that there's no way he's letting you through and there's no way you're going to convince him otherwise.
Being denied from a bar reminds you of your youthful days at the amusement park when you were too short to ride the roller coaster. If only you remembered to wear your Nike Air sneakers over your pair of New Balance to get that extra inch. You feel the agony of watching all your taller friends ride around with their arms flailing in the air. You remember thinking this must be what torture feels like.
You try to convince your friends "oh, go without me, I'm tired anyway" because you know you won't get into the bar that they've been so excited to check out. You aren't tired though ... you're just 20.
Your 21-year-old friends say they don't mind changing their plans to cater to your 20-year-old, limited options, in fact, they can be pretty convincing. But deep down, you know you're the party-pooper who killed the fun plans.
"YOU'RE RUINING MY LIFE" and "WHY COULDN"T YOU HAVE GIVEN BIRTH TO ME A YEAR SOONER?" are common phrase to emerge from your 20-year-old mouth to your parents. Why should a twenty-year old bear the burden of young age, a factor completely out of one's control. It's clearly the fault of your parents who made the conscious decision to have you a few months later than ideal.
At 20-years old, there is plenty that you can do, including joining the army, get a tattoo or go skydiving. You have been a legal adult for two years already, which is starting to get boring. But you can't order a single beer or glass of wine with your dinner. Your average 20-year-old makes this realization about 365 times per year, and it never seizes to amaze you.
Of course, there are plenty of wholesome forms of entertainment for a 20-year old that do not revolve around consuming alcohol ... but when every one and their mother is crammed into the same sweaty bar nothing else seems to matter. At least you can get into a rated R movie as consolation ...
As a grieving 20-year-old, how often have you heard the phrase that "it's nice to have something to look forward to?" or "don't wish away time." How often have you wanted to slap the person saying it in the face? It's nice to look forward to a delicious dessert or a good night's sleep ... it is NOT as enjoyable to "look forward to" turning 21. You want 20 to go by as quickly as lightening strikes.