The moment your parents realized how good you were at spelling your name in kindergarten, they somehow convinced themselves that you were the next coming of Einstein. They forced you ahead a grade hoping it would spur your intellect into “Holy shit, this kid is gonna make us rich” levels. All they actually did was force you to be awkwardly late to the puberty party, and cause people to be extremely concerned about hooking up with you in college. Gee, thanks, Mom and Dad. These are the kinds of people who beg for a fake 18-year-old ID, and that’s just plain sad.
You don’t know a damn thing about the world outside of your former high school bubble, but I’ll be damned if you don’t try to act like you’ve been on campus for years. You might not know where your classrooms are, but you sure know where to find the bars you can’t get into. For some reason, that “kick ass fake” gets turned down at the door 9 times out of 10, probably because the only facial hair you can grow looks something like an epileptic toddler would make playing with a Wooly Willy pad.
You’ve been around campus from anywhere from a few months to a whole year, so you’re basically a big deal now. Not really at all, but I’ll be damned if every 19 year doesn’t think they’re God’s gift to the university. In reality, the only difference they have from an 18-year-old is the fact that they don’t have to use the campus map as often. Being 19 means you’re slowly perfecting the craft of chugging beers in 18+ bars are subtly as possible, but they still manage to kick your ass out from time to time.
Too old to be a pussy, but too young to drink legally. Being 20 on campus tends to be an upsetting experience. You’ve spent a fair amount of time in school, and you’ve learned the layout of campus and most of the dorms (the female floors, at least). Despite all this knowledge you’ve amassed, The Man still says it isn’t okay for you to booze. For this exact reason, 20-year-olds are the heaviest users of fake IDs, and can you really blame them? What mystical knowledge about the world do you suddenly understand at age 21 that makes consuming alcohol allowed? I’m almost positive I was smarter at 20 than I was at 21, mostly due to my fake ID-inspired, liver-crushing binge sessions that left my next days as worthless as Aaron Hernandez’s talent, and left my brain cells in a crumpled heap at the bottom of my skull.
It doesn’t get any better than this. From the moment you turn 21, an entire new world reveals itself in your college town. Even those bars that crack down and require 32 different forms of picture identification are now available to your alcoholic tendencies. This is the point in your college career when things like “pregames” and “house parties” start to seriously lose their allure. There’s just something liberating about the ability to get face-numbingly plastered in a public setting.
As you approach your final moments in college, you become a bar hopping hurricane who can only be stopped by the eventual urge to pass the fuck out. The only kind of “pregaming” you do at this point is a glass of scotch, or just skipping the practice altogether to make your trip to happy hour. You might not drink quite as frequently, but the hours and location of your drinking have made you a much more efficient drunk. You’ve memorized every special deal that every single bar offers, and you’re a master of knowing the cheapest and most delicious methods of getting drunk. You’ve grown up beyond the whole Montezuma upside-down Margarita days, but that doesn’t mean you won’t occasionally take yourself back to that disgusting era. Chances are you’ll puke afterward, though.
You somehow managed to suck out an extra year from the proverbial bosom of college. Maybe you dropped a few classes you didn’t need to. Perhaps you took the bare minimum amount of credits. However you managed it, being 23 and still in college puts you on the same level as one of those cliché karate masters. You are wise beyond your collegiate years, and younger friends often seek you for advice about parties and where they should carelessly black out that night. While it can be a slight bummer to see most of your old friends move on with their lives, you can take a little comfort in knowing that despite the paychecks they’re getting, they’re still at least a little bit jealous of you.
Easy there, Van Wilder. If you aren’t in grad school by this point, your time spent-to-accomplishments ratio is starting to look pretty fucking awful. Most people doubt the fact that you’re even enrolled in classes at this point, and every time you see a friend on campus there is a look of genuine surprise in their face. The bartenders, on the other hand, all know you by first name. Some people call this doing college right. Those people are definitely not your parents, or any potential employers.