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It’s a new year, and a fresh crop of 90s babies finally get to turn 21.  Basically, your 21st is the most important birthday of your adult life.  Finally, you are no longer limited by some silly law and you can buy booze anywhere!  Gone are the days of trusting an older human to buy you alcohol or hanging out in nasty college dive bars full of the most underage of underage drinkers.  You are now free to roam the aisles of liquor stores and drink in the fanciest of bar establishments.  But before you can fully appreciate the sophisticated drinking habits of mature adults, you are essentially obligated to make sure that your actual 21st birthday is the biggest drinking night of your life.  You really need to go out with a bang, transition into adulthood with shots and shame.  So, if you are one of the lucky ones about to embark on the quest of your 21st, this timeline will show you what you’re in for, if you do it right.

 Your 21st birthday is a day you’ve likely been waiting for since you could hold a bottle.

Baby drinking gif

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It is only natural to be excited.  Very excited.

Michelle Tanner Happy Bir

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When you wake up on the gloriest of all days, your first order of business should probably be to take a shot.

You have class? Put the shot in your coffee.

Kristen Wiig Whatever

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If your birthday falls in the middle of the week, I feel sorry for you.

Ideally, you should spend your 21st exercising your new powers.

As soon as possible, you MUST go shopping at a liquor store.  You can finally shop in a real one, and peruse the aisles of dusty wine bottles unafraid of the fake ID police (not like you ever drank underage or anything…)

Showing ID gif

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After your morning shot and your liquor store trip, and maybe a nap or five, it is probably almost time to let the real festivities begin.

Kesha I need a beer

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Step One: Put on your birthday outfit.  It should dazzle.

Britney Spears gif

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Side note: something you should remember every step of the way during your 21st Birthday shenanigans is that you should be spending 0 money.  Zero.  You have friends, and strangers at the bars.  The only thing that needs to be in your wallet is that shiny new Driver’s License.

Tina Fey money gif

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Step two: Birthday Dinner.  Birthday Princess (Dudes are Birthday Princesses on their 21st too) has to eat.

You should probably not dine at the fanciest of establishments (save that for your parents), because you should already be drunk.  Go for something middle of the road, AKA pizza.

Zac Efron and pizza

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Warning: If you order your first legal drink at a restaurant, odds are they might not actually ID you.

This will be disappointing. There’s nothing you can do about it except wait until later and demand that every other alcohol server on the planet look at your ID because it is finally real.

Despicable Me Pretty Pleas

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Step Three has the potential two develop into two different scenarios, depending on how you like to party.

If you are looking for sophistication, you will probably hit the town and go to all the bars you’ve been waiting to enter since you’ve had your first sip of booze.

Honey Boo boo excited

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Or, maybe someone is throwing you a surprise party. Both work, and if you do it right, both will have the same outcome:

Jennifer Lawrence champa

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Step Four: Drink baby, drink.  It’s your night! Do shots with everyone. Let everyone buy you a drink.  A night out this glorious will never happen again.  Embrace it.

I want all the alcohol gif

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Drinking from the bottle

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It’s getting late now, and you have probably never been more drunk in your life.  Good.

Champagne in a shoe

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It doesn’t matter if you act a fool.  It’s your damn birthday.

Taylor Swift hair flip

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You can do all those crazy dance moves you’re normally too scared to showcase to the world.

Buzz dancing

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At this point, you should probably also eat some birthday cake.

No matter what kind of cake it is, at this moment, it will taste like heaven.

Marnee eating cake gif

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And you can make rules everyone has to follow.  As long as you’re wearing a birthday crown of some sort.

Beyonce Queen gif

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You might throw up, and that’s okay.  It’s just a fact of life.

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Now go to sleep. You’ve earned it.

Dog sleeping gif

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If you did your 21st Birthday right, you should wake up with the hangover to end all hangovers. Welcome to adult life.

How will you celebrate your 21st?

DISCLAIMER: CampusRiot does not promote or endorse underage or dangerous drinking. Please drink responsibly.

Featured photo via Thinkstock