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Turning 21

Birthdays are always worth mentioning. My birthday was this past Monday, the 11th, but as any child will tell you, it lasts the whole week. Especially in college, when packages and cards arrive sporadically. But this time, it was extended for a different reason: Westminster’s night life. As my actual birthday was on a Monday, my friends took me out for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. A local favorite sports bar and restaurant, it was the perfect place to celebrate. As a vegetarian, they offer great options, including their black bean burger. The waitress even went out of her way to get me one of the kid crowns so that I could pretend to be a princess. For my first drink, I ordered a margarita, which was supposed to be the sweetest drink they had. Well, the waitress wasn’t quite right on that, but she still got bonus points for my crown. The good thing about being a late comer to this new age is that everyone else is already 21 and I easily pawned my drink off on to someone else.

College is about persistence and determination, though, and I wasn’t going to end my week without finding a drink I liked. I tried some at Applebee’s and some at J&P’s (each both have amazing food but I just couldn’t stand the taste of their “sweetest” drinks). Finally my friends convinced me to go to Rafael’s. Raf’s, as it is known to the locals, is a restaurant and bar, but converts into a bar and dance floor at night. There are two other bar spots in Westminster, Down Under and Johansson’s. We went at 7:30 (prime restaurant time) on Thursday (which is also college night after 9:30). Somehow, I forgot that it was Valentine’s Day. There was a special romantic menu and everything for our lovely group of seven single women. To be honest, we all had a great time, especially with the free chocolate covered strawberries and white roses. Half of our group left as they cleared away the tables (as it was now 9:30), and we moved over to the bar. Nothing has ever felt as weird in my life. But really, it’s just another part of being comfortable in the new world I’m entering. Whether I’m walking into the Baltimore Sun as an intern or a bar for a drink after work, this is what comes with being an adult. Campus is no longer both my limitation and my protective bubble. I’m grateful for the year left of college I have, to slowly venture forth and to postpone the moment I’m forced out of my nest to fall or fly. Baby steps. Even at 21.

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