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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Coming of Age


Turning 21 opens new doors and opportunities for students to enjoy their time in Davis

For many students, turning 21 can reveal new experiences for fun and socialization. Ranging from attending the bars in downtown Davis or Sacramento, to taking advantage of the nearby Napa Valley, students find themselves open to much more opportunities upon turning 21.

Aeron Yim, a fourth-year managerial economics major, recalled feeling excited about turning 21 to join her friends that were already of age. The age gap, while small, means missing out on experiences with older friends and potential opportunities to make memories with each other in college for a lot of younger students.

“A lot of my friends were a year older than me so it was hard when all of them turned 21, and I was turning 20,” Yim said. “What I anticipated the most was to go to the bars and be able to finally go out with my friends. I just wanted to be legal! Now that I am 21, it’s nice that I have the option to go out to the bars even if I don’t necessarily want to. I also found that the experience of ‘grabbing a casual drink at a restaurant’ is nice. I actually started to enjoy alcohol more for the taste than just as a means of getting ‘turnt.’”

A 21st birthday is definitely notable and is an occasion to celebrate with friends and loved ones. Yim spoke about how she spent her 21st and how she celebrated her newfound adulthood.

“My 21st was on a Monday so I went to one bar that was open at 12 a.m. with a few other people,” Yim said. “We each bought a round of drinks, played a game of pool and then went home and ate jalapeño poppers.”

Claire Nakamura, a fourth-year psychology and history major, found that Davis’ proximity to the Bay Area offers more venue options. She noted that she mainly takes advantage of her adulthood when she goes home to San Francisco.

“Davis doesn’t have too many great bars, but when I go back to the Bay Area or I go home to San Francisco, I actually like going out to the bars,” Nakamura said. “I like to go to Polk Street a lot – there’s a line of bars down the street there so it’s fun going with my friends.”

Nakamura also enjoys Davis’ proximity to Napa, where individuals can visit vineyards or attend wine tastings on any given day.

“For my birthday, I went to Napa and that was really fun,” Nakamura said. “Two of my friends went and my mom was the designated driver, and she saw me drinking for the first time. It actually wasn’t too much of a weird experience drinking in front of my mom since my friends were there too. I love Napa and I love wine.”

Kelly Ko, a fourth-year managerial economics major, noted that being 21 offers her the availability to attend more events in the area that may have an age limit for attendees.

“There are a lot of events, like concerts, that happen in San Francisco that are limited to people that are 21 and up,” Ko said. “It’s really nice to have the freedom to go to those events instead of having to watch my friends that are 21 or older go to them without me. I also found that I really enjoy going out to the bars in downtown Davis with my friends on Thursdays, since it’s a really fun way to de-stress at the end of a long school week.”  

In terms of feeling different after hitting the big 2-1, students don’t feel too much different and actually find that they aren’t longing for parties as much as they were when they were younger.

“To be honest, being 21 doesn’t feel too different,” Ko said. “I actually think that going out is less enticing than it was when I was underage. Still, I think it’s really fun to have the option to go to bars or to more restricted events with my friends.”


Written by: Alyssa Hada — features@theaggie.org



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