Turning 21 is pretty much the last nail in the coffin for reaching your adult age. Yes, at 18 you are a legal adult, but once you are 21, that’s when you are able to legally enjoy your adultness – more or less.
At 21, you can legally drink, rent a car, gamble, get a pilot’s license, go to a nightclub, and more. Most of the things you are now able to do involve enjoying the spoils of having responsibilities and stress in your life.
Sounds a little depressing, yeah I know. Keep reading to learn more about your newfound past times. Warning, some of them can definitely do more harm than good.
You Can Legally Drink
This is the big one that everyone knows about. At 21, you can legally order a drink in the U.S. wherever you want, provided that you have a legal I.D. to show proof of age.
For those of us that intend to go out on our 21st birthday, don’t worry you can do it with the I.D. you already have. The waiter or whoever is giving you your drinks will just have to do a little math when they look at your I.D.
But maybe the balloons or everyone saying “Happy 21st” might give it away too. Oddly enough though, you can also use your birth certificate as proof of I.D. to show your age. Now, I don’t know anyone who carries their birth certificate around, but if that lucky person is you, then hey, you should be good!
You Can Legally Gamble and Go To A Casino
Along with the ability to drink comes the ability to gamble. Watch yourself, though, these two things combined can be a dangerous combination.
So, here comes the casino fun. Maybe your first time entering a casino you go full 007 fancy attire and rake in the dough. Maybe not… more likely not. A casino is a business, and what kind of business would it be if it were a place where people won more than they lost?
But hey, you are 21. You know how to handle yourself and what you should know. But if not or you want a refresher, I wrote an article about what you should know by age 18. It will help ensure you haven’t missed out on anything too important that you should know by now.
You Can Legally Rent A Car
Have you been told it was 25? Yeah, I was too. However, you can actually legally rent a car at 21. There is a major caveat though. You have to pay more in insurance fees and most likely an “under 25 rental fee”.
Now, there are plenty of ways to avoid paying the under 25 rental fees. Maybe you are part of an organization that allows for waivers of the fee. Some college organizations and even universities offer this perk.
Another way to get out of paying the under 25 rental fees is through memberships in AAA or USAA. Both companies offer a fee waiver if you meet certain qualifications and rent from certain dealers like Enterprise or Hertz.
You could lower your under 25 rental fees by renting a car from the more non-traditional suppliers and go for Zipcar or Turo. They still charge the under 25 rental fees, but they are usually cheaper.
Read More: Why You Should Travel Smart And Not Cheap
You Can Teach Someone How To Drive
At 21, you can legally teach someone how to drive. Of course, the person you are teaching should have a learner’s permit.
It is also worth mentioning that as a general rule, you must have already received the horizontal license that you receive at 21 in order to legally be able to teach someone how to drive.
So once you get that horizontal license you can go help others improve their driving skills. Maybe you will love it so much that you start your own driving school!
You Can Earn A Pilot’s License
At 21, you can legally earn a recreational or private pilot’s license to fly a plane. Some states in the U.S. have a younger age, like 18, but none have an age requirement above 21.
Note that to fly commercial for businesses there are more requirements. For example, to apply to Delta to become a pilot, you must, among other things, “be at least 23 years old and have earned a four-year degree from a college or university accredited by a U.S. Dept. of Education recognized accrediting organization.“
You Can Get a Concealed Weapons License
This age actually varies in some states, but very few, if any require you to be above 21 to get a concealed weapons license.
The specific requirements for each state are different, so of course, do your due diligence and learn about all of the requirements that you must meet for your state.
You Can Adopt A Child
Ready to be a parent and want to adopt? Well, legally you can. Now, will you actually be able to pass all the screenings at 21? That depends on a lot more than just your age.
Adopting is a magnificent thing, but it is a long and arduous process, so good luck, and thank you!
You Can Go To A Nightclub or Strip Club
The epitome of nightlife is now at your fingertips, provided you can get past the long lines and scary bouncers.
But really though, now you can enter bars and clubs without being marked as under 21. Be careful though, bars and clubs are expensive and at 21 our pockets usually aren’t lined with a well-paying full-time salary.
Putting It All Together
At 21, the world really opens up to you. Enjoy it responsibly and make sure you take the time to look back and see how far you have come. 21 years of life is nothing to gloss over. If you found this info helpful be sure to join the Adulting Starts Here Newsletter. There’s no need for you to go on this journey alone.
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About The Author
Donald Williams, Jr.
Donald is an avid believer in helping young people prepare for adulthood. He spends his time working on Adulting Starts Here and helping new adults plan for the future. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and going to the beach.