Coming of Age

Students tell realities of turning 21 in college

College life before 21 can be treacherous, but not all Ferris students see the milestone as what it used to be.

“One advantage is that you don’t have to worry about getting in trouble that much, which is pretty sweet,” professional tennis management junior Nate Huggett said. “I remember walking through the woods behind Oakwood [to hide from cops] lots of times, and I don’t do that anymore.”

You will no longer have to compromise your fun with the stress of getting an MIP while stumbling down State St., finding a buyer or paying to get into Shooters.

“It’s nice to be able to go out to a house party and not have to worry about getting an MIP,” medical lab science senior Trevor Davison said. “It was also nice being able to go in and not have to worry about getting thrown out of the bar because I was drinking.”

Although students agree it does improve college life, some students found that turning 21 wasn’t some outrageous awesome experience that most anticipate.
“[My 21st] wasn’t anything like when you watch the movies and 21 year olds just get pass out wasted and puke everywhere,” finance senior Dom Panetta said. “It was just a fun night with all the guys—nothing too special, nothing too crazy, nothing too wild. I guess it was just an average weekend for me, it was kind of overrated, but it was fun.”

As a member of Ferris’ hockey team, Panetta is looked up to and expected to keep up his reputation and image.

“I wish I had good stories about being 21,” Panetta said. “Maybe I missed out on it a bit, but I’m happy where I’m at. I don’t think I have any regrets as far as that goes.”

Let’s be honest, though—this is Big Rapids. Living in this college town, many Ferris students have touched alcohol prior to turning 21, which probably contributes to the lack of excitement of turning the legal age.

“If you had super strict parents and were super sheltered, it’d probably be awesome when you first turned 21,” Davison said. “But, as long as I was up front with my parents and had communication with them, they didn’t really care what I did. So when I turned 21 it wasn’t that big of a deal, honestly.”

Huggett, who didn’t really party prior to his 21st birthday agrees that being 21 loses its spark after a while.

“I had maybe a month period where I was enjoying it,” Huggett said. “Then it just kind of became whatever; it wasn’t anything special. I’d say it’s better overall, but it’s not like some crazy experience.”

Surprising, right? But don’t let that discourage you. If you’re stuck in Big Rapids for your 21st , grab your group of friends, go to Shooters and have an awesome time.

While the feeling of finally being legal may not last long, you can still relish being young and free.