So in recent months it has come to my attention that I have made the leap from being a child to being a fully-fledged adult.
When I say leap, I more mean a kind of dramatic fall, landing in an awkward position and breaking at least 6 bones on the way down.
But hey. I'm 18 now, I can legally go out drinking.
My first ever attempt at heavy drinking did not at all go well. Age 17 (just!), school trip in Rome, legal drinking age 16, cheap vodka...oh no.
As I was in the room of a group of my friends rather than my own room, I was hidden in the closet while teachers instructed lights out. Upon returning to my own room, with a head that was spinning as though I was in a washing machine, I needed to throw up. I didn't want to trip over on the way to the bathroom and wake everyone up....so I vomited out of the window.
I know, I know. Classy, right?
But that's not a patch on Alex's 21st birthday.
I'm not really a big drinker, I tend to prefer staying sober and even if I do drink a lot, I still tend to stay sober.
Alex on the other hand....while he denys it like crazy, is sort of a lightweight. We were at the pub, he was drinking beer and was already pretty out of it when his alleged "mates" started calling shots.
Being the sensible one, I tried to point out this was not the best idea.
Naturally, I was completely ignored.
Fifteen minutes before the bus home, I went to pick up Alex's birthday cards from his parents. That's when it all went tits up.
Apparently, Alex's "mate" James started mouthing off about how controlling I am (for recommending he not do shots...hmmm), which led to Alex getting pretty wound up and throwing his kebab at a phone box before chasing him down the road. Being early November, the pavements were slippery with wet leaves. Alex went down like a sack of potatoes, bounced his head on the concrete and was out cold for a good 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, 200 metres down the road I realised that Alex wasn't on the bus, didn't get on it myself and started panicking. A few minutes later, James sprints down the road at an alarming pace and refuses to slow down or stop to tell me where Alex was.
A few minutes later, two girls who had been down the pub came running down the road and informed me Alex had been in an accident, whacked his head and gone AWOL. This marked the start of a wild goose chase, with Alex running away and being aggressive, his mate Tristan punching him in the head to get him to stop, Alex losing half an hours worth of memories and believing that his injuries were a result of being punched.
Eventually, a paramedic came as we were worried Alex had done some serious damage with the way he was rambling on and obviously had lost a few brain cells on the way down. But in the end, he was okay, just had to have a CAT scan.
I can't say the parties I've been to have ended fantastically. One ended up with someone being bottled, another someone mixed two things that ought not be mixed and started having fits, during another someone punched a hole in a fence.
Exciting, right? But with uni coming up in just a few months I expect this will become the norm.