Nick, even though I am nearly 40 years older than you and a parent, I agree with you, some what. Mostly, I can recall experiencing a similar pain. I was 19 when the drinking age was changed to 21 on Jan. 1 of whatever year it was. The night before, and since I had been 17, I had been drinking and dancing happily with adults in bars. I’d never even been carded before that day! Suddenly, I was not allowed to hang with my people and have a good time in the bars any longer. At 19, I too felt I was very adult like you feel. I had been living on my own since 18. I had a job, an apartment, a driver’s license, had been selected for jury duty and had even voted for a President. But suddenly It felt as if I were considered no better than a child. Suddenly, I could only look into the bar window at my friends partying! It was nothing short of devastating.
But I know now that as the responsible young adult I was at as that age , I was the exception and not the rule. As most likely, are you. Also now, as a mature adult parent of young adults myself I have to say I totally understand the need for the law. Although It would be helpful if there was some way to weed out the idiots from the truly responsible, there just isn’t. Therefore the attempt has to be made to protect that population from themselves. And the rest of us from them also.
The main impetus for the change was the egregious and horrific loss of life that was occurring in auto accidents in inordinate numbers during those years. Although the change has not been the panacea it was hoped, it helped. And because of that I have to say, I feel your pain and I agree it is not the ideal situation. And the fact is that the few always mess it up for us all. But in this case, it save lives. Lives both young, old and in between. So as inconvenient as the law is to those in the limbo years. It’s simply not worth abandoning. You have many many years to drink responsibly beyond these. I’m sure you’d rather live to see my age and then like to your kids do the same.