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I turned 19 today. Actually, 2 hours ago if I were to be specific. I usually love my birthdays, so I’m really looking forward to my day tomorrow. However, a part of me is reflecting about how meaningful turning 19 really is for me.

Every birthday has a vibe, right? You’re a teenager at 13, it’s always ‘sweet 16,’ ABBA made turning 17 iconic, and at 18 you become an adult. Even at 20, you’ve hit the big ‘Two’s’. However, 19 doesn’t really have a catchy phrase or a classic hit song based on it. Well, not one that my generation can relate to, (I’m looking at you, Paul Hardcastle). That proud feeling you had when you finally became an adult at eighteen doesn’t last you all the way 'till your next birthday, either. To me, 19 seems to be the friend in the group who just doesn’t fit in. So, where does that leave me?

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The way I see it, this year will be one of the most significant years I will experience. For the first time in my life, I will be living away from my home country and family, at Boston University. Living on my own is something that I have always been nervous, yet extremely excited about. I am technically an adult now, but 19 might be the year that I understand real independence and responsibility. Throughout my life, my friend circle has been created in and because of school or extracurriculars. This year will provide me with the opportunity of making new relationships with people from all around the world. 

These are just the big changes, but there will be so many other ‘firsts’ I will have this year! I will experience my first Halloween (already planning the WandaVision outfits), my first ‘Friendsgiving,’ my first time being away from home on my parent’s birthdays, and my first Diwali – a popular Hindu festival – away from home. I haven’t thought about how I will feel, spending so many important days in a completely different way than I have done all these years, but I guess that’s what it will be, ‘different.'

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This year won’t be similar at all to the last 18 years, but maybe that’s a good thing. I guess my 19th year will only be as significant as I make it! And I do plan on making it as memorable as I can.

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Saumya is a freshman studying Psychology at Boston University. Some of her hobbies are painting, drinking way too much bubble tea, and reading! Find her on Instagram @saumya.maitra
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