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How did our Birthdays grow as we grew up?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi North chapter.

Does the title look bewildering in one go? Well, let me explain it a little better. As we went from our first birthday to our current one, a lot seems to have changed, right? Of course, we grew up each year, but did you notice how we celebrate the “special” day has also evolved? In this article, I intend to talk about the “evolution” of birthdays and how we celebrate them in different stages of our lives.

Let me paint you a picture: It’s your first birthday (even though most of us don’t remember it) and you’re surrounded by family, crying because of all the chaos. It’s a wholesome moment where everyone is trying to get you to laugh for a picture, but all you can think about is: “why is my entire family here and what is with all the music, decorations and cake?” I mean, for a baby who doesn’t even know what a birthday is, it’s probably quite absurd what’s happening around, like most things.

Fast forward to 19 years later, it’s your birthday (this one you might remember vividly), and you’re surrounded by your best friends, family or no one else. It’s a wholesome moment yet again. They’re all trying to make you happy, but the birthday blues are real. You feel like crying.

Birthdays through the years change drastically. This is what I experienced in full force this year when I actually couldn’t figure out how my day will go. As someone who’s usually obsessed with her birthday and plans out her day to be super fun, it was completely out of character for me to not want to celebrate it at all.

While trying to think of something to do, I started thinking about how we as kids used to celebrate this day. The first few birthdays planned by my parents were a blur, but as I grew up, they became more fun for me! The golden days when we used to invite all our friends to our house and play classic games like passing the parcel, musical chairs, Simon says, and newspaper dance. There would be chips, fizzy drinks and lots of cake for everyone and it would just be a day bustling with energy. Oh, and the piñata! Filled with favorite candies, tiny toys and confetti was the highlight of the day :)

As we grew up further, my pre-teen birthdays transitioned into going to the mall together and spending the day at an arcade with lunch at the food court.

Then came the teen years and the birthday blues took over. I would have an amazing time with my friends and family, but there were moments of sadness or anxiety which were unexplainable to me then. We would go out to lunch at the trendy restaurants at the time and dance our hearts out on the dance floor.

Fast forward to the 18th birthday—the biggest milestone. I remember trying to sneak in alcohol without my parents noticing, throwing a party with my friends, and having a blast just chilling till late for one of the first few times! A lot of people want to do something special on their 18th and it usually does turn out to be an experience for most of us.

Well, as we’ve grown, our birthdays have grown as well. I felt like a grown-up on my birthday for the first time this year. For the first time, I felt like my birthday was just like any regular day and I wanted it to be low-key. I think I caught myself by surprise by feeling this way and I was unbelievably confused about feeling so. I expected myself to be excited about the day and do something out there, probably like my 18th birthday or maybe to top it even!

But all I wanted was a night in with my girls and maybe to get some time to relax, alone or with someone. I did end up having a sleepover and lunch with my best friends and it turned out to be a low-key day just like I had wanted :)

The birthday blues did hit me on my way back home, but I think it’s an incomplete birthday without those.
Now that I look back at it, it was a one-of-a-kind day and maybe the excited girl within me still forced me to have a big gathering when I wanted some low-key fun. Who knows!

The day just made me realize that sometimes we think people expect us to make a big fuss about our birthday or maybe not make as big a deal as we are. However, it’s our birthday! So we can do whatever we want and make our day go however we want. Maybe next year when I turn 20, I would want a completely different birthday! But that is for me to decide and for you to decide when it is your day :) Take your call and treat it like any other day or treat any other day like it’s your birthday because that’s how life goes <3

Ananya Mittal

Delhi North '24

Ananya is a first-year student at Hindu College, pursuing economics in her coming years at Delhi University. She is working towards fulfilling her dream to work at the United Nations and other international organisations hoping to create change in the world, for the better. Another dreamier dream of hers is to work at a magazine like Scarlet from 'The Bold type' and that, apart from many other things, is what brings her to Her Campus. When idle, she likes to sing along to Taylor Swift, talk till someone tells her to stop (not), dance like no one's watching and get lost in the world of books. She loves cheesy story-endings, sunsets and soup. She strongly advocates for egalitarianism, environmental conservation and a better and safer world for humankind in every way possible.