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How to Celebrate a Birthday in College

Over the past month, many of my friends have been celebrating their birthdays on campus. Considering the students on Denison’s campus have to abide by restrictions due to the pandemic, we are unable to celebrate as we would probably like to. But under the circumstances, the past couple birthday celebrations that I have gone off without a hitch. So, I would like to share some aspects that made these birthdays special! 


Include an element of surprise

Including an element of surprise to a birthday celebration is always a fun way to keep things spontaneous and exciting on someone’s birthday. With the semester beginning to feel like a dreaded cycle filled with the same routine and overloads of work, a simple surprise could brighten someone's day. This could range from a surprise birthday party, a spontaneous trip through their favorite drive-thru, or even just presenting them with a small gift. On my roommate’s birthday, for instance, I decorated our room with balloons and a banner while she was asleep the night before her birthday. Any surprise meant for them could make someone's day!


Baked goods are a must

What is a birthday without some baked goods? Brownies, cake, cupcakes, or even ice cream can be the perfect topper to a great birthday celebration. Just getting a few friends together to eat some sweets and sing “Happy Birthday” to your friend as they blow out the candles could help make a great memory and help your friend feel extra loved! But don’t feel the need to make a Cake Boss level cake from scratch, I have admittedly used boxed batter for the past two birthdays I celebrated. Homemade, boxed, or even store-bought options are all great options! 

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Think thoughtful, not extravagant 

While all of these elements are nice, make sure you are catering to the person you are celebrating. It is their day, after all. If they want to keep things simple, get an intimate group of friends together and do something relaxed. If they want to go all out, bring in as many elements (tangible and not) to make that person feel loved. Invite lots of people, do a lot of small things throughout the day, get them a sash! 


It is very easy to get caught up in the hectic energy involved in planning a birthday, but if the person you are celebrating ends the day with a simple smile on their face it is all worth it! 

Hi! My name is Nicole and I am a junior at Denison! I am majoring in English Creative Writing, minoring in Communication, with a concentration in Narrative Journalism. Along with writing, I love documentaries, being outside, thrifting, and crafting!
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