Celebrating My 21st Birthday in Quarantine

Every Florida State University student has their 21st birthday all planned out – You get thrown in Westcott fountain at midnight, you FINALLY buy alcohol with your real ID or without the help of older friends, and you have a good time out at the clubs. At least, that is how I saw my 21st birthday going down. But by the time March 28 rolled around, I found myself back in my parent’s house, with all the clubs and bars shut down.

Now, I am not saying we should not be taking this virus seriously, because we definitely should. But I am saying this is not how I imagined my 21st birthday to turn out. I wanted to go BIG, because who doesn’t on the big day? The tradition of being thrown in the fountain is something I had been looking forward to my entire college experience. I actually have a Snapchat of Westcott fountain saved somewhere on my phone from when I first toured FSU that is captioned “can’t wait to jump in.” Now I have heard that they have fenced off the fountain to prevent exactly that.

So, what did I do instead? I had a couple of my closest friends come over to make cake pops and cocktails. We had fun making a mess, but nothing turned out as expected. We finished off the night watching a movie, and once everyone was ready to leave, I started crying on my kitchen floor like Trisha Paytas. #MOOD. It was so lame, my parents were literally in the next room trying to give us some space to “be adults” but I felt like I was back in high school, having to be mindful of our volume level.

sad birthday cupcake Photo by Skyla Design on Unsplash

I couldn’t even go to a bar to order my first legal drink. You know that saying about if a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, does it really make a sound? The same situation applies here – if you don’t go out to a bar to order alcohol legally for the first time, did you even turn 21? At least, that’s exactly how I felt.

But, I can’t imagine the poor seniors and how disappointed they must feel. Their last semester at Florida State was cut two months short, and who knows what is going to happen with graduation. All I know is that while my birthday this year majorly sucked, I am thankful for all of the precautions we are taking to hopefully ensure next year will be better. Looking at the positives made me feel better about the whole situation, and right now stopping the spread is the most important thing to do. We need to be thinking about the medical workers working long hours at hospitals, and the patients fighting for their lives. I know I have every right to feel the way I do, because yeah, my birthday did suck, but it’s also important to recognize it could be a lot worse. We need to respect the decisions being made for our safety and understand their significance.

While this year may have been cut short for me, I am lucky enough to still have another year of college to enjoy the wonderful opportunities at FSU, and that is plenty of time for me to jump in the fountain.

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