My 21st Birthday was Lowkey and It's Okay

Last year, when I turned 20 on a Sunday, it came to my attention that I would inevitability spend my golden 21st birthday on a Monday, and my heart immediately sank.

I’ve felt that for the majority of my life, things don’t tend to play out in a very ‘coming-of-age-movie’ fashion, so I thought it was pretty on-brand that things would work themselves out this way. Going into it, I think I already has a bit of a pessimistic outlook on the day – after all, I was so busy, it’s the middle of the semester and it’s a Monday. How much fun could it really be?

Since my birthday has always been near Halloween and I’d spent many childhood birthday parties with Halloween-themed get-togethers, I figured that I could delegate the celebration over my “birth-week” rather than simply the day. I also went out for Halloween and had the fun that my birthday deserved, just a few days later.

I went home for the weekend the Thursday before my birthday, and picked up my brother from college on the way. Aside from the usual homework and studying in the comfort of my childhood home, we decided as a family that my birthday would be celebrated on the Sunday prior.

We went out to dinner, had cake afterward and opened presents that night before my father drove my brother back to school. My mother and I snuggled up on the couch under my newly-gifted weighted blanket and watched horror movies until we became too fatigued to get up.

I woke up the next day, the Monday of my 21st, feeling absolutely no different, albeit a bit stressed about school. My mother ordered bagels from my favorite bagel place and we had breakfast together before she went to work and I drove to the DMV to get my license renewed (and horizontally flipped). I visited my mother at work afterwards, and decided to buy myself flowers in celebration of making it this far. After all, a bouquet of flowers is usually under $10, so it wasn't a major splurge, just something nice for myself. 

After a surprisingly quick drive back to Hofstra from New Jersey, I had two classes and went to layout for the Chronicle. I had decided a few weeks prior that if I was going to spend my 21st birthday essentially working all night, we may as well make an event out of it. I brought some baked goods from home (German marble cake and banana chocolate-chip muffins) and nearly everyone dressed to a black-tie theme.

For an office on the second floor of the Student Center, we had as great a time as ever putting together the paper. Despite it being a certainly non-traditional way, it was so nice to spend my birthday and the day before with people that I love who care about me.

I even applied for a few internships as the Copy-Editing team read over the news section, and did some homework assignments as the night went on. Layout on Monday nights are infamously late nights, and we’re often there until 2 or 3 in the morning (if we’re lucky).

If all of this sounds pleasantly uneventful, it was. It’s true, the world doesn’t stop turning and assignments don’t disappear on a day deemed to be one of the most important days of your life. Of course, it would’ve been exciting to celebrate with a large, all-night party over the weekend without any cares in the world, but life is what you make it and it won’t change with a bad attitude. Make the most of what you got, and even if you don’t, the people who care about you will be right there to make it amazing regardless.

All images courtesy of Melanie Haid