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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

I turned 21 on October 12.

While this is an incredibly exciting age to turn, it reminded me of time that has passed too quickly, and it made me realize how far I’ve come in such a small amount of time. As cliche as it sounds, these moments make me want to go back in time and tell myself to slow down and appreciate the times in my life that went by too fast. This goes out to all of the people who want to do the same thing.

My favorite season is fall, so I love the time of year that my birthday is in. I remember having a bunch of different themes for parties when I was younger, and it was helpful that Halloween was right around the corner, so people could dress up. Celebrating my birthday at school was also fun because I got to bring in treats and the other kids in class would be especially grateful for that.

I can still vividly remember past birthdays.

Getting older used to be so much more fun, especially when I turned 16 and 18. One birthday party of mine was Camp Rock themed. I remember dressing up and knowing it was probably one of the best birthday parties I’d had. Since I was younger, I’ve gotten the same birthday cake from the same bakery for most years. It makes me miss being home for my birthday.

When I got to college, I was nervous to spend my birthday without family. If you feel the same way, it’s okay to go home the weekend before or after your birthday, do not be ashamed to do so. This year I celebrated my 21st birthday and I still went home the weekend after to hang out with my hometown friends and parents. I still can’t believe how old I am.

Jillian Groot

Illinois State '24

My name is Jillian Groot and I am a senior english education major with an Italian studies minor at Illinois State University. Instagram: @jilliangroot