Birthdays are a time when family and friends come together to celebrate an important milestone in someone’s life. However, due to the pandemic, this and any other celebration has been made increasingly more difficult to make happen. As a junior in college, many of my friends and I will have to celebrate one of the biggest birthdays of our lives, our 21st, unable to see each other or host the parties that we have always pictured for this special milestone. However, my friends and I have discovered a number of ways to still have a special birthday under these circumstances.
[bf_image id="q5kkug-68fh4-4ff4n4"] One shared aspect of all of our recent birthday celebrations is a theme! Themes are a great way to add a unique aesthetic to the birthday that will make for great pictures, but they also make the planning of the party just as fun as the party itself. Themes that we have enjoyed reach beyond standard party ideas and involve a lot more creativity and imagination. An example of a broad theme could be films from your favorite movie studio. With this theme, people can dress as a number of different characters from films that you love. You don’t even have to be in the same room as your friends, because the joy of the party is in the reveal of the costumes, which can still be done over a virtual platform.
One advantage of having a party at home is that you can decorate however you like. Since you cannot go outside or visit any bars on, in our case, your 21st birthday, bring the bars, clubs, or exotic locations you have always wanted to go to to you! One of my friends’ family created an entire club hopping experience in their home. [bf_image id="q2wim2-1wj21k-3oxvnm"] Each room served different specialty drinks and had a different theme, and some rooms resembled iconic clubs. They also included wristbands at the door to each room. If you make each room a unique location with a special theme, you don’t have to settle on one theme at all! You can also make each room a spot around the world, serve themed drinks, play music associated to that place, and decorate the room according to the theme. These parties definitely can be fun with just the family for those of us who are quarantined with our families. But, if you want to include friends, send them a list of the drinks or activities associated with each room and you can make the drinks and play the games together virtually! It’s a lot more fun than you may think to struggle with your friends within your own homes to make drinks you have never even heard of.
Feel free to also make your party a game with your friends! Over a virtual platform, have all of your friends instruct each other on making a drink. Now, the fun part is that these drinks can be whatever you want them to be. You can tell your friends to mix in anything that you see in the fridge or kitchen, even if it’s not something that you would typically put in a quality drink. Maybe you’ll discover something you actually like! If not, get your friend to drink something totally out of their comfort zone! [bf_image id="q5ks8d-67d1mg-ggkz9l"]
If you prefer something sentimental, organize a collection of videos or letters from all of your friends to share at your other friend’s birthday. If you are the one being celebrated, don’t be afraid to ask your friends! You might be surprised by how much of their own creativity and love they put into even just a simple letter. They may say something over a personal letter or video they would have never said to you in person. Trust me, this kind of stuff can bring you to tears.
So, obviously staying at home and not being able to party with friends is not the most ideal situation for a 21st birthday. However, there are a lot of ways to still make the celebration memorable and fun. You only turn 21 once, so don’t let it go to waste. Besides, even though your 21st birthday only happens once, after you turn 21, you won't be under-21 ever again. This means that you can enjoy the benefits of being 21 whenever you want and, if you would like, feel free to do a redo party when it's safe to do so!