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The Stages of College Birthdays


When you’re in high school, birthdays are a huge deal. Your friends bake you a cake, sing you “happy birthday” in homeroom and you walk around all day in a tiara. For some reason, turning any age in high school seems to be marked by a special occasion. Turning 15? You get your learner’s permit. Turning 16? You finally get to drive! In college, birthdays start to take on a different meaning. Here are the stages of college birthdays, from freshman year to graduation.

Stage 1: turning 18

This stage usually happens right before you come to college, and it brings all kinds of exciting things. You can vote, play the lottery and even get married if you want! Turning 18 is the first step into adulthood, and everything is more exciting once you’re a legal adult.

Stage 2: turning 19

Turning 19 is a little anticlimactic. You’ve already been a teenager for six years at this point, and you’re kind of just in a gray area. You’re not in your twenties, but you’re a little too old to be categorized as a teenager. You’ve already wasted money buying pointless lottery tickets and voting only happens once every four years, so being 19 doesn’t really come with any special perks. Some consider 19 to officially be the “bleh” in-between birthday.

Stage 3: turning 20

You’re in your twenties — the infamous decade of age that Carrie Bradshaw used to write so passionately and fondly about. Turning 20 pushes you out of the teen category and places you firmly into the adulthood. However, the moment you turn 20, the real countdown begins… only 365 days until you’re 21. Twenty is the year you start to become really pensive about your prior life choices because you’re an adult now after all. You get your life together while you’re 20, only to blow it all to pieces once you enter the next stage.

Stage 4: turning 21

You’ve finally entered the promised land! No more sneaking sips of other people’s drinks at 101 Cantina; you can finally order an entire fish bowl for yourself. Turning 21 is like winning an Oscar, an Emmy and the Nobel Peace Prize all at once, even though you did nothing but live for 21 consecutive years to deserve it. Now that you’re 21, you don’t have to feel weird drinking a glass of wine in front of your parents anymore. You can get into places like the Hard Rock Hotel & Casico and gamble if you so please. Being 21 comes with all kinds of exciting things and serves as a major marking point in a college gal’s life.

College birthdays might not be the same as birthdays at home, but they’re special nonetheless. How do you plan to celebrate your birthday this year?


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