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Monday, March 04, 2024

It’s 96 degrees and humid. My winter wardrobe is now stored under my bed, and my closet hangers are color-coordinated with maxi dresses and short-sleeved anything. 

Summertime has come again as promised each year. The sun is shining, the beach is always the place to be, and nothing is more refreshing than knowing you don’t have a 15-page term paper due anytime soon.

Who cares if you have a summer job or internship that forces you to wake up early? The sheer fact its summertime makes it bearable because after work, there is definitely a summer drink special going on at different place every night. When you do have time off, the summer becomes the ultimate time of play.

And if you have a birthday during the summertime, forget it— the summer fun-factor skyrockets!

Most of your friends are home from school to celebrate it with you. And best of all, you don’t even need to spend money on a dinner or venue if you’re on a budget. You can have it at the beach or park since the weather is mostly sunny and bright— a luxury some lose in the winter months.

If you’re in college and your birthday falls during the summer time, you may feel the urge to thank your parents for their “strategic planning” to have you at the most awesome time of the year. 

You feel a sense of pity for all of your friends with birthdays during the school year because it’s either too cold to swing back a celebratory shot in whatever artic town they decided to go to school in, or they have to miss out on celebrating all together because the professor your friend truly believes despises them, purposely scheduled a test on their birthday.

Whatever the reason, you just think you’re summer birthday is literally too cool for school.  

But wait a second, my friend. It hasn’t always been this way.

Having a summer birthday used to, well, suck back in the day. 

Don’t you remember? I mean, not to bring up a sore subject: but back in the day, my September birthday was prime birthday time.

Having a birthday during the school year in grade school was like hitting the genetic jackpot. Behind naptime and recess, there was nothing better than having a birthday that conveniently fell during the school year.

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I always felt bad for the kids that had birthdays over the summer because—let’s be honest— nothing can get me out of bed faster than knowing some form of delicious baked good would be waiting for me in homeroom just because it’s my birthday.

Having a birthday during the school year was just plain awesome in grade school. It was like you were king or queen for the day. You got to be line-leader when your class would walk to P.E. Your name would be written on the side of the board in big, colorful bubble letters in the birthday column. You wouldn’t have to bother sending your invitations through the mail for your super cool party at Discovery Zone when you could just throw them up in the air on the playground and hope that really cute fourth grader would find it and show up. 

The best part of all— not a single soul could forget it was your birthday.

Us kids with birthdays during the school year simply had power in numbers. Since everyone knew it was your birthday, it was almost a given they would be there to celebrate it that weekend (minus of course the few kids that were travel-team protégés with soccer games each Saturday). It was a time in the year when you knew everyone would and could be there.

The summer kids just could never seem to get anyone to be at the same place at the same time quite like the rest of us. Whether it was camp, summer school or family trips, we all used to disperse to different places during the summer. There was no guarantee anyone would show up or even remember it was your birthday over the summer since there was no constant reminder that comes along with the stability of life during the school year.

When your days, weeks and months are so intricately uniform, anything that can make it more interesting and fun is welcomed with open arms. Having a birthday during the school year offered a positive disruption to this rudimentary life we lived for nine months of the year.

For the person with the birthday, it was a day when they could feel more important and special in their environment. They knew that the next day everything would go back to normal. But this was their day, and others would be there to acknowledge it.

Honestly, it wasn’t that having a birthday during the school year was really that much better than a summer birthday at all. Rather it merely served as a pleasant disruption to a structured routine. I welcomed the attention it brought me in my typically mediocre, school environment. It was always nice to know the day would be a good one simply because it was my birthday. 

However, I feel now the tables have turned since I’ve been in college. All of my friends are away at school during the school year with various obligations that force them to miss out on my birthday. I have to admit I am now somewhat envious of my friends with summer birthdays because they can plan something during a time when a majority of us are home or able to travel while on break.

Yet I have begun to see as life goes on, there will no longer be a school year and summertime-birthday distinction anymore. Once we enter into what us co-eds refer to as the real world, it’s very hard to get everyone to be stationary and in the same place together. No matter the season, the uniform structure that simultaneously conformed our time together in grade school has now been lifted, and we live at our own pace. 

A birthday itself is in fact the celebrated pinnacle point of maturity of self and time. Just as the season of when a birthday comes around becomes trivial in retrospect to your life, so does the factors, which at one point made a birthday feel more special or maybe even inferior to the other.

It doesn’t really matter how many gifts you can get and how many people attend your exclusive soirée. A birthday should be about something more essential and meaningful. After all, it’s a celebration of you, which is pretty dope if you ask me. It’s up to you to celebrate your birthday with your own idea of fun in mind, wherever you are or whomever you’ll be with.

No matter what— there will always be the memory of the 7-year-old me. Running out of my house to catch the bus, holding on to the ridiculous tiara I was so excited to wear so everyone at school knew that today was my birthday. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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