I never thought turning 22 in America could beat turning 21 in Australia, but it may have happened. How? Well, as I mentioned in my “21” post last year, I am one of the luckiest girls in the world because I have some of the best friends (and family) around.
Despite the birthday night out or birthday brunch that is popular with young women my age, I never celebrate my birthday. It falls during peak fraternity and sorority “formal season,” is right before finals and always occurs around Hofstra’s Music Fest, which is a concert put on by a student run organization every spring. Don’t get me wrong; my birthday is always during a time of general celebration and I am thankful for that. However, this year my friend told me doing nothing for my birthday was not an option, and being that it was my senior year of college and last time I would be surrounded by all my school friends in one place, I took her command very seriously.
I commenced the celebration by going to a pre-birthday half-priced-appetizer trip with a
bunch of people in my pre-professional fraternity the Sunday before my Wednesday birthday. It was extra special because it was a double celebration for another member’s date of birth, which was a day prior. I had a blondie sundae, which I never get, and it was almost as sweet as everyone who showed up for the casual night.
Fast forward three days and you can picture me twirling around my room to “22” by Taylor Swift because it was my birthday! You know I played the song about ten times at the expense of my housemates’ ears. It was also the last Hofstra Today of the season, which is Hofstra’s news show I host, and for that I was extra thrilled. Apparently I had no idea what was coming for me. About 15 minutes before air, my good friend and Hofstra alumni Michael showed up in the studio and surprised everyone. I could not do anything but cry in disbelief and happiness.
Once I cleared my eyes and yelled at him to get out of the studio, my co-host and I had an extremely successful last episode. When we were saying our goodbyes, right as I noticed we were wrapping up a bit early, my co-host said, “Sara, isn’t it your birthday?” The next thing I knew the whole room was singing to me and the on-air talent came on set to sing to me as we were still broadcasting. What a way to end an incredible season! I definitely called my mom in tears to tell her how happy I felt. Her very motherly response was, “Don’t call me crying like that, you scared me.”
I was not sure if I was going out on my birthday because it was a busy day for all my friends, but as soon as Michael showed up and with the prior encouragement from my friend Danielle, I knew I had to do something. That night, some of my closest friends and I plopped ourselves down at the Green Turtle, a popular spot among Hofstra students, and had ourselves some tasty food (seared tuna), delicious drinks (Hell in the Shell, a Green Turtle classic giant drink) and loads of laughs.
The birthday festivities could have ended there, but why should they? The following Monday, some of my closest sorority sisters and I went back to the Green Turtle.
It meant a lot that they took time out of their busy schedules to get together and celebrate mine and another sorority sister’s birthday. Hooray for double double birthday celebrations! (I want to also shout out my sorority for singing to me at our formal which was the day after my actual birthday.)
Double birthday celebrations were not enough, though. The next night, all of us (minus one) left at Hofstra from SCO in Rome 2016 got together for a night of bowling. It just so happened that four of us were turning 22 in a handful of weeks from each other. Plus, we had not all been together in two years. The bowling alley had a great deal, and it was so bittersweet being together once again, just as we were about to graduate.
And that, my dedicated readers, is how to celebrate the big “22.” To wrap this up, I just want to reiterate how thankful I am to have the people in my life that I do, and how incredibly special I feel because of them. They all know it was a wild semester for me, and having them by my side really helped me make it through. To all my friends who hopefully read this, you know who you are. Thank you!
Whitmanythought 1: I still don’t know how I got so lucky.
Whitmanythought 2: Shout out to all the people who wished me a happy day on social media and through text. My phone was ringing off the hook! Not really, because my phone is always on silent.