The Student Newspaper of Out-of-Door Academy

The Bolt

Happy Birthday to you!

Nick Saranczak, Staff Writer

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Many would relate to this classic birthday scene: Kids gathered around a table with a plate of potato chips and a piece of cake slightly soaked with pool water to sing Happy Birthday. There are many ways in which people celebrate this day, one of the most traditional (for children anyway) being a party dedicated to you.

As a child, when your birthday arrives there is nothing that could make you happier than to have a cake with candles and balloons with a group of people singing just for you.

As a child in elementary school, if you were to have a large birthday party, it would mostly contain of children from class or children from the neighborhood.

As time moves on, throughout middle school, a child’s parties begin to turn into a small group gathering of the child’s close friends. And if we fast forward a little more into high school,  some people choose to keep having those group gatherings, but others change how they celebrate their birthdays.

“I don’t really celebrate my birthday, but my sister on the other hand, makes the whole day about her and only her,” says Senior Brady Moore.

People might decide to treat themselves to something special like going to play paintball, getting their nails done, buying new shoes or a new outfit, or maybe even going out to dinner with family. Some others choose to not to celebrate their birthday at all after a certain point.

But different traditions and attitudes about getting older can dictate how people celebrate beyond their happy days of the pool party, cake and presents party.

As time goes on the excitement seems to fade and birthday parties seem less and less relevant with many people. The change for many happens after the age of 21, arguably nearly the last of what some call “milestone” birthdays.

Milestone birthdays are what most people would see as a popular age for children to celebrate like a child’s 1st birthday to resemble their first year of being on this Earth, 10th birthday to represent the first year of being in double digits, 13th birthday for first becoming a teenager, 15th birthday for getting their permit or for a quinceañera, 16th for getting your driver’s license, 18th birthday for becoming an adult, and 21st birthday for becoming the legal age to drink alcohol.

You may be surprised to know that some choose not to do anything at all.

“I don’t understand why people make huge celebrations for their birthday, if anything we should be celebrating our parents for their actions instead of celebrating our involuntarily actions,” says Junior Hunter Bogumil.

And for the group who choose not to celebrate their special day, they might still hope they will be recognized on their Facebook timeline. Even though some don’t like to make a big deal about their birthday, some still hope that their friends and family and even simple acquaintances will still wish them a happy birthday.

Into adult life, the milestone to hit is coming over the hill on your 50th birthday. While spending most of the day at work and little time at home, some choices that adults chose to make are how to celebrate their birthday. For say, some people choose to take the day off work, or go out to eat with their family or co-workers.  

Whether or not you choose to celebrate your birthday is your choice. Any way to celebrate a birthday is the right way to celebrate a birthday, whether it comes down to getting your face stuffed with a piece of cake or simply receiving a card from your friends or relatives. Remember that your birthday is all about you. Have fun!

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Happy Birthday to you!