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21st Birthday in the Q

Turning 21 means you can legally do all of the things you’ve been doing since you were 16.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve had your 21st planned out for years. As soon as I arrived at college I pulled up my calendar, mapped out the days, and began the countdown.

This is how I thought it would go:

  • The day before my birthday, (if it was a weekday) I would have my last illegal drinks with my housemates, in sweatpants, and wait for the clock to hit 12:00 A.M.

  • The actual day of my birthday I would go out to dinner, order my first legit drink, and probably hit up a local bar afterwards with my friends.

  • If my birthday fell on the weekend, my friends and I would get together for a huge pregame, and begin to countdown. Then at 12:00 A.M. we would hit up the bar, hopefully get a ton of free shots, and then go back home to await the beloved Uber Eats driver.

  • The next day, considering we were alive, we would go out to brunch for bottomless mimosas.

How it really went...

My 21st birthday was on a Sunday, which meant I would be having a huge pregame on Saturday night. And then head to the bars after.

I was ready for this night. My silver sequin romper was already ordered. And then shit hit the fan. On March 23 Connecticut was put on pause due to COVID-19. And the worst part was… my birthday is April 5th.

A memorable night, that I probably wouldn't remember, turned into playing beer pong in my living room with my parents, sister and her boyfriend. Something that I never thought I would be doing the night of my 21st birthday.

Colleges moved to fully online, restaurants, bars, and the rest of the world, were basically shut down. It was time to pack up, and move back home for my 21st.

The countdown to 12:00 A.M. consisted of me in sweatpants, like I thought I might have been. But instead of going to the bar afterwards, I went upstairs to my bright pink childhood bedroom with zebra curtains.

Even though it wasn’t the wild 21st that I had dreamed of, my parents, and sister, made it more special than I could ever have imagined.

There are students, like myself, who are stuck home for their 21st birthdays. They have to get creative, and make the most out of a crazy time.

Here's how they did so:

“Even though we weren’t partying, or anything crazy like that, I felt really loved by my friends because they made the extra effort to plan a perfect day. And I had a 21st birthday that I'll never forget.” - Hope, 21

“My 21st was definitely memorable because we were 10 days into quarantining. My family did the best they could to make my day amazing and they did! They even had all of my family, and friends, on a surprise zoom which made me so happy I cried! I felt super loved!” - Tyler, 21

“I was really and selfishly disappointed originally thinking about spending my 21st birthday in quarantine, I felt like I was getting robbed of every college kids’ right of passage. With being forced to be creative and thoughtful friends, I ended up having the best birthday I’ve ever had.” - Gabby, 21


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