At the symbolic age of 18, people enter adulthood and leave behind their childhood. For many people, their 18th birthday is one of their most memorable, as it marks independence and a new chapter of life.
Although senior Emily Hutto was hoping to spend her 18th birthday in the city with friends as she embarks on her first year of adulthood, the coronavirus quickly put her plans to a halt. Instead of spending the birthday that officially marks the beginning of her adulthood celebrating her freedom, she feels trapped at home.
Nonetheless, Hutto is thankful that she had friends and family who were there for her, even if they weren’t there physically. Her friends dropped by her house to decorate her driveway and leave her birthday presents.
“I got to spend my birthday with my family, and the people I care most about wished me happy birthday,” Hutto said. “They still made it mean something to me even if the circumstances weren’t the best.”
Despite the fact that senior Alex Loesel celebrated her birthday at home, the support of her friends who dropped by to wish her happy birthday uplifted her spirits. They were practicing social distancing, of course.
“It was kind of disappointing just because turning 18 is a big deal,” Loesel said. “But, overall it was way better than I expected especially because my friends came to surprise me, and I thought I was just going to be in my room alone all day.”
Senior Amisha Jaiswal tried to make the best out of her birthday even though she could not have the grand celebration she was hoping for. Her family decorated the outside of their house with balloons, streamers and banners in honor of her birthday, and her friends organized a drive-by, where they would drive past her house while honking their horns and throwing presents at her from their car windows.
“I’ve always imagined this milestone being spent in a fun environment with all my friends and family like my previous birthdays, but that wasn’t the case,” Jaiswal said. “However, my wonderful friends and family still found a way to surprise me and made this one of the most memorable birthdays I’ve ever had!”
The additional time these seniors had to themselves helped them reflect the value of family and how much they have grown in the past 18 years.
“It’s so crazy to think that this is what the world is like right now, but I realize that it’s really up to us to adjust and make the most out of this situation,” Jaiswal said. “Although this wasn’t at all how I imagined my birthday to be like, I’m so grateful for the experience.”