So as a child, having a birthday is a really exciting prospect. You turn one year older, so you get to do more exciting things. You get to have a party where all your friends join you to celebrate the anniversary of your first day on Earth. And, of course, there’s always the prospect of presents which you simply couldn’t go on living without. And that’s all fun.
However, last week I had my 19th birthday (so yes, I am fantastically young… on my recent holiday with some friends, I was the ‘baby’ of the group). But I did make a startling discovery. It turns out that when people ask you what you want for your birthday, you’re not allowed to tell the truth anymore. What actually happens is, at university, you actually have to tell people what you want/need to make your life easier. Considering I’ll be moving into a house with some friends for the first time this September, this year I was given first-house things. Like pans. And a blender. To be honest, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s quite satisfying to be able to plan living independently, away from both my parents and halls.
Living in halls is a great experience, and a great stepping-stone in between living at home and totally moving into your own first house, as well as a great way to make friends. But it still doesn’t compare to living by yourself for the first time, and so this year poses another step on the road leading to adulthood.
The other thing about birthdays is that I am no longer excited about being a year older. Like there’s nothing I can now do as a 19 year-old that I couldn’t do aged 18. People don’t treat you differently. There’s no films that I can see now that I couldn’t a few weeks ago. Life is, essentially, the same.
In short I’m growing up. Becoming boring? I’d like to think not. But I think that’s an important thing that I’ve learnt in my first year of university. As you grow up, things that used to be really important or exciting lose some of their significance. But equally, as you grow older, other things take their place.