For most people, birthdays are a very special day for one to celebrate one’s existence and getting another year older; most importantly, birthdays serve as a great excuse to do whatever one wants to do. However, some miss this opportunity because they still need to fulfill their responsibilities as high schoolers and still take their math tests on their birthdays. On the other hand, others miss out on the opportunity to hear “happy birthday” every time they walk into a classroom.
The preference for having birthdays on a school day or during breaks varies greatly from person to person. For high school students who need to depend on the academic calendar so much, Sophomore AJ Tiongco argues that having school on their birthday can create considerable stress: “I like my birthday on weekends or vacations and I will not tolerate it if it is on a school day. The whole point is to celebrate my birthday in peace and enjoy it, so if it is at school, then that ruins it completely.” Sophomore Andrew Kim can vouch that one becomes very unlucky when their birthday happens to be during a particularly stressful time at school: “Having your birthday on school days, basically sucks. Been having my birthday on finals for the last four years.” Similarly, Junior Alyssa Sun also comments on the hardships of the school agenda restricting her from celebrating her birthday with her family: “Coming to Stevenson means that my birthday is usually the first closed weekend after winter break and smack dab in competition area, so I'm not able to celebrate with my family until the end of January or even February.” Overall, the academic responsibilities as students seem to take away a lot of the fun and enjoyable moments on their birthdays.
However, some people have expressed that they actually like having their birthdays during school days. These people, including Peter Lips, seem to put less emphasis on the day of their actual birthday and rather put emphasis on the meaning of the big day, which enables them to still enjoy celebrating sometime earlier or later: “I usually celebrate with my family on the weekend before or after.” Sophomore June Park also embraces the invincible and sees the positive side of having a school day birthday: “I might even prefer having my birthday on a school day. Just staying home with nothing to do might make me feel more unproductive and like my birthday isn't that special, but going to school and having more people to wish me a happy birthday feels very nice.”
As anticipated, having birthdays on vacations received no complaints, mostly because of the freedom it provides. Junior Kai Carlson feels grateful to be able to choose what to do on his birthday without the restriction of external factors, especially his job or academic load: “I can do whatever I want to do to celebrate my birthday on my birthday, hang out with friends, do fun things with family, and I don't have to worry about school work.” Ian Haight also adds on a similar comment, emphasizing that birthdays on a weekend or vacation opens up different possibilities on how to spend the meaningful day: “my schedule is much more open to make special trips or do other special things with my family.” Senior Maya Chavez shares the advantage she enjoys by having a summer birthday: “When I was younger I wouldn't be forced to invite every person in my class to a birthday party. Now, I also love not having school. I get so much freedom to do whatever I want on my birthday or even go on a trip, a luxury I would not have if my birthday was on a Monday during school.” People seem to favor having birthdays on a vacation due to the freedom of being able to more openly plan out their day.
An important factor to consider when analyzing preferences of having birthdays on a school day or during vacation are different ways of celebrating birthdays. Some people like to throw a big party and celebrate with a lot of people, while others prefer to celebrate on a smaller scale with their family and close friends. Sophomore Clair Lee mentions that sometimes “[her] close friends are there to embarrass [her]” by singing happy birthday as she walks into a classroom or spreading the word that it is her birthday. While some would love this attention and birthday wishes received at school, other people who are relatively more reserved might be overwhelmed. Catherine Seok shares how she likes to celebrate birthdays as an introvert: “ I'm someone that likes to choose who I spend my time with, and this is something that applies to the day of my birthday as well.” On the other hand, Junior Vicky Darko likes to celebrate her birthdays with as many people as possible, potentially with a double celebration: “I enjoy celebrating my birthday on school days because I can hang out with friends and celebrate with family later on.”
One way or the other, one should feel comfortable and enjoy celebrating their birthdays. Whether you prefer to celebrate on a school day or during vacation, embrace what is given to you and make the most out of it; in other words, blow out the candles, make a wish, and cut the cake!