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  • Writer's pictureElisha Bae

Birthday At College

 A pink and green birthday cake on a blue background with four additional small pink cakes at the front

For a little while, I was worried. It was nearing my birthday, and I was nowhere near going back to Korea. So far, my birthday would mostly land during a school semester, so I would always celebrate my birthday at school and again with my family when I went back home. But this time, I didn't have my family with me, so it was going to be quite a different scene.

Even so, I'm writing this post to say how wonderful my birthday was! I called my mom and dad and got to talk to them as I would have if I had been there, and my friends and Sho, in particular, ensured that I had the best day that I could possibly have.

Starting from the morning, I was greeted with a sweet 'Happy Birthday' at the dining hall. My usual group of friends was there, and I was surprised that so many of them remembered. In my classes, I got a round of applause and an array of 'happy birthdays' -- in one of them, people sang the Birthday Song! And even while I was walking from place to place, people somehow knew about my birthday and stopped to chat for a bit.

It was also a pretty fun coincidence that Charlie's parents came over to Swarthmore that day, and were planning to have dinner. Charlie invited me to dinner along with a few other friends. So instead of what the dining hall had to offer, I had delicious Indian cuisine. The naan and curry were phenomenal. We kind of made it so that it was a dinner with Charlie's parents but also a time to celebrate my birthday.

I'm so grateful that I have people at college that really care about me. Even though I wasn't celebrating my birthday like I always had for the past 19 years, I wouldn't mind celebrating my birthday at college!

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