Birthdays! They happen once every 365 days, in celebration of the earth completing another orbit around the sun since your last birthday, and coincidently, happen to be the one thing I can never remember. After a certain age threshold, birthdays seem to start creeping up on you, and before you realize it, another year has already passed. Believe it or not, we are roughly a month away from inscrutable 2022, which is 10 years away from 2012, shared by the sci-fi disaster film of the same name where the world nearly came to an end.
If I’m being honest, this whole “growing up” thing has yet to grow on me. When I reached the age of 18 and was finally allowed to do real legal adult stuff, like being able to go out after 10 PM and learning to do taxes (thanks, Mom), I thought I would instantly transform into this amazing, better version of me. But alas, in spite of experience, I’m still terrified at the idea of flying alone and driving. Neither am I financially inclined, as you might be able to tell from my food points, or rather, my lack of them.
Even now, I’m still searching for that one-way ticket to Neverland. Me? Being a responsible and productive member of society? See, I can be physically (and, for the most part, mentally) responsive, but being responsible is where I draw the line. As a young child, I thought that dogs could time travel as they aged 7 times faster than humans. My one single birthday meant seven biscuit cakes for our dog. As such, I was determined to know I’ve always wanted to travel to the future, but now I just want to travel to the past and hang out with younger me, as we duel out a Pokemon match on Nintendo DS. On one hand, I do want to see if virtual reality (cough cough Metaverse) has indeed taken over our daily lives, but on the other hand, I’m afraid of meeting future me, as we stare at each other in sheer disappointment: “Oh, so that didn’t work out, huh.” Anyways, birthdays aren’t the time to be concerned with existentialism, that’s what non-birthdays are for.
Taiwan still maintains its two-week quarantine mandate for all visitors, and since I’ll likely not be able to stay in my dorm over winter break, I will be flying back to a small hotel room in Taipei, where I will celebrate my first birthday in quarantine. The birthday paradox states that out of a random group of 23 people, there is a 50% chance that two of them will share a birthday. Around 20% of the student body is made up of international students. So, using the power of mathematics, we can reasonably deduce that someone, like me, will be celebrating their birthday in quarantine! I know, exciting.
Call Family & Friends
Quarantine can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Just because they aren’t next to you, doesn’t mean they can’t be with you. Perhaps, instead of a cake, everyone can all share a blueberry muffin, or even host an online cooking session, where one person leads everyone through the steps of making rice krispies or some other dessert. Connecting digitally has never been easier. In fact, if you’re in the mood, a few rounds of skribbl.io or Gartic Phone is sure to cheer everyone up. No art experience is required, simply your two hands and the screen.
Spotify Wrapped has come out, and you know what that means.
To be honest, there’s nothing quite like watching neon lights flickering over the moon-gilded city, while listening to the “slowed & reverb” version of The Wisp Sings by Winter Aid. It’s like passing the flame from one candle to another. We spend so much time trying to make sense of the nonsense around us, trying to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, that it becomes so easy to lose track of where, or who, we are. Eventually, we stop seeing parts of the world around us.
But with music, everything seems to melt back into place, and suddenly the things we spent so much time worrying about become insignificant. Music is your personal chamber, where you get to scream, cry, laugh all you want, where you get to let it all out. So put on some headphones (or even speakers if no one is around you), and enjoy the ride.
Even more than that, start a Spotify group session with your family or friends, and share your favorite songs! Life isn’t life without a good soundtrack to back it up, and who better to share your soundtrack than with those you love the most?
Start an ASMR Mukbang Channel
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I’m not joking, you won’t believe the revenue these channels make. Plus, all you really need is your phone and some nice crunchy food. Imagine all the things you’ll be able to buy on Amazon with this revenue, maybe even redecorate your hotel room.
Remember, every day is a birthday for someone, so celebrate every day as if celebrating your own birthday.
Spencer Chang is a Trinity freshman. His column runs on alternate Thursdays.