Happy QuaranTEEN Birthday!
With the quarantine situation, many students have had a change of plans to their typical birthday celebrations. Because they can't have a big party with their friends and family, or go out for a fun day (as most everything is temporarily closed at the moment), students have had to find other ways to celebrate their special day while staying safe. Knowing how important birthdays are, I reached out to six EBHS students on how they had the happiest quaranTEEN birthday they could have. Read on to see how some of them celebrated!
June 15, 2020
For her 18th birthday, senior, Nahasiah Jenkins shares that “My mother, stepfather, and I did a surprise Zoom meeting with some of my family, close family friends, and a few of my friends from school.” She was surprised with colorful balloons, cake, and a warm, comforting celebratory breakfast from IHOP on the morning of April 18th. Nahasiah also met with her father at the 7/11 near her home, following social distance protocols as she had cake with him in the parking lot. “I was so grateful that my parents were able to still do something.” she expresses.“Money has been tight because of all of this, so the fact that my parents were still able to pull something off was great.” Like many people across the globe, Nahasiah’s family has been affected by the mass closures; but thanks to everyone who took the time out of their day to virtually celebrate with her, Nahasiah felt lucky that her birthday celebration still managed to be something that was so special.
The very next day, senior, Matt Smith turned 18. “My mom made cupcakes and we drove to my sister’s house to celebrate with my family in her backyard from a distance,” he tells me. Typically, Matt could be found sitting in the stands of Yankee Stadium watching a baseball game, holding onto his hat as the cool breeze blew his way, to celebrate his special day. But due to the pandemic, he wasn’t expecting much. “Being able to see my family for the first time in a while and all the texts from my friends that I got made it feel special. It was certainly one of my most unique birthdays given the circumstances and one I probably won’t forget,” he remarks.
Almost a week later on April 25th, senior, Priya Patti was gifted the surprise of a lifetime for her 18th birthday. Priya’s day reads like a story. She recalls it fondly, sharing “My day started with my brother taking me for a three hour drive. We went through some country roads in Pennsylvania. We had the windows down and music blasted as we enjoyed the scenic routes. Then, in the afternoon, I had a social distance barbecue with my neighbors. It was wonderful, everyone sat on my lawn at a safe distance. Half an hour into the barbecue I heard police sirens. My neighbor Cindy and I exchanged looks of confusion. I then turned to my mom who was sneakingly trying to hide her phone. Within seconds cars were zooming down, honking their horns, screaming happy birthday. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, it felt like a dream.” Despite the quarantine, Priya’s family and friends gave her the best birthday she could ever have, just as she dreamed for. Priya is so thankful that she was able to have such an adventure with the people closest to her heart.
Like Priya, Jack Krawet’s mom surprised him with a drive by on April 27th. “My friends did a birthday drive-by thing. It wasn’t huge, just a couple close friends which was nice. I had no idea it was happening until my mom told me to stand on the front porch, that’s when I got suspicious.” he recalls. Jack adds that “I’ve never liked doing much on my birthday anyway so I was very content with not doing anything.” But he had a nice time seeing his friends drive by his house and spending the day with his grandparents. For Jack, “It was really memorable. Being 18 is obviously a monumental birthday, but senior year is a monumental year too and we are all missing that. Missing the birthday was just par for the course. It stinks, yeah, but it’s unique and I will never forget it.”
As EB students have proven, birthdays are moments of joy and celebration, regardless of how they’re spent. No matter the circumstances, in some way or another, that day will always be special with family and friends by your side.