Feeling 22

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*Warning: The opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of anyone other than this totally irrational, almost 22 year-old blogger.*

I’ve always loved my birthday and gotten really excited when October would roll around. That means only 9 days until the day. And it has never been just about the fact that it’s my birthday; 22 years ago, I was born on my dad’s birthday. Just invited myself into the world on his special day to forever force him to share everything in life-including his date of birth (sorry, Dad). So I’ve always been really thrilled when the day would come, and my dad would be happy, but he would still be disappointed to be turning another year older. I never thought I would see the day that I would be sad to have a birthday. I thought that I would always be excited because I’ve always had such a ridiculous level of happiness about it. But just a few weeks ago, I realized that I was not excited.

I’ve spent the last year (logically, really) being 21. Being the strange english major that I am, there is a such a fresh, shiny connotation with that age. I feel like I’ve just come into the world as a 21 year-old, finally feeling like an adult…much more so than 18. And I was happy telling people I was 21 when they’d ask. I felt like just enough of an adult. But now, this fantastic “21” thing is being ripped away from me, and 22 is forcing itself into my life. I haven’t been okay with that! I know people say that age is just a number, but when I stopped and thought about it, I realized that this number that is attaching itself to me is dragging me down and taking away my shiny newness.

Naturally, I don’t want to get older, because that means I’m putting more years in my past and am swiftly approaching all obligations of adulthood. But how incredibly stupid is it to feel so upset about getting another year older? I’ve got another year of adventures and wisdom in the books. So much has happened in the last 12 months that quite obviously could only happen if the days kept passing and I kept getting older.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, two of my closest friends have passed away in the last year and a half. These losses have been the absolute hardest things I have gone through, and I feel aged from this time. The happiest, liveliest people anyone could ever meet were taken so young. I can tell you right now that neither of them would have acted this way about a birthday-theirs or someone else’s.

Because of this, I realize I need to embrace getting older and traveling through life. Age and birthdays are inevitable and not meant to be negative by any means. I hope no one else has gotten worried about turning “old” and 22. Maybe this is just me being crazy, but if it isn’t, forget about it. Be grateful to have another year of life in this world and with the people you care about.

So with that, I’m going to wake up on my birthday and enjoy the day and encourage my dad, who won’t be turning 22, to have a good one as well. We have to be happy since the Blackhawks’ regular season starts on our birthday! What a good present.

At any rate, enjoy every birthday, especially those that Taylor Swift is kind enough to write about.


Holly Brenza (F)


Holly Brenza is a senior majoring in English and minoring in communications and management. In her spare time, Holly enjoys playing with her puppy, Bear, and watching the Blackhawks and White Sox, reading and trying out new recipes. After graduation, she hopes to work in public relations.


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