On October 14, I celebrated my 21st birthday. If you are expecting a narrative of crazy college debauchery, I am here to offer you something more uncommon. It’s a look at how you can have an extraordinary birthday on an ordinary Connecticut College weekday.

I awoke at probably the most ridiculous time of day for a college student: 5:45 am, the official time of my birth. My birthday cards that had arrived from family and friends over the past few days lay unopened in a pile by my bed, expectantly waiting for October 14 to arrive. I used my early rising as an opportunity to have a little celebration by opening the cards and looking at some early morning birthday Facebook posts. My celebratory morning did not last too long, though; what would a Connecticut College birthday be without three classes in a row to attend, starting at 9 a.m.?

I tried my hardest to maintain my festive spirit throughout my classes. I stayed attentive and happily engaged in discussion in Sex, Gender, and Identity in Africa; in Psychology of Women, I focused on how positive feminism can be instead of getting upset by the reality of sexism. As I arrived to my PICA class, I was greeted with tons of enthusiastic “Happy birthdays” and well-wishes from my lovely classmates, further proving that students in a community action program are some of the nicest, most considerate people around. I didn’t even need to muster up a positive attitude; my friends did it for me with a few simple words.

As 1:05 p.m. rolled around, I rushed out of the classroom to greet my mom, who had generously decided to come up to Conn to take me to lunch on my birthday. We drove to Mystic and marveled at how beautiful the fall day was. It hit that perfect combination of crisp autumn air with a beautifully bright sun. We chose a restaurant where we could sit outside on the waterfront and enjoyed the ultimate New England 21st birthday lunch — a cocktail and a lobster roll. Contentedly full, my mom drove me back to campus as she told me nostalgic stories about watching me grow over the years.

After a well-deserved post-food nap, I proceeded to responsibly acknowledge the alcoholic significance of the night. I started out with a casual wine and pizza dinner with friends in my room, where I stuffed myself with food for the second time that day and enjoyed being in good company. Finally, I followed dinner with the last symbolic birthday act: grabbing a beer at Humphrey’s, the campus bar. I found my weekday birthday to be one of the best in recent memory. It turns out I didn’t need a Friday or Saturday night to have a perfect 21st birthday. All I needed was the right mindset, the right environment and the right Camels to celebrate it with.