I tell you what, I may not have any more 'big' birthdays until thirty now but there is still something exciting about birthdays! Don't get me wrong I definitely managed to get to sleep the night before and was by no means awake at 5am in the morning. And even though I had an assessed presentation on my actual birthday, I still had an excited, I-feel-special feeling in my tummy all day.
Being at uni, in my final year and having my actual birthday on a Monday this year, I've managed to string it out a bit. I celebrated with friends last Friday so that there was no excuse about lectures and no time to get any work done. I had my actual birthday. Plus, I'm going home this weekend so I can see my fam too - although I'm not expecting to walk in and find a pile of presents, haha. But the idea of being able to celebrate with them too fills me with excitement all over again.
It's also been nearly three months since I was actually at home, so I'm looking forward to being back in the Surrey Hills and cuddling my cat and dog as well. It'll be a very welcome change from the triangle of lectures-library-home that is my life at the moment. It's like cabin fever on a slightly larger scale, though it's only for half a year more!
So, my birthday celebrations began about a month ago when I first set up an event for it. Being a final year, weekends get filled up insanely quickly! Like you think you have a free one and then just as quickly an event is organised. So I didn't feel bad at all in telling people to be at my birthday before they'd even picked their Halloween outfits.
It took me a while to decide on what I wanted to do. All I knew was I wanted a classy night out. No Jesters, no Sobar and no Clowns (the student nightclubs of Southampton). I didn't want to have to hose myself down afterwards so I said: Turtle Bay for Happy Hour cocktails and then on to Pop World in Bedford Place for dancing.
My housemates greeted me when I got in on Friday and 'kept me occupied' while they finished the ganache on an amazing chocolate cake they'd baked for my birthday! It was amazing and took five days to finish. Best. Housemates. Ever!
I decided I wanted to by myself a bottle of something to celebrate but it's been a crazy couple of weeks so I subconsciously bought myself Prosecco instead of Cava and wanted to cuff myself over the head when I realised what I'd done. That is, when I tasted it and almost wanted to spit it out again.
We all then got ready - I wore an Asos dress with New Look clutch/shoulder bag with New Look ballerina pumps - and waited for people to arrive. Ash - housemate from first and second year - and Christine - ditto - then arrived and we got a couple of snaps in.
The four of us then met Casey - flatmate from first year - at the bus stop and we made our way to town for dinner. It felt almost surreal the five of us being back together, but in a good way! It was like being back in first year, getting the bus for a night out in the town centre.
Turtle Bay was busy so we hopped over the road to Mango Thai instead. I had a Green Curry with Egg-Fried Rice, which although a bit spicy, was delicious and started the night off nicely! I must've been missing having passionfruit in my life - after the wide availability of it on my year abroad - because I bought passionfruit cider and then proceeded to order passionfruit based cocktails later on. "My year abroad in a cup" as I kept telling everyone.
So much passionfruit! Coupled with strawberry daiquiris and tobago iced teas(?!).
Once in Turtle Bay, we began with a glass of something each (Merlot for me!) and waited excitedly for Happy Hour to begin at 10pm.
Linguists from my course then began arriving and the party really got started! What I loved about this night was nothing big or dramatic happened, it was just fun, chilled and enjoyable. It was great having random conversations with people, seeing most dressed up and just having a generally enjoyable time. Nothing mad and messy like it would've been in a student nightclub. Of the thirty people who had said they would come, there was definitely about twenty-twenty-five in the end. So I was very very happy!! :D
At about midnight I decided I wanted to dance and what made me happiest was that most of the attendees wanted to do the same. Being final years, I had thought it would be only a few of us up for the nightclub, but no! Most people then proceeded to join us and we had amazing fun!
Pop World is where you go for literally that: pop music. But that's everything from Busted and the Macarena to Katy Perry and the latest chart music. I think it was just what we had all needed.
It has been a crazy few weeks and I know I had needed one night out to just dance and not think about anything academic.
It was great seeing a couple of people from halls who had graduated that summer! Joe picked me up and gave me a huge hug when I got in the door, which was great! I'd missed him! The only trouble was I'm pretty sure my already rather short dress was riding up and definitely revealing more than I would've liked to the world. Oops. :P
I also frisbeed my huge birthday badge across the dance floor, got half price on entry and also managed to avoid any shots too! Win. Which was probably why I woke up without a hangover the next day: even more win!!
The next day was pretty lazy. We chilled and watched TV. The madre called me up to see if I was coming home and, as per each year since I've been at uni, forgot the day of my birthday. Classic Mumma Talb.
My actual birthday wasn't particularly eventful because I had an assessed presentation. But I did go to a talk on Inspiring Women in my student union which actually made me feel really great. Listening to some empowered women refuelled my confidence in myself and reinspired me to enjoy what I love. A couple of people were surprised I went on my birthday. But as I said to them: I'm a fourth year, can't stand Jesters and I actually had wanted to come to the talk anyway. Plus, there was free food. What kind of student passes up free macarons and wine?!
The talk itself has refuelled my passion for life and I'm super excited about making my 22nd year on this earth a good'un for myself!
On the whole it has been an incredible birthday and it's not even over! I may have already put up a status about it on Facebook, however I want to take a moment to thank everyone and send out some love to all the lovelies who wished me happy birthday, gave me cards and presents and also celebrated with me!!! :D <3 I love you all!!