This upcoming week is a big one. I have an exam, an interview, a final composition proposal, an oral defense of my proposal, a fifteen minute presentation, and about a million other things due as this is the last full week of the semester. With all the stress of thinking about this I almost forgot one thing that happens on Friday. It's my birthday, and not just any birthday but my 21st, the big one. So needless to say this is the only light at the end of a dark, dark tunnel of work.

The fact is, having a birthday smack at the end of a semester, so close to Christmas has always been a challenge. My birthday and Christmas almost morph together, and then bam no more gift giving holidays to look forward to until the following year. My fellow December birthday people and I know the feeling all too well of wishing we had a birthday in April or June so that we would have something else to look forward to later in the year.

Growing up I always remembered feeling a tinge of guilt at getting gifts on my birthday and then having to have people get me more presents only a short two weeks later. I imagine it's even worse for those who's birthday falls on Christmas or Christmas Eve. My parents always did a good job of separating the two however, so that even though it was close I still had a party and attention on my day.

Flash forward to college and a new dilemma pops up. Having a birthday in the middle of the most stressful time in college students' lives is kind of tough. Finals week often requires all spare energy and from the time it starts until the end requires almost complete attention. You walk around campus and people look like zombies, spending hours in the library studying. This isn't exactly the feeling I want to have on my birthday, but it happens nonetheless.

This year I plan to make the best of the situation. After a long week I should have completed enough work to get by with a little fun during the weekend. I'm taking a break from finals preparation and letting myself enjoy being 21. As I grow older this issue will be more and more meaningless, but for now it's a struggle December babies take on.

However, there is a bright side, we were born around the happiest time of the year, the holiday season makes days a little brighter and we get to share in that happiness. So to all those with birthdays in December, Happy Birthday! Don't forget to celebrate yourself while your planning for the holidays.