Social freedom detoured by late birthday

Rachel Treisman, Web Features Editor

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No one likes being late to the party. More specifically, to the birthday party.

While there’s no denying it’s a first world problem, having a late birthday can be a disadvantage. And I don’t mean late as in a few months after my friends – I mean the very end of the school year.

I usually love celebrating my birthday in the sunny springtime, but I was less than enthused when all of my lucky older friends got their permits while I was still hitching rides with my parents. And that’s just the beginning.

ABC News says that the most common birthday in America is Oct. 5, with almost one million people celebrating their special day. Fall birthdays are statistically more common than spring ones, meaning those of us spring chickens have to wait a little longer to enjoy our adult privileges. Cough cough, safely seeing R-rated movies in the theater.

It also means many of our classmates are actually way older than us, their fall birthdays enabling them to stay back rather than be the youngest members of the grade below. No wonder it sometimes feels like I’m way more naive than the rest of my friends.

Another difference between me and my friends is the amount of freedom we have behind the wheel. While we all have our licenses, the majority of my peers can legally drive non-family members around town without worrying while I am forbidden from having passengers that aren’t, say, my sister or my mom.

According to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, for the first six months after obtaining a driver’s license, teenagers can only drive with a parent or licensed driving instructor.

Worst of all, until a driver turns 18, he or she can’t drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. I can’t wait to watch all of my friends stay out late from the safety of my empty house.

It’s like being a freshman all over again, except the question, “Can you drive me…?” is preceded by a friend’s name instead of the word “mom.”

And what grinds my gears the most is that having an early birthday is actually advantageous. The age cutoff for many sports enables young children with late birthdays to play alongside older kids with early birthdays, giving the older and more physically mature athletes a leg up — pun intended.

Plus, having a birthday at the end of the school year means trying to plan a celebration in between AP exams, Memorial Day travels and academic finals. It’s a lot easier to make plans in the dead of winter than during the end-of-the-school-year frenzy.

Having a later birthday means waiting longer to drive, vote and legally order “As Seen on TV” products. But on the bright side, I’m sure we’ll all have a good laugh about this when we’re 50.

 

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