HOW MY 22ND BIRTHDAY IS DIFFERENT FROM MY 21ST

  1. The big one: 21 is important while 22 means nothing.
    21 felt like liberation from a prison of risk, where the very act of drinking was a rebellion against law and order. At 21, I could finally be the adult I had felt like for years. I could order wine with dinner, be legally admitted to bars and clubs, and buy alcohol from the liquor store like a full fledged person.
  2. Because 22 means nothing, I'm not super jazzed for this birthday.
    I like presents and I like celebrations but I don't feel really emotionally invested in this birthday. If I could reschedule it, I would. It's frankly not a great time. Which brings me to the next point.
  3. When I turned 21, I was just looking forward to the end of the semester. I had a summer internship lined up and I was studying abroad that fall. When I turn 22, I will only be thinking about how I graduate college in a month and need to finish writing my damn thesis.
    I need to pass every class I'm in to graduate and I've already bought the cap and gown, so the stakes are high. I do not have a job lined up, and I'm moving home in June. Basically, this time around I have more responsibilities and less to look forward to.
  4. One thing I do have to look forward to with turning 22: not blacking out and being so embarrassed by my behavior that I spend the entire next day in bed with my phone turned off.
    This happened when I turned 21. Karaoke and multiple types of alcohol were involved. I was so anxious about how I had acted that I had to call a friend to convince me that my other friends who had been there that night didn't hate me. NEVER AGAIN. Like a fine wine, I have matured with age and will not be going crazy this year.
  5. Last year, Beyoncé did not have a major premiere event the night of my birthday.
    I get it, acquaintances. I have a birthday every year but Beyoncé's Lemonade only premieres once.
  6. How they're exactly the same: people still don't know that Earth Day is April 22. Telling people that my birthday is the day after Earth Day is still useless.
    PS—what I really wanted was a GIF of Greenzo from 30 Rock but I couldn't find a good one, so here's a German Shepherd recycling.