Whether you started school a little early and want to celebrate your 18th birthday or you're an older student back in school after serving in the military, a college birthday is a great chance to celebrate and take a break from the usual rigors of college life. But just how can you make sure to get the most out of your special day? Check out this list of 20 great ways to celebrate a college birthday, no matter what your situation (or budget!):
1. Head out to a restaurant. You can go simple and nice; you can go big and rowdy. But going out to eat for your birthday is popular for a reason. It's fun, easy to coordinate, and not a lot of work for you or your friends. And if you're really lucky, you'll get a free dessert to boot!
2. Head to a museum. You're in college now, so it's okay to be a little nerdy. And since it's your birthday, you can be as nerdy as you want. Head to an art museum, a museum of natural history, or even a local aquarium. Museums can be a great way to take a break from the chaos of college while still doing something interesting and engaging. (Make sure to check if you can get a student discount, too.)
3. Go to a poetry slam. Whether you just want to watch or are interested in performing, poetry slams can be a lot of fun. See what's happening on your campus or in your community and enjoy a fun evening out that promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience.
4. Do something physical. If you want to do something physical for your birthday, get creative. See if any gyms offer special classes, like aerial yoga or a ropes course you can do with your friends. Some community organizations also offer really zany classes, like bungee jumping, skydiving, or even circus-training classes. Given how much you sit in class and study all day, pushing your body to its limits can be a great way to celebrate getting older.
5. Head to the movies. Catching up on the latest movies can be a fun way to spend an afternoon -- or even a morning. Mix things up a bit and grab breakfast and a movie with some friends to start your birthday off in a fun, nontraditional, but still enjoyable way.
6. Head to an athletic game. It could be a major hockey game in your college town; it could be a football game on your campus; it could be something small like your friend's rugby game. Regardless, rooting for your team and hanging out with a large crowd just might be what you need for a birthday celebration.
7. Do something quiet off campus. College is fun, but there are not a lot of ways to get some privacy or enjoy some solitude. Consequently, doing something quiet away from campus, like getting a massage, can be rejuvenating -- if not downright healthy for you.
8. Treat yourself to something fun with your friends. Students spend a lot of time focusing on external things -- class requirements, jobs, cocurricular obligations -- and they sometimes forget to focus a little on themselves. Treat yourself to something that focuses on you for a change, like a pedicure and a wax or a haircut and a shave. You can even call ahead to see if your friends can make appointments with you.
9. Head out for a pub tour. If you're over 21 (or turning 21, of course!), consider getting a pub tour. In addition to learning all kinds of crazy-interesting facts about how beer is made, you'll get some free samples and enjoy an afternoon doing something that you might otherwise not have done.
10. Get a tour of something unusual. Not everyone knows that, for example, you can get a tour of major league baseball stadiums or the local zoo. While you might have visited these places before, getting a behind-the-scenes tour can be an entirely new experience. See what's open during your birthday and what you can arrange in advance. (And make sure to bring your camera!)