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Bearcats on the Road

Turning Twenty in a Different Country

Posted by Gina McKlveen on Sun, Feb 28, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Turning_Twenty.pngAs of 8:25 a.m. here in London I am officially two decades old. Even though my family and I celebrated my birthday before I left, I’m missing that part of home a little extra today. This is the first birthday that I can remember that I haven’t spent with my family. It’s a weird and distant feeling, but it’s also a chance to make new memories. So in honor of turning twenty in a different country I’m going to list 20 things that made this birthday one I will always remember.

1.) I got to spend my 20th birthday in London—it’s literally a dream come true. 

2.) This was the first time I was actually awake at the time I was born (besides the day I was actually born). Since I was born at 3:25 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time, at 8:25 a.m. London time I would have officially turned 20.

 3.) My second class of the day was cancelled, so I had more time to celebrate the wonderful occasion of my birth.

4.) But…I still had to go to class at 9 in the morning, which is unusual for me because I don’t have class on my birthday for two reasons: 1. Sometimes my birthday falls on Martin Luther King Day or 2. There is so much snow that class is cancelled. Neither of those reasons are valid in the United Kingdom.

5.) New people I met in my program were wishing me happy birthday and celebrating with me.

6.) Friends from home were wishing me happy birthday, which was a bittersweet feeling since I couldn’t celebrate with them.

7.) My parents mailed my birthday card to my address in London.

8.) My brother still managed to send me the goofiest card.

9.) Thanks to FaceTime I got to see my family on my birthday.

10.) I opened birthday cards from my family that I brought from home.

11.) I went shopping on Oxford Street for the perfect birthday outfit.

12.) My birthday dinner was at Honest Burger, but I had a chicken sandwich—ironic? Maybe.

13.) I went to Tesco to get my birthday cake because every Londoner knows you can get everything you need at Tesco.

14.) Kenzie, Tori and Korrie bought me a mini red-velvet birthday cake.

15.) I literally ate the whole cake by myself and I have no shame at all whatsoever.

16.) I got to wear my perfect birthday outfit on a night out in London.

17.) I realized British people say “Happy Birthday” way better than Americans (British accents make everything sound better).

18.) After midnight in London, I still technically had five hours left to celebrate my birthday.

19.) My birthday present to myself was a trip to Paris for the weekend.

20.) and most importantly next year, I’ll be 21.

Topics: study abroad, London, Gina McKlveen, Birthday, Tesco

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In Bearcats on the Road, students chronicle their lives while studying abroad or completing internships away from campus.

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