Turning 21 – celebrating my birthday this week!

Photo by Vladislav Murashko on Pexels.com

The day has finally come. 

It’s time for the wrinkles to start setting in. To kiss childhood well and truly goodbye. 

That’s right… 

I just turned 21!!!

Turning 21 is normally such a big deal. In the USA we can understand why, because it’s the legal drinking age. However, in South Africa and England. Where I’ve spent most of my time after finishing high school, you can drink from 18 so the big whoop of 21 isn’t so intense. 

Or is it? 

Even though 21 doesn’t have the same legal significance here, there’s still something monumental about turning 21. Maybe because it seems like the undisputed age of being an adult – yes you’re an adult when you turn 18, and I’ve done plenty of adult things since I turned 18, including travelling in my gap year, going overseas for university and now living by myself in a flat. Twenty-one just seems so much more grown-up, and I’m not going to lie, even though I don’t feel that much older, saying ‘I’m twenty-one’ out loud does make me feel notably older than twenty did. 

So my big day crossing over the uncrossable path into the rest of my adult life was on Thursday. Sadly I couldn’t celebrate with my boyfriend or family again this year because they’re all back in South Africa, but thanks to the magnificent glory that is modern technology, I at least got to call and video chat with them all. I did get to celebrate with my friends though! 

My day started with a 9am class, but thankfully it was online so I could watch it from the comfort of my flat wrapped up in my fluffy blanket with a mug of tea. Wow I can’t believe I’m thankful for something being online, especially after how the last year was. But come on, can you blame me? If I have to have a 9am class on my 21st birthday, at least I can do it in my pyjamas and not trek in the rain to sit in a cold lecture theatre. 

After my class ended, I had calls and video chats with my boyfriend, family and friends from home. I put nutella on my bagel for lunch, which is very scandalous for me. Normally I just eat my bagels plain but it’s my birthday I’m allowed to splurge a little! I had two later afternoon lectures to attend, but thankfully they weren’t too bad. The most exhausting part of my Thursday lectures is the fact that they are back to back and I have to run 2km in 15 minutes to make it to my next one on time … I count that as exercise for the day though because running through Durham with a backpack full of books should be considered endurance training. 

In the evening, I was lucky enough to celebrate doing one of the things I love most – appreciating Disney!! My disney society launched really successfully and this week was our third session, where we had an informal games night, and if you know me then there really isn’t a better way to spend an evening than playing Disney-themed games! 

However… if you were thinking that was kind of a lame evening for a 21st, don’t worry that was just the warmup round. My best friend had a spare ticket to ABBA night, a big ABBA appreciation concert and gave it to me so I went out in a bedazzled blue jumpsuit and danced to ABBA with my friends until my birthday ended. Emma claims that she engineered the whole thing so that I could celebrate my birthday in style, and because it was such a fun night I’ll give her all the credit for it. 

A birthday isn’t a birthday though without a cake in my mind… Because my Thursday ended up being really busy, I had a little birthday party with my friends on the Friday night with pizza, some drinks and … you guessed it… a big, delicious birthday cake! It was a nutella cake (the best cake flavour) with chocolate covered strawberries and salted caramel macarons on top. I completely forgot to take a photo of the cake though … honestly we were so eager to eat it it completely slipped my mind until about 70% of it was gone …

Even though it feels like there’s no escaping it and I’m now very much an adult (all my friends calling me grandma doesn’t help … thanks guys!!), I’m really happy with how things are. Sure aging can be bittersweet and reflective, but you’re talking to a Disney nerd who prefers to spend a night in her fluffy blanket watching cheesy romcoms or animated movies so I’m not worried about losing my whimsy. And I think that’s the most important thing to remember no matter how old you get – age really is just a number. It’s all about how you feel, and if you strive to stay positive and keep hold of that childlike wonder and imagination, you’ll always have just enough whimsy to float above the depressing parts of reality that hold us down. 

Thanks everyone for an amazing 21st birthday!! To my family and friends at home for the super sweet messages and calls, and all my friends at uni that celebrated with me and made it an unforgettable day. I love you all!! Now if you don’t mind me I’ve got leftover cake to eat … see ya!!

Lots of love

Blondey on a Mission xxx 

Author: blondeyonamission

Hey everyone! I'm a lifestyle and travel blogger from South Africa and about to relocate to the UK for university. My blog is all about stories, tips and advice with topics ranging from university, organisation, friends, books, travel and more. Please check it out and I hope you enjoy xxx

28 thoughts

  1. Happy birthday and congrats! And it’s true, age is all relative and it seems like you have such a youthful, joyful spirit, which will keep you young for life! I also LOVE that u put Nutella on your bagel for your birthday, amazing! Such a fun article, thank u ☺️ 🎂 🎉 🥳

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awww, congrats on turning 21, Tia! I love that you got a Stitch doll with a “T” on his stomach. Sounds like you had a great birthday, despite being away from your family. I’m so jealous of your Nutella cake, though lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Belated Happy Birthday! Sorry for the late wishes, I was a little busy. It seems like you really enjoyed your day and that’s amazing! I hope you have an amazing year ahead! The cake sounds delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

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