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Twenty One Candles

By gjmacdougall

I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that this week has been one of the best of my life.

I have been completely blown away by the generosity of my flatmates and friends and I would never have guessed that they would make sure I celebrated my 21st in such style. It has also definitely been exciting to turn this age in a country where it's a much bigger milestone than in Britain.

The day started with a surprise flat birthday breakfast complete with pancakes, cake - my flatmate woke up at 6 to make it! - and another flatmate's legendary apple crumble along with, incredibly, gifts!

Picture 1 birthday breakfast
Breakfast at 601 (photo credit: Yoonjoo Kyung)

Having only one class made for a relaxed day, with a gathering of food and friends on the roof of E Street to enjoy the warm weather and views, before having to leave for a tech rehearsal for 'Welcome Back One Acts' produced by GW theatre society 14th Grade Players.

I have been constantly impressed by how the theatre groups here make you feel part of their family. For example, for tech week the actors were each given survival packs of tea, vitamins and 'candy' to make sure they stayed fighting fit until the end of the run. Rehearsing and performing has been a brilliant experience and I've met a lot of amazing and talented people.

Picture 2 tech week
How to Survive to the End of Tech Week

With tech week and finally the shows taking up most evenings and still having a number of reports and assignments to complete, I've had to adopt what seems to be the American college culture of cutting down on sleep and increasing on caffeine (though it did give me an excuse to use the Starbucks gift card given to me by a friend for my birthday). I've also had to break my year abroad promise to myself by pulling a couple of all-nighters to get everything completed, but have been fuelled by the selection of birthday cupcakes given to me which had made my cupboard resemble the dessert counter of Whole Foods!

On Friday I rewarded myself for handling the week's craziness by going for brunch (yes, again) with a good friend to Founding Farmers where I enjoyed great conversation along with one of the biggest and best burgers I've ever had. I'm loving having Fridays off from class and a three-day weekend every weekend, so am predicting a struggle when I have to adjust back to a more normal week next year or next semester. The burger theme continued at Burger Tap & Shake at Washington Circle, where it amused me to see iced tea on tap along with the 'soda'.

Next week I have fewer rehearsals as One Acts is ending but I do have some big essays in place of midterms to hand in, which should keep me occupied. However, motivation comes in the form of seeing my first (pre-season) NBA game at the end of the week as well as other good things to look forward to.

Till the next week of 21,


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