December 13th, 2017 – 00:00 – Philadelphia, USA, my university room. The moment that marked the beginning of my twenties. First thing I see is the message from my mum and dad, both of them wishing me happy birthday. First thing I listen to is “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” (it was on the shuffle!). Next, the boys from my floor knock on my door, wanting to know how to sing “Happy Birthday” in Romanian. After several unsuccessful tries, we stuck to the Chinese version, Spanish version, and of course, the English one (perfect representation of the diversity at Drexel University).
I went to bed, and there is no better feeling than waking up on your birthday, on the other side of the ocean, when back home half of the day is gone, so almost everyone has already sent you the birthday wishes. I feel like every morning should start like that. It’s like a confidence boost. I started my day by reading all the amazing birthday wishes from my friends, and then got ready to actually begin my day. I had one more final exam, so I took it, and then I could finally say that I was done with everything related to academics – for the first time in three months! It was time to relax, enjoy my birthday, and soon get ready for my departure home.
In the evening, I threw a party on my floor (which hopefully helped people destress from the finals week pressure), after which a friend and I went out to a lovely Japanese steak house and sushi bar, located in a delightful setting: Penn’s Landing, facing the water and the Ben Franklin Bridge. I was amazed to see the chefs preparing the food right in front of me – indeed a show! The food? Delicious! And the best part… When I left the place, snow started to fall! For a person who loves snow, that was the perfect ending for my birthday.
However, more than the sweet little things that happened on my birthday, I see each anniversary as a celebration of a new chapter. Especially for my 20th birthday. It marks the beginning of my twenties, the age I’ve always dreamt about. I was always the one admiring those twenty-something girls in the subway or on the streets or at coffee shops, doing their own thing, being focused on their work, and having sparks in their eyes that told stories of determination, motivation, and confidence. There is a certain energy that you can only see in people when they are in their twenties. This is just the beginning of the decade, but I believe that, as long as I have a good vision in my mind of how I want to spend my twenties, the experiences will come, fulfilling my desires. In the end, all I want to know is that I am, too, one of those girls that eventually will say “Hell yes, I made it!”.
As when it comes to this upcoming year, I chose to spend it focusing on the importance of kindness. Being kind. That’s my number one goal for my 20-year old self. I want to carry this goal with me in my twenties, spreading kindness wherever I go, and to whoever I meet. Coming to America and meeting so many new different people, I got to talk to plenty of them and realized each and every person we meet is fighting his or her own battles. Each one of us has that part inside, sometimes little and hidden, sometimes so apparent, that needs love and kindness. Knowing this, why not treat every person we meet the way we would like to be treated? With love, kindness, and respect.
I wish my twenties to be a period of growth, learning experiences, and a lot of adventures that will constantly remind me of the beauty of life. I wish the same for all of you, no matter the age.