The August Birthday Struggle

by Tamera Dunn

There is a marginalized group in Student Affairs you’ve probably never thought twice to consider: those born in August.

As one of these August birthday revelers, I find that many in the field are often wishing away the month of my birth. Others want nothing more than September 1 to come across their calendars so training is over, move-in is over, and life is ”routine” again. Meanwhile, my August birthday pals and I try to handle the situation bravely and note that many of our colleagues are simply stressed with a new year, new responsibilities, and new protocols.

Any other month of the year, I see my cohort and colleagues from across the country and even internationally make a huge deal out of someone’s birthday, especially if it lands during the regular academic year. Office celebrations, dinners, evening gatherings, and “extravaganzas” highlight the birthdays of others, and in an effort for the “summer birthdays”, half-birthdays can also become a big deal. Fun fact: I don’t have a half birthday, just like anyone born on August 30 or 31. Silly February only having 28/29 days... 

Here’s the kicker which makes my birthday tougher to celebrate: My birthday almost always lands during Labor Day weekend. Sounds like the perfect reason for people to celebrate, be happy, etc. WRONG. It’s the perfect reason to “get out of Dodge” or escape back home for the first time since “before training”. This year, I was blessed to have two roommates and some amazing members of my cohort try to make my birthday into a huge deal, but they too saw the reality as they realized their birthdays were different and people dropped out of plans faster than Usain Bolt wins a race.

So, for my fellow August birthday friends, don’t just sit back and lick your wounds because you didn’t get the same type of party your friends do. Your birthday is a celebration of you - go pamper yourself and make your own dreams come true. No one else is going to do it for you!

Bonus fun fact: According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Department of Health Statistics, more babies are born in August than in any other month!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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