As we roll through November here at YouAlberta, I’m truly excited. Why? Because it’s my birthday month! I know people’s birthdays are fairly evenly distributed throughout the 12 months of the year, but I always felt kind of isolated being a November baby. Not many people that I knew shared that birthday month with me, and I did always wonder what it would be like to have a Summer birthday, a Spring birthday, or even a Winter birthday.
Now since I’ve established that I spend far too much time thinking about birthdays, here’s a completely scientific ranking of which birthday months are the best. Starting from the worst month and ending at the best, I’ll hit you with some EXTREMELY scientific and not at all subjective reasons as to why these months are either great for birthdays, or not good at all.
Editor’s Note: the views expressed here are entirely those of Zach, and do not reflect the official opinions of YouAlberta… despite this editor’s own personal soft spot for August.
The worst of the worst:
These first couple months are sometimes so sad that even having a birthday doesn’t entirely distract from their awfulness.
February is the armpit of months. Especially around the U of A. The sheen of all your new classes in winter semester has worn off, you’re in the middle of midterm season, and to top it off, there’s a chance you could be born on a day that only occurs once every four years. Not even a week off school can save February from being the worst birthday month by a country mile.
I apologize in advance to my many friends who celebrate a January birthday. Seriously, there’s a week-and-a-half stretch where there’s four separate birthdays that I usually celebrate. As a kid, that was an exciting prospect, but as we get older, and age starts to grip us tighter each year, the shine starts to wear off slightly. Much like February, January is also generally a bitterly frigid month around these parts. The start of the new semester is a mixed bag – if you’re excited for your classes that’s great, but if you’re having to take those last two science or arts options to finish your degree the month can definitely feel like a slog. At least each day of the calendar consistently appears each year, so that’s a small plus.
March is where we start to see some more positive signs for the months themselves. Yes, March in Edmonton is still more like Winter than Summer, but by this point, you’re usually in a pretty good groove for the semester, and more importantly, you start to see the light. The light being April, an infinitely better month which signals the end of another long and (at times) tiring school year. Summer is practically around the corner! So March is mostly a month of looking forward, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The intermediate months:
These months aren’t quite as lame as the first three, but they still have their share of problems. That’s nothing that a good birthday can’t fix though!
All of you who thought I was biased towards my own birthday month can stop doubting me now. I’ve learned that November is a birthday month full of little foibles: it’s the first real taste of winter and the days become depressingly short, but there are some positive aspects. Fall reading week is a huge bonus, especially if your birthday falls within it (mine misses by about a week sadly), and just like March, you can begin to count down to the end of a long Fall semester. November essentially operates like the March of Winter, but the addition of a week-long break puts it just above the worst of the worst category.
As someone who’s never really enjoyed Fall, or going back to school after getting into the routine of summer. While it’s not a bad month, it’ll always be tainted by the end of summer blues that I feel during the first couple weeks of school. At least there’s (usually) not snow on the ground.
October leaps ahead of September by having its own built in pseudo-holiday (Halloween) that gives all you October babies another chance to celebrate aside from a birthday. Bonus points if your birthday is actually on the 31st, then it’s double the fun.
Good (but not quite great) months:
Now we’re talking about some proper birthday months here. Holidays and good times abound.
I’m telling you right now to forget all that nonsense about your birthday being close to Christmas as a bad thing. What’s so bad about double the celebration? Granted, if your birthday runs within a week of Christmas it may get lost in the shuffle a bit, but if you’ve got more than a week’s separation, that leaves you more than enough time to celebrate, reload, then celebrate all over again – with presents to boot. Who doesn’t like presents after all? Aside from this, December signals the end of the Fall semester, and while finals are undeniably a very stressful time, the holiday break follows right after. A month with all these celebration possibilities definitely warrants a spot near the top of this list.
The worst of the summer months is still better than over half the months on this list. I maintain that summer is the best time for birthdays, and August is underrated simply because it’s most relaxed and low key of the summer months. People usually have their travelling out of the way at this point, and there’s nothing wrong with celebrating during the dog days of summer and getting one last hurrah before school starts.
Much like December, April signals the end of the semester, and while it doesn’t have a huge holiday like Christmas, it opens the gateway to something much larger in scope: a summer full of possibilities. While Christmas and its accompanying break offer a measly two or so weeks off, Summer offers four jam-packed months of nothing but fun in the sun. Although as a small caveat, it is fairly unfortunate if your birthday falls smack dab in the middle of finals – but then again, you can always postpone the true celebration until after you’ve finished the grind.
The best months:
And now we arrive at the best of the best, and they’re all from one season.
Summer is in full swing, so what better time to celebrate a birthday? Warm days, long nights, and no responsibilities. Since I’m a bit of a pessimist, I do tend to look at July as the beginning of the end of Summer, which places it behind two other months on this list, but overall, July has a lot going for it and not many drawbacks. The days are technically getting shorter at this point, but you’ve still got plenty of light past 9 p.m., which means you can stay out extra late!
June is the essence of Summer for me, and therefore an almost perfect month for a birthday. With only May behind you, you’ve still got plenty of summer left, and the days are still getting longer, giving each day a buoyant sense of optimism. Bonus points if your birthday ends up on the longest day of the year (June 25th) so you can have the most daylight possible on your special day!
Here it is, the best birthday month. While June may be the essence of summer, May has it beat in one particular area: looking forward. Even though June is still in the early part of summer itself, a May birthday gives someone an almost endless supply of optimism. Finals are freshly finished, and the summer now lies completely in front of you, just waiting for you to make the most of it. You can start by having an epic May celebration to set the tone for the rest of the season.
And there you have my list. Whether you agree with it or not is up to you, but we can all agree that birthdays can definitely make any month better. Even February.
Zach is a sixth-year Sociology major with a creative writing minor. Scared of being a real adult and being awake before noon. He can be found either eating, sleeping, meandering in the river valley, or watching a Toronto Blue Jays game. He misses having long hair because now none of his hats fit properly.