A Rather Delayed Birthday Celebration

Last Updated on September 6, 2023

It’s never too late to wish someone a happy birthday!
(Even if it’s ten weeks later!) Right??? Right!

This past summer, I enrolled with one of my closest friends to take Calculus at our local community college. The two of us pushed through what honestly felt like the longest (or perhaps fastest) five weeks of our lives.

My friend had never taken calc before so everything was BRAND NEW to her. For me, it was simply a well-known fact that calculus was a subject I struggled with. We were put in a position where we had five accelerated weeks to learn EVERYTHING that a student would normally learn in an entire semester. It was fast. 

In the midst of that chaos, it was her birthday one day. (During Week 4 out of 5). We were so busy studying, doing homework problems, and preparing for the final that we never really got a chance to celebrate it. Plus, we said we’d celebrate again if we both passed and got course credit.

And we did both pass! Yay! But that celebration never happened either.

Immediately after the course ended, we were both swept away from one another and pushed forward on our separate paths. I began traveling to various places and was busy spending time with my boyfriend who I was just starting to date at the time. She was busy with another college class she was taking that hadn’t ended yet.

And somehow, life went on. We were INSEPARABLE during those five weeks of calc – and then I never saw her again.

…Until yesterday! Ten weeks later. We were finally reunited back at Rutgers where we met up for lunch. I gave her the birthday present I made her. I put together a creeper poster with some of the photos I’ve taken of her since freshman year of high school. (We have this ongoing game of seeing who can take creepier photos of one another. Don’t worry- it’s not actually an obsession. Well, it sort of is an obsession. But in a totally-not-serious kind of way.)

Creeper-Collage (Name blurred for privacy purposes)

In the middle of the poster, I wrote in some of the hardest calc problems we “mastered” and added comments about the pain and misery of what we went through trying to solve them. I also gave her a Panera gift card- the one place we ate lunch at almost every single day since there was NOWHERE ELSE TO GO.

It was so funny. Every day we’d be like, “So where do you wanna grab lunch?” and the other person would respond, “Is that really a question?” As my sociology professor would discourage me from saying, THERE WAS NO FREE WILL. PANERA WAS PRE-DETERMINED. PANERA WAS DESTINY.

So yeah, now MY birthday is in two days. I wonder when we’ll celebrate that one! Stay tuned.


  1. jessclark33

    Rocky this was a great story! I think that sometimes we become closest to people when we struggle through something together, so I totally can relate to you and your friend become inseparable during those five anguishing weeks. But I’ve also been in situations learning how easy it is to lose track of time and how easy it is to fall out of touch with someone. And if you are able to reconnect, that makes it all even better and shows that your friendship is one that can sustain time apart, which is a great thing to realize. Also I love the sign you made!

  2. krupal05

    Hey, Rocky. This was a great post. Sometimes the closer you are the harder it is to stay together. But they’re always on your side even if you don’t meet them. I mean that’s why they’re called you best friend cause you will always be together no matter what. So really nice to see you guys met.

  3. This sounds so fun! I love reuniting with old friends, especially because it’s so easy to lose touch when everyone’s wrapped up in school stuff. I’m also guilty of making embarrassing birthday collages of my friends (I just did one yesterday, actually) lol.

  4. Great gift Rocky! I really like that you personalized something for your friend weeks after her birthday. I think many people go through lapse of time with friends. I know I do, especially when school starts back up. My best friend and I are inseparable during the summer, but once school starts we are lucky if we see each other once a month. It’s hard, but if it’s not weird or awkward when you guys reunite then I consider that a real friend. My best friend and I have a saying, “No matter the distance apart, we’ll always be sisters at heart.” I’ll never forget that saying that she wrote in my high school graduation yearbook because we were starting a new chapter in our lives in different schools. Great overall blog!!

  5. Rocky, I like that your gift to her was hand made. I tend to treasure hand made gifts and small thoughtful things more than large, grand, and expensive gestures. You took the time to find those photos, put them on poster board, and write what looks like an essay about the struggles that strengthened your friendship – this is probably a gift that your friend will treasure for years to come.

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The Rocky Safari