By Galilea Oregon
I turn fifteen on April 27th. In Latino-American culture, a girl’s fifteenth birthday is not only one of the most celebrated but also one of the most meaningful and bittersweet days in a girl’s life: the transition from girlhood to womanhood officially begins and you’re swept up into a whirlwind of responsibilities and learning to become more and more independent as the years come. However, because I don’t exactly “celebrate” my birthday, April 27th is just another day for me. The whole “quinceañera” tradition never appealed to me either, so I don’t exactly feel like I’m missing out on much. But this year seems… different.
Being in high school has really given me a whole new perspective on life and all the people around me. I feel like I’ve matured more in just these seven months of high school than I did in all three years of middle school. I can actually feel the difference, the leap from plain Jane fourteen to high school independent fifteen. I’m older, wiser, and less afraid to speak my mind. I’m obviously still immature and have very little knowledge and life experience under my belt, but that’s the good thing about being fifteen: I’m allowed to make a mess in order to find my identity. I’m barely getting to know myself, and I don’t think I ever will have a set perspective on who I am. Before I used to be scared about not knowing, but now, I’m becoming more and more comfortable with the fact that sometimes we just don’t know what’s in store for us.
I don’t think birthdays are just about getting older or getting presents. I think it’s about looking back at who you were exactly a year ago and to look at all the progress you’ve made, especially in the teenage years. So don’t stress. Sit back and enjoy the ride. May you always feel like you’ve just turned fifteen.