Ali Chiavetta
Features Writer

Maybe it’s your first birthday away from home, or maybe you’ve been celebrating your big day without the rest of your family for a few years now. Either way, celebrating your birthday while you’re at college can be a big change from what you’re used to. While many people assume that the only way to celebrate your birthday is by going to a party, there are other alternatives that can be just as fun (and less risky if you’re under 21).

A crown can be part of your birthday attire, making your 21st birthday even more special.

If you’re stuck on campus without a car, your options may be more limited, but there are still things to do! For a friend in your building, you can decorate their door with balloons and streamers, making for a fun birthday surprise when they wake up the next day. If you’re looking to celebrate with food, each residence hall is equipped with a kitchen somewhere in the building. Any resident is allowed to sign out the kitchen key with the RA on duty, and then they are free to bake a cake for the birthday boy or girl!
If you’re looking to get off campus to celebrate, but you don’t have means of transportation, the MU Lancaster and MU Park City busses can provide you with a way out. If you take the MU Lancaster bus into the city, there are a multitude of stores you can visit and places you can get something sweet to eat. If you visit the Fractured Prune Donut Shoppe, you can enjoy delicious handmade donuts in whatever flavor you like.
Possibly, going into the city isn’t your thing, but you can get off the bus early and enjoy a nice dinner instead. Ruby Tuesday offers a free burger coupon on your birthday, as long as you sign up for their email club.
Another option is to take the MU Park City bus over to the Park City Mall and enjoy some birthday freebies there. If you’re looking for a sweet treat, Cold Stone Creamery gifts you with a free cup of ice cream on your birthday. For a non-food related gift, stop by Sephora on your birthday for a free surprise!
For students that have a car on campus and are looking for other places to honor their special day, there are many restaurants and stores in the surrounding area that offer free items for the birthday guest. Denny’s, which is only a ten minute drive from campus, offers its guests a free Grand Slam, which is a hearty array of their choice of breakfast foods.

Friendly’s offers a free sundae on your birthday.

Friendly’s honors birthday guests with a free dish of ice cream. Both Applebee’s and Texas Roadhouse award their birthday guests with a free dessert, or in some locations, a free appetizer. If you don’t mind driving a little farther, Shady Maple Smorgasbord offers guests a free meal on their birthday.
In addition, if you are a member of the CVS Beauty Club, you are awarded with a three dollar store credit on your birthday to use on any product.
So, while celebrating your birthday on campus may require a little bit of effort and creativity, it is possible to enjoy your day without breaking the bank (or the law).