Turning Twenty

My twentieth birthday was probably one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had (if not the best) and that is mainly down to two incredible girls who I absolutely adore and couldn’t thank enough.


My birthday is always something that I don’t necessarily look forward to anymore, particularly because it’s increasingly become more difficult for me on a more personal level, but this year I had such a great day. The evening before the actual day, I went out for a meal to celebrate with some close friends and even got an early birthday cake at the restaurant:

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After the meal, most people came back to my room because Priya (who had come up for my birthday from London) had baked a victoria sponge cake {which actually turned out waaay better than we were expecting!} We also rushed around trying to finish my list of 20 things to do before 20 before it hit midnight which was lots of fun.


Half an hour before midnight struck, we headed out to Tesco because I had a sudden craving for ice-cream. It’s safe to say I demolished an entire tub of Häagen-Dasz cookies & cream, whoops… but a fab way to celebrate turning 20, right? 😉

The next morning I went to my 10am Latin Class (yay) and when I got back Priya and I went out for a birthday brunch. We then spent the rest of the afternoon shopping and enjoying being in Oxford together (Pri hadn’t been in Oxford since the UNIQ Summer School 2.5 years ago!)

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That evening, Priya and I got ready for Formal Hall (which was Caribbean-themed) and Charithra came over and said the plan was to go to the bar just before. She and Julia had both arranged for all of my friends to be in the bar before I arrived and they all sang happy birthday to me as I entered which was really, really sweet. Eloise had also driven down for the day to celebrate with me and to experience formal (I hadn’t seen her in aaaages). I was then presented with a jar of coloured rolled-up sticky notes which the girls told me was filled with birthday messages from people all around college and was also given a pink ‘It’s My Birthday’ sash with diamonds on. Armed with two bottles of champagne and two different cocktails each, we all headed up to the hall. Everyone sat together for formal and the food was actually really good (I sneakily had two desserts) and then, bless their hearts, Charithra and Julia come out with yet another birthday cake.

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The celebrations then continued after everyone had finished, with pre-drinks happening in the room of one of my friends (his room is huuge). Eloise sadly had to leave but Priya, the girls and I got changed and made our way to pres. Feeling fairly tipsy already, Priya and I had a further two bottles of rosé we had planned to get through. The night ended with Bridge, where I was bought far too many birthday shots but managed to get home safely with my Hassan’s in hand. All in all, my birthday was genuinely amazing and I could not thank Charithra and Julia enough! I can’t wait to edit all of the footage for my vlog and share it with you guys 😉

And how did I get on with my list?


Strictly speaking, I didn’t complete the tasks in the time between creating the list and my actual birthday. I have, however, completed all of the tasks before I turned the age of twenty.

Here’s a short run-down of each challenge (*ones with the asterisk have a cute polaroid picture to match, see below):

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  1. I woke up early enough to see the sunrise only to find the sky filled with clouds 🙁
  2. I skimmed the entire book but am yet to fully read it properly. And even if I had, I’d want to re-read it again. It’s such a good book!*
  3. The cake we baked was in-sane *
  4. Afternoon tea was delicious.*
  5. Sleeping under the stars was something I knew would be difficult to fulfil in the short winter month I gave myself before my birthday, however I knew that it was something I had done previously and therefore could tick off the list anyway.
  6. We got creative with the extra bedsheets and blankets in my room and used the laundry rack. Turned out pretty well.*
  7. I successfully completed 30 random acts of kindness – buying food for homeless people, pidging friends red packets full of chocolate coins for Chinese New Year, buying tickets to a play and giving them to friends, giving friends slices of the cake we baked*, buying friends food or drinks when they’re feeling down, surprising friends with small messages.
  8. Speed-walking everywhere, going for runs or doing short workouts in my room. Definitely worked up a sweat in some way, shape or form (even if that may be dancing the night away at a club ;))
  9. I wrote a letter to my future 29-year old self.*
  10. We managed to do it! Completely and utterly soaked, half-dancing, half-running back to college with S Club blasting from my phone. Iconic.*
  11. I honestly don’t know how vegans do it. I think the lack of kitchen facilities heavily influenced my experience because I just found it very bland and boring!*
  12. My friends set me up on a blind date which was nerve-wracking but actually turned out really well.
  13. We were running out of time but I watched a short 10-minute Dutch film. I pretty much got the gist of it though, despite not knowing the language or having subtitles.*
  14. Happened in a club, need I say more…*
  15. I *half*-cheated with this one and left it until the day of my birthday. I’d never tried goat before and this was on the menu at Formal.
  16. Surprised Jack with a lunch date and he actually ended up paying because their card machine didn’t work – embarrassing much?! I paid him back though, of course.*
  17. Another friend, Bella, taught me some salsa dancing that I’d never tried before.*
  18. Josh gave me a massage!*
  19. There were six of us talking in the dark for a good 10-15 minutes. It was good fun and an experience I think is underrated!*
  20. I didn’t buy a world map, but we did print one off and colour in the countries I’ve been to. I really hope I can colour in a lot more in the coming year!
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How do you usually celebrate your birthday?

Hope you all enjoyed this post!

Peace and love,
Viola xo


20 years old | bit of a nerd | thoughts about life | travel, fitness, fashion + student blog |
Posts created 152

0 thoughts on “Turning Twenty

  1. It sounds like you had such a wonderful birthday! There’s no better way to spend it than surrounded by friends! Happy belated birthday, Viola! I can’t wait to see your vlog ☺️ xxx

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