Unique date keeps leap day babies young

By Lindsey Simon

Want the secret to staying young? Have a birthday on Feb. 29.

This year is leap year, which means many college-aged leap day babies will be able to put that fifth candle on their cake today.

“Honestly, it’s kind of strange to finally get a real birthday,” said Emily Bridge, a pre-veterinary medicine sophomore. “I’m so used to skipping it completely that when I actually have a real day, I don’t know how to feel.”

Bridge’s friends in elementary schools would tease her, but now she likes being a leap day baby because “it is something unique and different from pretty much everyone else, and it’s also a good talking point when conversation is scarce.”

Micah Forman, a sophomore business management and marketing major, also admitted that his friends would make fun of his birthday.

“When I was 16 (fourth birthday), my friends brought me Mickey Mouse buttons to wear and gave me children’s cards,” Forman said.

But like Bridge, Forman also likes his scarce birthday because “it sets us apart from everyone else.”

Leap years are necessary for keeping the calendar in order with the earth’s revolutions around the sun. Each year actually has 365.242 days, so an extra day is added to February on every year that is divisible by four. Leap years have 366 days, rather than 365. Years at the turn of a century are only considered leap years if they are divisible by 400, such as 1600 and 2000, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

But just because Feb. 29 only comes around about every four years does not mean these leap day babies are kept from celebrating.

“I celebrate on the 28th every year because that way it’s still in the same month … and because it comes sooner,” said Caitlin Riddell, an integrated strategic communications sophomore. “I still celebrate every year, but then every fourth year it’s a bigger, more exciting celebration, because it’s really my birthday.”