Homemade bars, cocktails and cakes: Sussex students’ lockdown birthday celebrations

“The key to a lockdown birthday is to start drinking as early as possible”

It’s fair to say that this new way of living is strange. Our new form of contact with others is through online classes, zoom parties with pals and the new hug reaction on Facebook. The two-metre rule means you can meet up to six of your friends in the park or a garden, but for many of us, our uni friends live too far away to make this possible.

So how have people kept sane on their birthdays without being able to share an abnormal number of Spoons pitchers with their pals? We asked Sussex students what they got up to on their birthdays, and they did not disappoint.

Bar crawls and bathroom shots

Turning 21 during lockdown may seem like a nightmare, no bars, pubs or clubs (we miss you, Przym) but some Sussex students have managed to recreate their own bars and party with their families.

Helena told us that her and her family had a busy day: “We woke up, had a jelly shot, had breakfast, made some cocktails, facetimed some family, had a cocktail with my friend on the drive, had some more drinks and listened to music on the drive with another family friend, then we got a visit from the ice cream van, then my sister decided to have a bar crawl.”

who said lockdown birthdays couldn’t be fun?

“The first room was ‘the don’ in my brother’s room, where we all had a Sol beer. Then we went into the ‘wc arms’ and had a tequila, followed by the ‘corona borona lounge man’ where we had a family BBQ.”

quick bathroom break to sober up? no chance

“After eating, we went to ‘hel’s kitchen’ where we had more cocktails, and finally ended up in ‘fever and bacteria’, where we had jäger bombs and jelly shots with disco lights and music.”

household invites only

who needs Hobgoblin?

Another Sussex student, Alexander, turned 21 during lockdown and says he “didn’t have high hopes because I’d planned on being in Brighton on my 21st, but instead ended up in lockdown with my parents. I’d resigned myself to the fact I could properly celebrate next year. However, I actually had the most amazing day.”

we love a happy ending

“Everyone made so much effort because of the situation. My family converted the family shed into a pop up pub, my friends made a video of all of them singing to me. I just kept getting surprises throughout the day. I’d say the key to the best lockdown birthday is to start drinking as early as possible.”

5 VK’s and 3 jäger bombs please

the best way to re-invent sitting with pals outside a pub, good use of cardboard

Toilet roll cupcake stands, sunburn and mini eggs

Hayley also experienced her birthday in lockdown, staying with her housemates in Brighton. Hayley said she woke up to find “The living room had been decorated by my housemates overnight. There were balloons, lights and banners and posters with funny quotes from our time living together.”

inflatable chair for the birthday girl

“My friend Kasia made a cute display for my favourite band, Muse. My friend Mena made an impressive 3-tier cupcake stand out of old toilet rolls and paper.”

what else are housemates for?

“I skyped my family, opened presents and then we all got unnecessarily dressed up to drink wine and have a mini party in the evening.”

Jessica also had a lockdown birthday, she told The Sussex Tab “The first thing I did was crack open a bottle of prosecco, have a fat breakfast (cooked by my mum), opened presents and had an awkward garden photo shoot with my bday baloons of course.”

one for the insta x

“My best friend who is also my neighbour came over and we socially distanced of course. We had separate glasses which were labelled and we blasted out some tunes, had more and more prosecco and a fair bit of rum. It was a super hot day so we chilled in the sun getting very very drunk.”

before it got messy

“We were supposed to have a BBQ, but we just felt too lazy in the end and focused our energy on drinking. When she left, we had an intoxicated instagram live which I don’t really remember, and I had a zoom chat with my best mates and passed out from drunkenness and probably sunstroke. It was a surprisingly good day”.

alcohol + sun = squashie

Lastly, we have Emily, who unfortunately had to spend her birthday in self isolation. “One of my family members was ill so I didn’t celebrate my birthday on my actual birthday. We decided to postpone it until we could all celebrate together a week later. I had a cake, a few drinks and opened my presents with my family. It was really chilled and one that I will remember forever”.

never too old to get excited over presents

If you have a lockdown birthday coming up, it seems that spending time with loved ones, having homemade cakes, bars and cocktails are the best way to celebrate. Or, as Alexander puts it “start drinking as early as possible”. Maybe birthdays in lockdown aren’t so bad after all.