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Penn State Student Prepares To Celebrate ‘Fifth’ Birthday

On February 29, 2020, Penn State sophomore Charlie Nawa will celebrate his fifth birthday—well, sort of.

Nawa is part of the .07% of the world that was born on Leap Day. Realistically, Nawa is turning 20, but since he was born on Leap Day back in 2000, he will experience his actual birthday for only the fifth time on Saturday.

Naturally, I was very jealous intrigued by this, so I sat down with him to find out what it’s really like to be a “5”-year-old college student at Penn State.

“The best part is that when it is a Leap Year, my birthday is actually pretty hype,” Nawa said. “But every other year, it’s not really my birthday.”

Since February 29 is such a rarity, Leapers definitely deserve a big birthday bash when the day finally does come around. Back on his “fourth” birthday, Charlie’s friends threw him a surprise party, and this year, his friends from home are coming to Happy Valley to celebrate with him on what is also State Patty’s.

But like with anything, being born on a Leap Day comes with its downsides.

“The annoying part is people constantly telling me that I’m 4 or 6,” Charlie said. (Editor’s note: We’re sorry for further exploiting your unique birthday, Charlie.)

Besides being a “quarter” of the age of all of his friends, Charlie said that the one cool thing about being a Leaper is that his driver’s license lists his 21st birthday as February 28, 2021. Since there is no Leap Day that year, the birthdate defaults to the day before, which is a good thing, because otherwise he’d be rejected from bars forever (or at least until 2084).

So if you see Charlie around campus this Saturday, make sure you wish him a happy birthday—you won’t get to do it again for another four years.

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About the Author

Grace Cunningham

Grace was Onward State’s social media manager once upon a time. She was also the host of Onward State's podcast. You should google "Podward State Wienermobile" for a good laugh. Nowadays, Grace is a copywriter or something. You can reach her at [email protected], although she doesn't know why you would want to.

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