A Realistic Sweet Sixteen


On October 11th, I turned sixteen. I was beyond excited and could not believe I became this iconic number of years old. Like any girl, I have watched all the movies, like Sixteen Wishes and Sixteen Candles, of those teenage girls turning sixteen and their lives finally being perfect. These gorgeous girls got their first cars, their dream boys, and, of course, the cutest clothes and accessories. Because of watching and romanticizing these cliche films, I have been dreaming of turning sixteen years old since I was seven. Obviously, being older, I understood that sixteen is just a number, and it is what I make of it, not how Hollywood portrays this stereotypical age.

Clara Licklider, one of my best friends, turns sixteen a day before me, October 10th, and we are only eight hours apart. Clara and I have been best friends since we were six years old and, therefore, have always been anxiously waiting for our sixteenth birthdays to arrive, as it would signify our tenth year of being best friends. This is a huge deal, and we had been planning our special days since we were thirteen. Clara and I mapped out the step-by-step process, and we were adamant on throwing the best sweet sixteen party and giving each other the most amazing gifts. Some of our gift ideas were very impractical such as a road trip, going to a music festival, or traveling to an exotic beach, but we loved to dream.

After a few years, Clara and I surfaced back to reality and lowered our expectations. Although we could not give each other extravagant trips or vacations, we made for it with sentimental-worth and memories. I made a box decorated with colorful paper and pictures of us from all ages for Clara. The inside of the box contained two framed pictures of us, a meaningful sketchbook, and a polaroid camera to capture more of our memories. I was so happy to give it to her, and I could tell it meant a lot to her and that she loved it. Clara gifted me with a memory board covered with pictures of me and her, a painted record, the softest and cutest stuffed animals, and many other knick-knacks. I was so grateful and overwhelmed with nostalgia. We could not of been happier with our gifts.

Just how we planned, Clara and I decided to have a conjoined sweet sixteen party. However, we both wanted it small and only with our close friends. The party was to be held at my house where we would have an outdoor movie, volleyball and basketball, a bonfire, and many other fun activities. After a week of extreme preparation, the party was finally ready and fully decked out in fall decorations. Despite only inviting a small amount of our close friends, the party was even smaller than planned. Many people did not show up which saddened me as they were, as I have stated before, my close friends. However, I had an amazing time with my true friends who came, and I will be forever grateful for them and the memories we made. They will never know how much it means to me. My friends and I had an amazing party filled with laughter, memories, deep conversations, and many pictures. Despite everything, it was a night to remember. 

In the end, I did not have a sparkly new car, the best clothes and accessories, or a surprise trip with Clara. However, I still had an amazing sweet sixteen with my loving family and friends. I am SO GRATEFUL for all of my gifts, the party itself, and all of the people who came. After everything, I realize that life is not about the materialistic wants. Even though I was set on me and Clara’s birthday to be perfect, I know that whatever happens can be as fun and wonderful as what one makes it to be. 

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