Like all other children, I grew up hearing about the fantastical tales of the birthday fairies and waited patiently for the day I’d have the honor of meeting one. When other kids made fun of me at school for believing in the birthday fairy and taunted that there was no such thing, I unfalteringly defended the power and existence of my beloved hero.

A few days ago, I turned nineteen. My first quarter at Stanford and the first time I would get to be celebrated by one of the legendary birthday fairies—something I had been dreaming about for as long as I could remember. My excitement could not be contained all day. This was what my whole life had been leading up to, I was sure of it.

As expected, promptly at midnight, a crowd of people loudly banged on my dorm door. They rushed in and dragged me into the frigid showers in a state of complete frenzy. Through the bustling group, I caught a glimpse of the one I had been waiting for: the birthday fairy, in person for me! She was angled away, her wings hanging slightly askew. In a moment that felt as if time had stopped, she slowly turned towards me and, with pure horror, I recognized my roommate’s face.

I was hit with both a torrent of cold water and overwhelming grief—the birthday fairy, my idol and inspiration since my kinder years, revealed her true identity. As the icy drops streamed down my face, I blinked back tears as I saw the fraud turn the shower handle in her Amazon-ed costume fairy wings. My whole life was a lie. The birthday fairy was never real.

I was young and naïve before. Now I know that everything I say or do, every choice I could possibly make, is completely bereft of meaning. Not even the Sunday FloMo Butter Chicken could bring me any pleasure. Joy and hope are completely irrelevant to existence as I am just a genetically coded organism who will eventually die and live eternally in a dark void of nothingness. 

I can do whatever I want, since all outcomes will be the same, whether I conform to societal standards and continue to bike or if I finally cave in and buy that electric scooter. I was a slave to the illusion of happiness and now I have been freed from the shackles of human emotionality. I now know that only true birthday magic is this day’s ability to crumble my most deeply-held beliefs and worldviews in a matter of moments. I hope Stanford knows what they are doing to students like me— stripping us of any hope and shoving us into the cold, dark shower of adulthood.

Editor’s note: Via Lipman has dedicated her life to her studies and is still the happiest CS major at Stanford.

You May Also Like

Op-Ed: My Super Exclusive Internship with NASA Was Just Cancelled So I Guess I’m Stuck Slumming It in My Huge London Flat

So there I was, just sitting in my trophy room in my…

Op-Ed: My Selfish Fucking Little Brother Just Wasted His Make-A-Wish on a Trip to Disneyworld

Can you believe this shit? I sure as hell can’t. My terminally…

Opinion: White Plaza Sax Man Has Real Name

What’s in a name?  Letters, mostly.  But together, those letters make sounds,…

Op-ed: For God’s Sake, Stop Sending Out These Fucking Amber Alerts—I Already Killed the Kid

Picture this: you’re all alone in the kitchen, pan-frying some tilapia and…