Students Celebrate Fourth Birthday Today


Olivia Steele and Rachel Stewart-Allen are the only two current students who celebrate Leap Day birthdays.

Jack Forrest, Staff Writer

Every four years, as a corrective measure for the approximate 365.25-day time that it takes the earth to orbit around the sun, an additional “leap” day is added to the month of February.  According to the BBC, the odds of being born on February 29 are 1,461-1. Sophomores Olivia Steele and Rachel Stewart-Allen defied those odds, and both will celebrate their fourth actual birthday on Saturday. 

Because February 29 is situated between February and March, and this year, at the end of the week, there are several potential days for the two to celebrate their birthday. However, both Steele and Stewart-Allen usually celebrate on the same day.

“When I don’t have an actual birthday, I just celebrate it [on] March 1. If I actually had a birthday, that’s the day it would be on,” Steele said.

For a child, the thought of missing a birthday could be catastrophic. But Steele said she adjusted to that when she was little.

“I just had to get used to the fact that I would not have an actual birthday [until] every four years,” Steele said.

For the two today, celebrating their leap birthday is no different from a regular year, and they both consider themselves 16.

“Just because I don’t have a birth date, I still have been alive for 16 years,” said Olivia Steele. “The only thing that people ask me is if I can not get my driver’s license until I’m 40.”

Luckily, the government also considers people born on the day the same age as those with an annual birth date. If not, Steele and Stewart-Allen would have to wait until the age of 64 to drive, the age of 72 to vote, and would be well past 200 when they could retire with social security benefits.

However, having this date of birth does allow for some privileges not seen by those with an annual birthday.

“I feel like if anything, it’s a good thing. It’s fun to talk about. It just seems like any other day,” Stewart-Allen said.

Steele said her birthday is a great topic of conversation.

“It doesn’t really feel much different; I guess, more people are more excited for the birthday, but it doesn’t feel that different. It’s a really good conversation starter,” Steele said.