The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Two leaping ladies, one extra day

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Spencer J Eggers/The Daily Campus
Lauren Lyngstad (above) and Caroline Baliker’s birthday falls on Feb. 29 meaning that after 20 years, she technically turns 5 years old on Wednesday — Leap Day.

Lauren Lyngstad (above) and Caroline Baliker’s birthday falls on Feb. 29 meaning that after 20 years, she technically turns 5 years old on Wednesday — Leap Day. (Spencer J Eggers/The Daily Campus)

Lauren Lyngstad is a Leap Day baby. According to her birth certificate, she is turning 5 years old Wednesday. In reality, she’s celebrating her 20th year.

As an event that only comes once every four years, and doesn’t involve politics or the Olympic games, Lyngstad has the perfect excuse to honor her birthday for multiple days, especially when the year is one day longer.

“I think that when your birthday only comes around once every four years, you have an excuse to celebrate extravagantly to make up for the three years I technically didn’t have a birthday,” she said.

When she was born in 1992, Lyngstad’s parents decided to make her official birthday March 1. While she knew she was born on Feb. 29, she was confused why her actual birthday wasn’t on the calendar … Or, only appeared every four years.

“When I was younger my mom would write the 29th in on the calendar on years it didn’t exist just to make me feel better,” she said. “It’s hard to grasp the concept that your real birthday only comes every four years when you’re young.”

Unlike Lyngstad, sophomore Caroline Baliker celebrates her birthday on Feb. 28 on non-leap years and both Feb. 28 and Feb. 29 the other three years.

Baliker always knew her birthday was the last day of February, but it wasn’t until her fourth birthday that she found out the date on her birth certificate, and later driver’s license, only falls once every four years.

“I figured out that my birthday only came every four years when boys in my kindergarten class told me that I didn’t have a birthday that year and made me cry,” she said. “My parents told me I would appreciate it later in life and ever since then I have loved it.”

Though their birthday caused some confusion when they were younger, today, both girls embrace being born on a special day.

“I love being born on Leap Day because no one ever forgets,” Baliker said.

For Lyngstad, saying she’s born on Leap Day is always her fun fact.

While many people believe that meeting someone born on Feb. 29 is rare, both girls graduated high school with at least one other person sharing their birthday.

I graduated from high school with three other people who shared my birthday,” Lyngstad said. “My class was about 250 people so it was actually kind of crazy.”

Because they can only truly celebrate once every four years, both girls plan on honoring the day regardless of how old they are turning … in leap years, or real years.

“I’m definitely going to have to celebrate my leap year age on certain occasions when I’m older,” Lyngstad said. “When I turn 21 in leap years I’ll technically be 84, so that’s one I hope I celebrate properly.”

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