• Jessa Nelson

They call me a leapling

Ah, my birthday- finally, I’ve waited four years for this day to come. For most people, birthdays come every year, but for some, Feb. 29 only comes once every four years and I am one of those so-called “leap-year babies.”

My parents used to say I was so lucky for being born on such a special day, but here I am, 16 years later and I am technically only four years old. Today is Feb. 29 and I have decided that I am going to get my driver’s license. It may be difficult, but I was able to get my temporary license so we will see how this goes.

I walked into the BMV and the lady behind the desk called me up shortly after I signed in. She looked at me with a sharp sneer and began, “Sweetheart, this is cute an’ all but your little prank is wasting my time.”

I looked at the lady with complete confusion, wondering what she could have been referring to as a “little prank.” She then handed me back my temporary license and birth certificate and called up the next person on the sign in sheet.

“Ma’am wait-” I said, but she rudely cut me off after that.

“Honey, next time you attempt to make a fake I.D., try using a real date. Feb. 29? That only happens every four years, so hop along, toddler, I’ve got people waiting in line behind you,” she said.

When I got home, in tears, because my mom was still having to drive me around everywhere, I did some research on how others deal with my situation of having a leap-year birthday. Turns out, there are different regulations all around the world for when a “leapling” turns legal ages. In New Zealand, by law, one born on a leap day technically turns a legal age (16, 18, 21, etc.) on Feb. 28 if the year is not a leap year. However, in England, a person celebrates their “lucky” birthday on March 1, and that is when the government acknowledges that person of their legal age. But in the United States, there is no said rule for when my birthday truly is, so who is that lady to tell me that I’m not 16 years old?

If I moved to New Zealand, I would be 16 and could get my license. If I moved to England, I would be 16, technically tomorrow and could get my license. But if every government has a different rule, how do they decide it?

“For someone born on Feb. 29, the first day they can legally drive, vote, join the Army, buy alcohol or start collecting Social Security is presumably March 1 in non-leap years,” professor of law at the University of Iowa John Reitz said according to The University of Iowa News Services.

Recent Posts

See All

Orange Media publications are official student-produced mediums of news and information published by the Journalism students of Olentangy Orange High School. The publications have been established as a designated public forum for student journalists to inform, educate and entertain readers as well as for the discussion of issues of concern to their audience. They  will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials, adults or sources prior to publication.

The content of the publications is determined by and reflects only the views of the student staff and not school officials or the school itself. They will not publish any material, determined by the staff or adviser, that is libelous, obscene or disruptive to the school day.

The advisers are Kari Phillips and Brian Nicola. Readers may respond to the publications through Letters to the Editor. Letters may be mailed, e-mailed to thecourierstaff@gmail.com or dropped off to room 2223. The staff asks that submissions be 300 words or less and contain the author’s name and signature. Editors reserve the right to edit or withhold publication of letters.

The publications strive to uphold the Canons of Professional Journalism, which includes accuracy, impartiality, etc. Therefore, major errors will be corrected in the next issue. Distinction will be marked between news and opinion stories.

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now