How to Make the Most of Leap Day
by Jocelyn Rubin | University of Maryland- College Park
That elusive day that comes but once every four years. Most of us, unless a birthday or anniversary falls on this day, do not notice its appearance. Still, some believe that the leap day is a lucky one, an extra day filled with possibilities.
On Feb. 29, 1504, the renowned explorer Christopher Columbus got some leap year luck while stranded on the coast of Jamaica. Banking on an astronomical prediction in one of his navigation books Columbus convinced the native population to provide him and his crew with food and supplies or “the moon would disappear from the sky…” The prediction was accurate and Columbus successfully received the needed assistance that allowed him to continue on to Spain.
On Feb. 29, 1940 Gone with the Wind actress Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award.
And on Feb 29, 1960 Hugh Hefner opened the first every Playboy Club in Chicago.
So how will you make the most of the extra day on your calendar? An extra day in February gives you an extra day to:
1. Meet a Deadline.
Whether it’s an internship application you have to complete or a project you have work on, this extra day may provide you with extra time to meet your tight deadline. Since Feb. 29 only comes around once every four years, people may not make note of it when marking dates on their calendar, especially if deadlines are kept consistent with previous years.
2. Catch up on Homework.
Similar to the opportunity above, if your teacher has not changed his or her class schedule from the one last year, you and your classmates may be given an extra day to complete an assignment or an extra day to study for a test. Use your time wisely.
3. Celebrate Your Youth.
Forgive me for this one if you don’t agree. I may have had this song on repeat one too many times this week. But just think about it. An extra day in the calendar means you’re one day younger than you were the previous year (or one day older if you’re a leap baby, but those born on February 29 are always forever young). There are worse things than getting an extra day to live life to the fullest, which brings me to my next point…
4. Take a Leap (get it?) of Faith.
If it worked for Christopher Columbus, it can work for you. Use the luck of this day to do something unexpected. Be bold. Try something new. Run for an elected position on campus, ask out the girl or guy you’ve been crushing on, or schedule a trip to a place you’ve never been. Vegas, perhaps?
5. Spend Time With Someone You Love.
February 29 has traditionally been the day in which women and men switch relationship roles and women ask their boyfriends to marry them. While I’m not suggesting you need to go that route, taking this extra day of the year to let people know how much they mean to you; it can’t hurt.Jocelyn Rubin is a student at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is majoring in broadcast journalism with a concentration in American Studies. She hopes to work one day in the field of entertainment journalism.