My 20th birthday did not start out very well. It was exam week at my university, so all of my friends were busy studying. I lived a 10-hour flight away from my family, so I felt upset and alone the entire morning.

I then decided that it was completely up to me to make this day special in a way I had never celebrated it before. With the help of the internet, I came up with 20 random acts of kindness I wanted to complete before my birthday was over. For example, I paid for the person in the drive through behind me, dropped off donuts for people waiting at the DMV, gave a new basketball to a little boy in a poorer neighborhood, bought gift cards to restaurants for a homeless man, placed inspiring post-its on mirrors at my university, etc.

I am sharing this story in hopes that somebody might find inspiration for their own birthday or a bad day in general and realize that it is your choice to make it a special day for yourself and many other people. I have had many fun birthdays with celebrations and great gifts, but looking back this has still been the best birthday of my life so far. – Jackie

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