Wednesday, 21 September, 2011
“How Old Are You?” “Why Does It Matter?”
QOTD: How old are you? Do you personally think that age really matters?
Sometimes I wish I could forget my age. Why are our lives measured so heavily upon how old we are, and not instead by the experiences we have been through and the amount of knowledge we have absorbed? I have conflicting feelings about my age…..I am 19 years old, but have always looked at least five years younger, which I tend to feel defensive about. (Bring on the kids’ menus!)
But then again, I wish I could I could forget that I am 19, because I don’t want to grow up. What does it mean to be grown up? Have a job, a family and independence? That certainly seems to be the norm definition. Yet, I have met quite a few young people and also children who were much more mature, more mentally independent and more self-aware than many grownups I have encountered.
I’m not bashing adulthood, of course. I am merely approaching the question as to why age is such an influential factor in how we are perceived by others and how we see them. If someone knows your age, they automatically begin to judge you–either consciously or unconsciously–based on that. Oh, you’re 19? You must be in college because that’s where a lot of 19-year-olds are at your age. You’re 14? You don’t know understand what it means to be in love….you’re not “at that stage” yet.
I am a naturally easygoing and positive person. I act very lighthearted and silly all the time, but that makes people further believe I am very young. I get told that I act very childish. Why? Is it because I am always cheerful and jocular, and don’t act like I have a care or worry in the world? Do they think I live a life through rose-colored glasses? No, I act those ways because I learned that even if things are going terribly for me, I won’t nearly feel half as bad if I keep a smile on my face. I have worries just like any other human being, but why is it that just because I don’t actively show or share my burdens with the people I interact with, I am perceived as a child?
Today, I saw a man in his late 40’s in my history class. He is a college student.