This weekend, I will be turning 21. I've just started my junior year of college, and by any stretch of the imagination, I'm barely even an adult. But when I watch freshmen, and how they act around campus, something hit me. College has made me old. Not in a walk-around-with-a-cane sort of way, but in a Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon "I'm too old for this s***" kind of way. It first hit me when some of the freshmen started calling me and my friends a bunch of old men. At first I brushed them off, but then I actually thought about what I had done that day, and realized that they were right.
I had woken up sore. This wasn't the first time. I've had a lot of injuries over the years, and they have begun to wear on me. But what I realized as I approached my 21st birthday is that I was always sore, and not just from injuries. For some reason, I always wake up with a sore back, doesn't matter where I slept or what i did the night before. In addition, my knees start to ache when it's about to rain. Up until that happened to me, old man sitting on front porches were the only ones that I had seen do this. Also, much like an old man, I have a tendency to complain about my soreness. I end up fussing like I'm in sixties, and I'm barely halfway through colleges.
the freshmen also exhaust me now. Sure, too much time around freshmen can drive anyone crazy, but is actual exhaustion. To me they seem way younger than the two year gap between the two of us. They're loud, they talk fast, and they run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Going off this, I also find that I have less energy than I used to. It used to be that whenever I had the time, I wanted to go out to a party or doing something exciting. Now, many nights I just want to sit down and watch tv. Beyond that, watching other people go out actually makes me tired and less inclined to go out myself. Some of the younger guys have taken to calling my house the "retirement home" and sometimes I think they're right.
Finally, I say things that only old men say. Sure some of it is in a joking manner, calling them "youths" or whatever, but some of it is all too real. The other day, I actually caught myself saying "back in my day". To get out of a chair, I have to rock, and will sometimes grunt like an old man too. It's getting ridiculous.
Now some might say that a lot of this is because now that I'm older, I'm busier, and I have less time for messing around, and I'm able to look back at younger kids and laugh. But nothing will dissuade me from the idea that I've prematurely aged. I just hope it stops here.