I have always dealt with people who were older than me -- that is just the way it was in my family. My brothers are significantly older than I am, meaning that I was always thrown around with the older kids when I was younger. I am incredibly respectful, not only to others my age but to those who are older than me. Yet, I have noticed since being home that more and more people are not quite acknowledging young adults ages and treating them younger than what they are. I had the first-hand experience towards this the other day.
I went to my local post office to start the application process for getting my passport -- which I have never done before. Before, heading there I tried to make sure that I had all of my information and paperwork that I needed with me. When I got to the post office, I walked to the main counter and quietly awaited my turn to inform them that I was there for my 2 o'clock appointment. I was then turned to another counter where there was an elderly gentleman helping a family of four with their passports. As I was quietly waiting for them to be finished and for it to be my turn, I heard the elderly gentlemen say "step behind the yellow line," to which I did not understand that he was talking to me. I was in earshot of what the family was saying, however, I was definitely not paying any attention to what they were doing nor was listening into the gentleman giving them the speel about passport information. After a few more minutes, it was finally my turn to go up. The elderly gentleman then decided that everything I had been told I need was wrong and went on to tell me what I apparently "actually" needed -- which I checked and I was actually correct in everything that I brought. He then proceeded to give me more information and asked me how old I was when there was a mention of a check and I had stated that I would need to have my parents write one -- because who has checkbooks anymore at my age? After being declined and told that I had to come back with the right information, I could not help but wonder why my age had anything to do with my ability to be able to get a check or as to getting my passport by myself as a whole. Up until I told him my age, he treated me like I was 16-years-old and as though I was a lost pup.
I have started to notice more recently that there are some people who think that just because I am younger than they are, that they then have the right to treat me as though I am a child, incapable of doing certain things or just thinking that they know more than I do. Which is completely absurd in my opinion. I am almost 21-years-old. I am over 18-years-old, which means that I am legally allowed to vote -- SIDE NOTE: PLEASE VOTE --and to do many other things since I am no longer what society calls a teenager. But if society is no longer calling me a teenager, then why does society also feel the need to treat me as such and try to make points that my opinion of that some of my actions do not matter? Why am I incapable of trying to be an adult and do adult things, but then being crucified3 for being above my playing field?
Now I believe that this man thought that I was way younger than what I am because I do have a baby face, but he had the audacity to treat me like I was a hooligan who was up to no good -- when I was literally just there to get a passport. Not going to lie, that may have been one of the most adult things I have had to do, but it was already nerve-racking for me before I went in there and for him to downgrade my age made me feel as though I was nothing more than a wannabe adult. I am currently about to live on my own with three roommates in an apartment and I am paying for a ton of things already out of my pocket at a youngish age. I am curious to see if once I do turn 21 if will more adults finally consider me as being an adult or if I will need to wait another eight or nine years for them to consider me an adult.
While all of this sounds like I am trying to validate my age, my main point is that I should NOT have to validate the fact that I am legally considered an independent. Although I am not sure how to do one task does not make my age a factor of the situation and just because you believe that someone is older or younger than you, does not give you the right to dismiss them as a whole and not allow them to do what they came to do. This is 2018, I should not feel discriminated against because I am younger than a man at the post office and I have no idea what I am doing. It is not okay because you do not know what they are going through. If it had been a younger customer then they could have been emancipated at a young age. Everyone has their own backstory and you cannot label them just because of something as simple as age, skin color, gender or whatever they look like as a whole.