“Wow, you’re so young to be doing XYZ, I thought you were older!” This is something I’ve heard far too often for my own sanity.
I’m a senior in college, but don’t let the year fool you…. Because you guessed it, I’m younger than your typical senior. By now, I cringe whenever someone asks me what my age is. And rolling my eyes to the response of “oh I thought you were older”, has become a reflex rather than a choice. Compared to kids my own age, I never progressed at the same rate in which everyone else my age progressed both academically and athletically. I was always “ahead of the curve”.
It somewhat sickens me that we measure someone’s success simply based off of the number of times that person has consecutively circled around the sun. Why is it that we revere someone who’s a CEO before the age of 30, but we don’t receive someone who just became a CEO at the age of 55 the same way. Why is one more impressive than the other? In both situations, both people have achieved the same feat, but yet had different paths to get there.
In some situations, revealing my age has actually done significantly more harm than good. Just like that, I’m suddenly a different person and your perception of me has changed? It’s not like I became a different person right when I revealed how “young” I am. We judge people on their physical age rather than their mental age. And we admire people not based on the accomplishment itself, but rather based on the man made concept of time, which arguably, doesn’t really even matter.
Age should not be a marker of success.
If I never told you how old I was, would it matter? Would you still perceive me the same way?