As a college student who is barely five feet tall and has the face of a 12-year-old, I've had countless experiences of being mistaken for a child. I can't even remember how many times I've had to tell people, "I know I look really young, but I'm actually [insert age]," or, "Yes, I am old enough to be working here." I've had people accuse me of lying about my age, thinking I'm joking. No, I am not joking. Having a young face has both pros and cons; it's a blessing and a curse. These are a few of the pros and cons I have experienced the most throughout my life. Hopefully someday I'll be thankful for my youthful appearance.
1. Looking young when I'm old.
While everyone else is crying about gray hairs and wrinkles, I will continue to enjoy looking ten to 20 years younger than I actually am.
2. Getting discounts.
You know that "12 and under gets free/discounted admission" rule some places have? I expect to be able to take advantage of that for a few more years. Hello, free entertainment.
3. Immaturity galore.
No one really expects kids to be completely mature. Looking like one gives me the freedom to act like one (in moderation), without feeling too self-conscious. If I see a playground, I will go on it.
4. Getting crayons at restaurants.
I get bored when I'm waiting for my food. I will ask the waiter for crayons without hesitation. To them, I look like a kid who wants to color. There's nothing strange about that.
5. Shopping in the kid's department.
This is more of a result of my short stature and small feet, but it helps that I look young, so it's not quite as weird when I'm looking around in the kid's section of clothing stores. The real pro here is that often, kids clothing is cheaper. The shoes are especially cheap.
Every time I get into the car I worry that it'll be the day I finally get pulled over because a police officer saw me and my too-young-to-be-driving-a-car face. When I'm behind the wheel, I probably look 14.
2. Surprise! I'm in college.
The disbelief I get from people when I tell them my age or that I'm in college is pretty typical and slightly annoying.
3. Eating out.
Yes, I do enjoy coloring while I wait for my food, but I cannot stand it when the waiter automatically assumes I'm a kid and just gives me a kid's menu without asking. Even when they do ask, "How many kid's menus?" it saddens me that it isn't obvious that the only person in need of one is my 11-year-old brother.
4. Terms of endearment.
I get called "honey" and "sweetie" all the time by older adults. They use that sweet, slightly higher- pitched voice that really should only be used with small children. I know they mean well, but it makes me feel like a little girl.
I know I'm going to get carded for the rest of my life. Sometimes I get scared that people will think I have a fake I.D. because I'll look too young to actually be 21.