Being The Youngest Friend In Your Friend Group

Being The 'Young' Friend Is Actually The Best Friend To Be

21st birthdays may be a bummer, but I won't mind my age when everyone else is turning 50.

Meara Walsh

I was born in mid-late August. My parents had the choice of starting me in school at a younger age than other kids or holding me back, which meant that I would be the oldest of my class. According to my parents, I was eager to start preschool. After all, I would play "school" with my younger brother and make him sit through rousing 10 minutes of me reading flashcards to him. The kicker? He did not even know how to read at the time, or let alone solve a division problem.

So there I was, starting preschool as one of the youngest in the group. Little did I know that this would go on for the rest of my schooling experience — people seemed to make it a bigger deal the older we got. However, it was easy to brush off the, "Oh my goodness, you're a BABY," comments when this "baby" was acing tests, winning awards, and leading student organizations. A piece of advice for those who consider such comments as conversation starters or funny, you look funnier to us.

We know that we are younger than everyone else and there is nothing we can do about it — please stop stating the obvious.

I am not sure about everyone else but, throughout the years, I have always been the last person in my friend group to receive certain privileges. From a driving license to a sweet 16 to admission to R-rated movies without my parents, my wait continues as most of my friends are celebrating their 21st birthday. Many times, while these issues are humorous in conversation, they really do weigh you down when you can't relate to or participate in what your friends get together to do because of something you cannot control. Every once in a while there is a friend that may have a birthday close to yours, or sometimes even after — you have someone that finally understands. Keep these friends around — they will be the ones to hang out with you when everyone else is doing the things that you can't.

While there are drawbacks to being the youngest, it comes with its perks. For instance, I am proud to say that I am almost a whole year younger than some people in my classes, yet I am still succeeding just as much, if not more. Anatomically and realistically, it is true. Being younger means that those who are older than us — even by a year — are more developed than we are, specifically in terms of intelligence and their ability to process information. Call it what you want, but I am satisfied with knowing that I pushed myself as much as I did and still do to prove myself in the classroom, workplace, and in everyday life. By no means am I saying that I am better than those who are older than me, I am just proud of myself is all.

So, fine, I am the youngest of most groups considered "my age." I compare many of the activities that I don't get to participate in that of my friends who do and I get a lot of comments when I tell people how old I am. My opinion, though? I would not trade it for the world. I am young and I am enjoying every second of it.

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