The Funny Thing About Age

I was 19 when I started working in radio, and 22 when I became a reporter for pro basketball in the Philippines. So for a long time, I was almost always the young one: I’d hang around people five, seven, 10 years older than me. I learned to like scotch, for instance, because that’s what my colleagues in sports liked to drink after work. In many ways, I was regarded as a kid – someone to train, to teach, to mold.

My, how things have changed.

Not counting our professor, I’m the second oldest person in this class. Granted, Bryan is quite a bit older than me, but it blows my mind how I’m constantly reminded that among college kids, 25 is not young. When my classmates learn that I was born in ’88, there’s this look of surprise on their faces – a look that clearly says, with accompanying disbelief: You were born in the 80s

I think it’s especially disconcerting in my case because I look young (I guess it’s an Asian thing).

Meanwhile, I almost can’t believe that anyone who was born in 1996 is now 17 or 18 – as in, a legitimate human adult, or close enough not to matter. Where’d the time go?!

Still, it’s not as if I feel like I don’t belong just because I hit the U.S. legal drinking age when some of my new friends were in high school. In fact, it’s interesting how much I’m learning from them – how wise their advice, how refreshing their opinions, how creative their ideas are.

At the same time, I’m realizing just how much learning I’ve done since I was about their age. I recognize the gripes of college, the worries of job-hunting, the slow understanding that life doesn’t do everything you expect it to or give you everything you want when you want it (actually, I think I’m still learning that).

So somehow I’ve been feeling both old and young, which is kind of a fun place to be in. I get to experience a working environment that I want to be in when I make my comeback to the labor force, and I get to do it with a really cool group of people.

Did I mention this is happening in Spain?

#win.

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One thought

  1. What more if you were born in the 70s like me. My masters classmates all get surprised when they find out how old I am. And then when I learn their age, I end up just feeling like a dinosaur. Which makes me wonder, while most Filipinos take their masters in their late 20s and early 30s, the rest of the world take theirs fresh out of undergrad.

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