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?



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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