I was tempted to title this post ‘look younger in seven days’ but I found it too annoying to do so.
Just moments ago, I was chatting with my student in Chemistry 214. We did not have a class but he decided to come by and we ended up talking about so much about his life, his studies, his lovelife, and finally, him being my student. Apparently, my student has stayed in the college for eight years on the same engineering course he was taking up since Day 1. He was now 27 years old. I am 21.
He told me that sometimes, he and his classmates talk about how awkward it was that I am their teacher, which translates to, how akward it was that their teacher was either the same age as they were or worse, much younger than them.
I had to laugh a good hearty laugh, not to undermine their trouble, but because sometimes I end up thinking the same thing – how almost ‘inappropriate’ it was to look at that I, their teacher, looked more like their younger sister. But my student said my ‘Musang mode’ takes them out of it. I told him that there was a need for me to be authoritative (Musang mode) because of the same thing – that if I would be soft on them, definitely our classroom would be in chaos because of our’ age similarity’. I was starting to think I was redefining life inside college because instead of the usual age gap complaint of students against their instructor, mine were having issues because of our similarity.
However, through all this, what I like about myself was the fact that I am very comfortable in my place in the world at my age, and to be honest, I really have no issues at all about being too young or being too old for anything I do. It’s just that I am happy as to where I am now and I have no regrets whatsoever looking back. In fact, you might be surprised, but I can think about aging and be very happy about it.
It might’ve been because of my Asperger’s personality, but ever since, I reveled in the presence of older people, and the ones I admire most were also older people. I found that when you are older, you are wiser and more experienced, plus you get to do things that you want to do, as opposed to being young where you are always told what to do, where you are always insecure about things, or worst, always getting into trouble because of being too immature, too insensitive and too naive. If you ask me, if being an adult is overrated then being young is just over the top overrated.
Don’t get me wrong though, all I’m saying is that people often mistake aging as being nothing more than an old rotting tomato or potato or whatever vegetable you can think of that rots. But, no matter how the commercial industry makes it appear to be that way, aging of course is more than that, because it comes with wisdom and experience, that you can never buy in a bottle anywhere in the world.
At 21, I am not very young nor am I very old. What is important to me now is that I know I am a sure and secured person, loving and knowing everything it is about me, what I can do, and what I will eventually become.
In retrospect, I think what my students are worried about is not really about my age, but about the fact that it is embarassing to fail in front of a ‘girl’ that is everything like their peers… well maybe only a tad smarter.