The summer rapidly comes to a close. I finished up my last shift at Culver’s for the summer and have begun the grueling process of packing and planning the semester. My family demands my time as I wrap up last minute internship things and important details for this last semester. But with any start of a school year, I am feeling nostalgic.
My little sister had freshman orientation today at the high school I call my alma mater. I went through her schedule with her and ensured that she understood the layout of the high school and wouldn’t be overwhelmed like so many have in the past. She is going to be just fine.
But walking those old halls called up some ghosts and past feelings. It’s weird to think that three and a half years ago, I was graduating from high school. Now I am graduating from college.
Because of this call to memory, I ended up taking out my old yearbooks and perusing through them. Here are all of my yearbook photos from school. Some pics are better than others. No one can get away with perfect hair for all their photos.
I’ve changed a lot through the years, but at the same time, not so much. My face has barely changed, aside from braces and hairstyles, glasses to contacts. In every grade, I was asked if I was in the right class, not because I wasn’t smart, but because I always looked way younger than I actually was.
I know this will be a blessing later on in life. My mom still gets carded actually, but growing up and even now I find it just inconvenient. People are very condescending when they think you’re a teenager, sometimes without them realizing. I want to be taken seriously, not blown off because I look like a baby.
For instance, the other day I went to sell some of my old books at Half Priced Books. The associate asked me if I had a parent with me. I politely told him I was 20 years old to which he was like, “Oh, you sure?” He gave me no trouble after that, but he looked kind of flustered after I told him my age. It was kind of funny.
Or even the day prior, I went to the pool. In order to go down the slide, you have to pass some swimming test unless you are older than 15 years old. When I got to the top, the lifeguard asked me through a bullhorn if I passed the swimming test. I yelled back that I was 20. At least he looked a little embarrassed about it.
No matter what I’m doing or where I go, people always are surprised at my age. I’ve always been mature, so having such young features creates a paradox of sorts. I think that’s why I enjoyed reading fairy books because fairies are immortal beings that look like children for life but are well respected (depending on the lore).
Next week I turn 21 years old and start my last semester of college. I can already imagine the push I’m going to get at bars for looking too young. Oh well. There’s nothing really to correct that besides remaining polite and doing my best to laugh it off. Though it sometimes gets under my skin, it’s better not to take it personally and roll with it. Most people don’t mean any harm by it.
I’m looking forward to the upcoming semester and being able to participate in more events now that I will have obtained 21 years of age.