Posted by moffattron9000 (352 posts) -

Talking to my friend from High School at Uni today I realized that being in my forth year of university (in New Zealand, most people are done in three) that a high proportion of the first-years are so young that I now have memories that are now older than them. With that I felt like am am getting old. This shouldn't be happening. I turned twenty-one two weeks ago, and yet I still felt like I am getting old. Why is this. Am I just being a melodramatic kid who's having a moment. Possibly. Is my depression getting to me. Likely. Is it because I was supposed to have an economics degree at the end of last year but now won't my Political Science and Media degree until the end of next year and am now fearing that i'll be irrelevant by the time i'm actively on the job market. That makes sense. Is it because I feel like too many milestones in life have come, gone, and passed me by and what's coming is terrifying and I am unsure on how to handle it. Probably. Am I just tricking myself to feel old so I don't feel too much like a child. Reading this back it sure sounds like it.

Thanks for putting up with my rant.

#1 Edited by TruthTellah (8721 posts) -

Yeah, sounds like you have some decent leads on why you're feeling that way. And, frankly, it isn't uncommon for those in their twenties. Just something you have to work through as part of molding what really drives you in life. It's never easy, but you really can find strength and contentment independent of whether you have any of that figured out. You'll always have questions and challenges; a big part of life is learning how to face each day with an appreciation of where you are and the person you choose to be.

#3 Posted by moffattron9000 (352 posts) -

@truthtellah: Thanks for that reminder. It's far too easy to forget that and right now I needed that.

#4 Edited by Fattony12000 (7269 posts) -

@moffattron9000:

I had those thoughts and feelings at around age 12, it really screwed up the midlife crisis phase of my life.

Keep doing good stuff and striving towards goals that are important to you now. Separate from any fancy pants book learning, you should also be backing yo assets up with cool shit like learning how to make websites, or speaking Mandarin.

#5 Posted by Nictel (2399 posts) -

I'm 26. I may feel old :P. I finish my study this year even though I could have finished earlier if I had made different choices, which feels like wasted potential. On the other hand some of the people I went to school with are now married with children. Of which I am totally not jealous. Also I still have years ahead of me and some great years behind me.

You're 21, you realize your teens are now truly over. Yes you feel old, I think most if not all of us get that at one point. But you're not! Twenty-one is nothing! I do have some tips though: Enjoy! Seriously, don't waste your twenties behind the computer. I feel this is a good series to read: Don't waste your twenties

#6 Edited by Winternet (8012 posts) -

If you're 21 and you're feeling old because you're not in your teens anymore, you're going to feel old all of your life and your life is gonna suck balls. Snap out of it. Go run for 10 minutes as fast as you can. Go swim in a freezing lake/river/sea. Go party hard for two days straight, no sleep. Old people can't do that.

#7 Posted by StrikeALight (1114 posts) -

Snap out of it,if you can. I went through that phase in my early twenties (I was diagnosed and treated for depression for a little while), but you'll soon come to realize that is nothing but a bunch of bolllocks. Work hard, play hard - while you can. Exercise also usually helps when you're feeling a bit stuck in a rut.

#8 Edited by ienkub (28 posts) -

we usually only take stock of our lives when we're in the dumps. like when we leave school for the Great Unknown of Adulthood, when we are in between jobs, when we break up with our significant others. that's when we like to wallow in our misery. but take stock of the good things too. like, list five things you're grateful for every day. start with "i'm breathing" and work up from that. i made an ex do that for a while, as she was depressed, and she said it worked for her.

if you want my advice - and why wouldn't you take advice from internet strangers? - i'll say that life never goes as planned. don't worry about it. imagine me, two years ago. i 'm on my way to my job of ten years, on my bicycle. life is good. i've got money saved up, a job that pays really well, no student loans, and a cat at home, it's May and the sun is shining. i get a call on my cellphone. "hey ienkub, they're making 10 people redundant at work, you're the first to go". i slow down a bit, scattered thoughts of what the hell am i going to do with myself i've spent a third of my life at that job what do i do now? but i paddle on, getting closer to my place of work. the phone rings again. "yes i KNOW i'm getting the axe, okay?!" but it's not a co-worker this time, it's a friend. "hey ienkub, a member of your inner circle of friends, she got sick and... she died an hour ago."

and that's how my life changed completely over the course of a bicycle ride. who the hell knew? two years later i'm going to be 35 and hopefully i'll get into uni this fall and become an illustrator in three years and consequently i might get my first job as a junior artist at the ripe old age of 38. so you can't plan life. you'll have ups and downs, you'll get through it and new opportunities will present themselves to you. don't be afraid to take on challenges.

#9 Posted by Zero_ (1973 posts) -

Don't worry - same situation here. 22 year old still at uni in Australia, all these new kids make me feel old. I remember back to when I was 18 and what I saw myself doing when I was 22 and I imagined so much more. But don't look at it so bad, apply the glass is half full mentality - look how young you are compared to everyone else; comparatively you are super, super young. If anything I've learnt from "feeling old" at 22 - is to make the most of my time living life while I'm still this young.

#10 Edited by Funkydupe (3311 posts) -

I'm old too. What gets me by is that we're never alone in growing old.

The younger guys that remind you of your younger self and the good old days will grow old as well. Its just something we've got to accept even though I believe it is truly one of the hardest things you can do. I wish we lived in a society where elders were treated better, sadly that's not the case at all.

If there's something I've observed so far is that the mind can stay young a whole lot longer than the physical body of a person and I'm always surprised by that even though I don't know why. I think its special and cool. I hope I can stay interested in video games even though I see a lot of people I know "growing" up and away from it.

#11 Posted by EVO (3890 posts) -

Don't worry, we'll all live til 150.

#12 Edited by Funkydupe (3311 posts) -

@zero_ said:

Don't worry - same situation here. 22 year old still at uni in Australia, all these new kids make me feel old. I remember back to when I was 18 and what I saw myself doing when I was 22 and I imagined so much more. But don't look at it so bad, apply the glass is half full mentality - look how young you are compared to everyone else; comparatively you are super, super young. If anything I've learnt from "feeling old" at 22 - is to make the most of my time living life while I'm still this young.

"If anything I've learnt from "feeling old" at 22 - is to make the most of my time living life while I'm still this young."


That is well said and I agree.

#13 Posted by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

What kind of society do we live in that makes a twenty one year old, 1 year away from graduation, feel old?

Dude, chill out, don't let the hyper norms of the 21st century get to you, I know a lot of people who GO TO UNIVERSITY at the ages of 22 and 23, and they're all happy and on the way to an exciting future.

#14 Posted by Mirado (993 posts) -

@moffattron9000: I've got bottles of scotch older than you. I think you don't realize just how much time life has to send you in a ton of crazy directions.

Take it as it comes, and do your best to enjoy the ride. Freaking out about things that haven't happened yet is a great way to miss the present.

#15 Posted by Danteveli (1173 posts) -

I live in China and work plus study at the universities. I hangout and drink with people that are 17-18 years old and I'm 25. Its crazy how different we are when it comes to pop culture references and stuff like that. So when we recently talked about stuff like Die Hard (since 5 got released) it was crazy that I was the only one that has seen DH1 and 2. Then I have felt really old.

AND Automotive Navigation DataCrunchbase: AND Automotive Navigation Data is a company based out of Rotterdam, NLD, founded in 1984.

#16 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -

Hah. Just wait until you turn 29 and realize that next year you will be 30. You increasingly start to understand how short everything is and ideally it should light a fire under your ass to work harder and achieve your goals.

#17 Edited by Pr1mus (3857 posts) -

If you're in your early 20s you are not old and you shouldn't feel old.

I'm gonna be 30 next month and i don't feel old.

#18 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

It's strange how age effects us mentally. It's like when you hit your twenties you feel like you've finally finished growing as a person and then you have these few years that erodes that and you realize that you never really stop changing and growing as an individual.

#19 Posted by believer258 (11775 posts) -

I'm 21 and I feel somewhat similar to you, but I don't feel old. I got over the "oh shit I can remember things from before some people were born" phase about the time I got done with senior year of high school.

People never stop growing and changing. There's no arbitrary age where your life is suddenly set in stone and your decisions are over.

Also, at 21 you are at or nearing what will potentially be your peak physical and mental capacity. That's not old. Thirty isn't even old. Hell, if you take good care of yourself then 40 isn't old.

#20 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@mtcantor said:

Hah. Just wait until you turn 29 and realize that next year you will be 30. You increasingly start to understand how short everything is and ideally it should light a fire under your ass to work harder and achieve your goals.

I am in exactly this age situation and feel the opposite of what you describe there. I am no longer the motivated, energetic student with grand ambitions and... wait, no, I was never that to begin with. Maybe more accurate to say that I have even less of what little motivation I had in my early 20's. I just want to read my books and drink my coffee and for the neighbours fuck right the hell off with their parking in my goddamn parking stall. D:

#22 Edited by ArbitraryWater (11589 posts) -

I'm 20 and have felt what you're talking about on occasion. In addition to being reminded that my younger brother has no understanding of the popular culture I consumed in my youth, I also feel that way whenever I see someone close to me move in a different direction with their lives. Either way, it doesn't bother me too much because I'm still young and ostensibly have the rest of my life in front of me to mess up.

#24 Edited by Daneian (1226 posts) -

@mtcantor said:

Hah. Just wait until you turn 29 and realize that next year you will be 30. You increasingly start to understand how short everything is and ideally it should light a fire under your ass to work harder and achieve your goals.

I am in exactly this age situation and feel the opposite of what you describe there. I am no longer the motivated, energetic student with grand ambitions and... wait, no, I was never that to begin with. Maybe more accurate to say that I have even less of what little motivation I had in my early 20's. I just want to read my books and drink my coffee and for the neighbours fuck right the hell off with their parking in my goddamn parking stall. D:

I just turned 30 and bought a cemetery plot for my birthday.

#26 Edited by stryker1121 (1394 posts) -

Do you have post-college plans in terms of what you want to do? Are you connected w/ young pro groups at school or other organizations that fit your career interests? What about internships? Your life may be confusing now but there's plenty you can do to keep focus before you get into the job market.

I'm in my late 30s and just started a freelance writing career after years in the newspaper biz. It's scary as shit and I don't know if I can make a living doing this, but all I can do is keep focus, pitch story ideas, network and build up my business. Stay strong!

#28 Edited by Dalai (7016 posts) -

Seeing people here closer to my age makes me feel relatively young. Often I feel like the only 30-something in a sea of 20 year olds.

#29 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Either way, it doesn't bother me too much because I'm still young and ostensibly have the rest of my life in front of me to mess up.

You're becoming Patrick and you don't even know it.

#30 Posted by Aetheldod (3542 posts) -

@dalai said:

Seeing people here closer to my age makes me feel relatively young. Often I feel like the only 30-something in a sea of 20 year olds.

Hell no duder Im at the 30´s club too :D

To OP dont be worrying about something so silly as age? The biggest secret I´ve learned from life ... age does not matter , just be proud of who you are and see the cool shit you are doing with your time , fuck everyone else.

#31 Posted by Sursh (243 posts) -

big deal.

#32 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@moffattron9000:

Technically you are still growing up. The biological shift from growing up to growing old happens between your 26th and 30th birthday on average. I started feeling old, when my first set of bones started creaking. In my case the right knee, which has been under extra stress since I've wrecked the left one with a sports injury in my late teens.

Life is, for the most parts, a road of ruin leading up to death. All I care about on this road? The very day I'm living. Get this day right, and all is good in the world. Putting one day at the time into the Past Perfect Bank of Splendid Days.

Don't worry. Do your best, even if it isn't all that good. Enjoy your day. Today is all you really ever have. Building up to something big on this road to ruin leading up to your death, that ultimately is what life is - it's a gamble. Some are cool with that, others are not. I'm a deviant, not a gambler - and winning at life is rather bothersome, so why even try? If you aren't in it to win it, just hang lose and reap the days as they come. I'm sure all good days come with food and drink and a good night's sleep, and maybe even some nice relations. What more do you really need?

Great expectations? Nothing's going to ruin a fine day as easily as such.

Peace out.

P.S. A post-workout day is always better than a pre-workout day. Daily physical strain is paramount for satisfaction, as far as I'm concerned. Pro-tip.

#33 Edited by Max_Cherry (1133 posts) -

Lucky for you, Blogging about "feeling old" on the Internet automatically makes you young!

#34 Posted by TooSweet (381 posts) -

I'm in my 30's. I feel freakin' great. I also went to a tech school cause I didn't like college when I did go. I did that when I was 30. It's now been a few years. I wasn't too active in my 20's and late teens. Screw the 20's I got everything happening now and I plan to keep on moving. If you think about it I potentially have 30 - 40 more years of life (hopefully). I'm not going to waste it on what ifs when I can make shit happen. But that's the way I usually see things. Sure I missed milestones like starting a career early and all that but if I dwell on it I'll be back where I was in my 20's. I don't even have a degree comparable to most people. But I like to make stuff happen for myself. I won't live by someone else's standards or compare myself to others. I have my own life to worry about. So just consider you may have decades to go. Make them good ones.

#35 Posted by super_machine (1930 posts) -

Just wait until you get a hemroid or something.

#36 Posted by Tireyo (6409 posts) -

Wait till they mail you an application for an AARP card, then you'll feel the meaning of old. Being old is the least of my worries anymore, cause I just don't care anymore. Instead, my problem is sounding like a woman and not a man on the phone. Pisses me off each and every time when someone called me "mam" on the phone. I have a ton of those stories to tell.

#37 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3851 posts) -

@pr1mus said:

If you're in your early 20s you are not old and you shouldn't feel old.

I'm gonna be 30 next month and i don't feel old.

Word. Coming up on 31 and I still don't feel it. You're only as old as you let yourself feel. That sounds like some hippy dippy crap but it's true.

#38 Posted by teh_destroyer (3565 posts) -

I remember my first time being 21, that was almost 7 years ago lad.

#39 Posted by myketuna (1672 posts) -

I feel pretty good. I think people should start feeling old once their body starts revolting due to age. And hopefully, that's a long way away for me. I'm only 22.

That said, even once someone starts feeling old, it doesn't mean life is a big "Oh well, now it's a countdown." It just means you should cherish your time even more and be a bit more careful doing whatever you do.

#40 Posted by PenguinDust (12483 posts) -

Being nearly twice as old as many of you, I find 20-somethings complaining about their age very amusing. I will admit that the tell tale signs are all apparent in my case (losing my hair, bad vision, new aches in the morning, lower hand-eye coordination, less tolerance for mouthy brats, etc...), but I feel as youthful as I ever did. I still enjoy the silly juvenile things I always have. I am still excited by Star Wars, Disney movies and 31 flavors of ice cream. I find what's most important is to focus on the here and now. The past was great (better in our memories) and the future will be awesome, but neither do much for me today. Carpe diem or words to that effect.

#41 Posted by Turambar (6713 posts) -

As a high school teacher, my latest "man I'm old moment" was when I realized the ubiquitous "Where was your parent when JFK was assassinated" assignment is a literal impossibility for my 11th graders due to how old their parents were.

#42 Posted by zFUBARz (625 posts) -

I'm in my late 20's now and have been a grumpy old man since at least the first grade. Seriously, My earliest evidence is a grade 1 teacher telling us to get into groups of blondes and dark haired people. I distinctly recall (and she told me the story over again to confirm when I was in grade 4 and 5 running into her around school) calling her out on that being reductionist bullshit(I was 6 so it probably sounded like "Ms that's dumb, we're all different), I pointed to my very light brown haired self and a few gingers around the room with indignation. She never tried to organize us like that again.

But with that kind of mentality comes a lot of good, I'd been on 3 continents by the time I was 22, I've gone to a stadium with 10's of thousands of people dressed as the joker and started a wave, ended up on the big screen and got pictures with lots of the team, done every dumb 'extreme' thing you can think of (except scuba, still working on that one), spent an hour watching a Minor league hockey game and chatting with Gretzky (I'm Canadian, it's a big deal around here), prevented suicides, sat in on a mountaintop prayer service with Buddhist monks, learned to be a better partner(lover if you want) by being with exclusively older women (2-7 years older) until a few years ago (this ones going strong), and a bunch more ridiculous crap I always forget and often barely believe myself so I won't keep going since this is already making me sound like a braggart.

My point is that whatever you feel about yourself in life, harness it, use it, and enjoy it. If that means reading every book ever sitting by a fire with a nice tea, great, raising a family and trying to make them happy, great, if it means skydiving over a volcano, great. For me it's just always moving forward and not getting hung up on the petty little things in life that so many tend to, because even at 6 life is too short and has too much to offer to worry about the colour of your hair.