Mature And Old Are Not Synonyms. They Can Coexist But They Do Not Mean The Same Thing.

Published May 25, 2012 by jrm17

There is a difference between being old and being mature.  This isn’t new to me but I think it must be news to some people.  I’m not going to name names (mostly because I’m over my issue but thought it would make a good topic) but I’ve had a little too much experience with this fact lately.  Let’s look at the facts…

Fact #1:  I am the baby (almost 21) and my friend is not (older than 21 by a few years).  I think by this logic I should not be the one who feels like the grown up or the one who feels like the old person because I don’t want to act like she acts.    I don’t really know what else to say about this one but I think it needs to be the first fact stated so it is known.

Fact #2:  School and work mean two different things to us.  By logic, she should–at the age she is–be either finishing up college very soon or already working at a job which will support her in life.  I should be working, interning, screwing around, having fun the last summer before I have to become an adult.  She is still in community college (Oh, for the fifth or sixth year now) and complains about her job endlessly, saying it takes up too much of her time.  Because her job that she so much complains about takes up so much time, she has yet to finish her Associate’s Degree.  Her boyfriend just graduated with his Bachelor’s and is a year younger.  I will graduate next year with my Bachelor’s being a double major and in the Honors program at the ripe old age of almost 22.  Instead of being a kid this summer, I will be working at a jewelry store, interning at a magazine, working on my departmental paper, and doing my best to thrown in a little relaxing every now and then.  I will go back to school in the fall as my final year with a full course load, including an 20 hours per week internship and my departmental paper (and another freaking methods of social research class), and probably another full course load in the spring.  She will be taking two classes at the most.  Enough said.

Fact #3:  There’s a proper way to dress.  This is kind of two-fold.  I will never look down on anyone in the medical field (They are pretty much the reason I’m alive considering the amount of times I’ve hurt myself stupidly) but there’s no need there to be condemnation for me dressing up for my work.  I, shockingly, am really liking the whole dressing up and looking professional thing.  I don’t think it makes me “look like a clown.”  And I think it’s cute.  But I understand that different jobs need to be dressed for differently and that each job needs to be done in order for society to function (I may be a little rusty on my classical theory but thank you, Max Weber. I think).  Still, don’t judge me on this one when this is not the only dressing issue we have.  The second part is that I know how to not dress like a high schooler or skank.  Once again, I realize that everyone has different clothing styles and body sizes but there comes a point in one’s life when always wearing beaters, TMNT t-shirts, and shorts without doing your hair becomes not appropriate for every single day.  Sometimes, a nice dress or top is good with some jeans that aren’t the lightest wash you can get.  I know there is this idea in her head that I just dress up a lot and that I’m really girly but that’s crap.  I love my seats more than anything but I know when the right time to wear them is.

Fact #4:  Different drinks are appropriate for different times.  A coffee date is an appropriate time to drink some form of coffee or tea or some other beverage offered at a coffee house.  That we both agree on (Even if I’m not willing to drink the coffee with chocolate and chiles in it.  I will stick to my normal flavors, thank you).  This is a different type of drink I’m talking about.  Yes, I am almost 21.  Yes, I enjoy drinking occasionally.  However, I do not think it needs to be done all the time and I don’t need incessant bugging to do it.  If I have to drive home, I don’t want to drink any hard liquor (especially if I am on a diet and running).  A glass of wine is cool but there doesn’t need to be the whole reason I get a headache from being whined to over and over again.  If she wanted to drink, then she should have–not bugged everyone else who did not want to drink.  I also think that there is no longer a need for us to stay over at people’s houses every weekend just to get drunk and go bug people at our local laser tag place.  I feel like we’re at the time in our lives where risking getting in trouble for something so stupid is just…well, stupid.  Why would I want to risk ruining everything I’ve worked for just to run around in the dark drunk?  I can do that in my backyard if I really want to.

Fact #5:  Management of everything is key.  This is mostly about management of two things–time and money.  Never have I ever (hehehe) had to tell anyone that I don’t have any money in my account because I have spent everything to my name and cannot do something.  I have said that I was watching my money but that was to simply make sure I was not over spending and there would still be a specific amount in my account.  I think it’s kind of irresponsible and immature to spend all your money and not really have anything to show for it.  The other thing, time, is more of an issue about knowing when to say no and when to leave your house.  I hate when people are late.  It’s nothing new.  But this is also a person who complains that she never has enough time for anything.  Well, that’s because she works when she should be in school.  Works when she should work.  Does school stuff when she should be relaxing and relaxes when she should be doing everything.  Sometimes, priorities just need to be revisited and reorganized in life.  This is one of those times.

Okay, my rant is done.  Maybe I’m just being nit-picky.  Maybe I’m too uptight (This is quite possible) but I think it’s clear that there is a clear difference between maturity and being older.  I would like to think this is one of my better qualities (I also think I’m wrong about this but I can want to think what I want.  It’s my head).


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