I am in my 5th and final year of University. I did a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and English. I did an Honours Degree in Museums and Cultural Heritage and now finally, I am doing a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education. I will be 23 soon, making me older than most of the other students.
But I never noticed my age and how it effects me as a student until today. I was in the library photocopying some readings, when two girls came up to me, called me “Ma’am” and asked for my help with the photocopying. They were 17 maybe 18, in their first year. And I clearly looked like I knew what I was doing. I have never felt so old in my life.
The problem is, these girls, were probably born in 1999 or even 2000. That thought totally freaks me out. So to them, me with my blazer, pony tail, ballet flats and pencil skirt probably looked more like an adult than they felt in their hoodies and converse. I’ve grown up in a time when you had to learn how to use the photocopier and get books out in order to learn. They’ve grown up in a time when everything is available online. The thought of having a paper copy must be alien to them.
It also occurred to me today that even though I’m only going to be 24 when I become a full time teacher, I’m going to be a good 8-10 years older than the kids I’m going to be teaching. The children in my classes are going to be learning about Andy Warhol and reading 1984… Things that are just 1 generation behind for me… But for them, is at least 2! Not only this, I am going to be confronted with students who weren’t alive when the millennium happened… Or worse WHEN 9/11 HAPPENED! This is a genuinely terrifying thought.
I’m getting old.
And I’m not even 23 yet.