General Question

Earthflag's avatar

Is it normal to feel older than I actually am?

Asked by Earthflag (549points) December 17th, 2011

I think culture and environment have a lot to do with maturing… Also lifestyle is different in each country. I’m from Europe, and I’m 19 but I have been drinking since I was 14. I’ve also been traveling alone for a while. I do what I want, although I am not completely irresponsible and stupid. I’m just an edgy person, who knows what life can give. But, in my new school, (which is a christian school in america), I feel much older and wiser. I don’t want to be associated with them. When I meet people from college, or even people who graduated from college, I can get along so well. We have a lot to talk about and a lot in common. But, I don’t even want to go to school anymore because people are very immature and they don’t even know who they are. They haven’t yet found themselves… I don’t know what to do.

Is it normal to feel older than what I actually am? These people make me feel like a stranger, and it upsets me since I have to live in that community 24/7.

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22 Answers

OpryLeigh's avatar

Some people have more life experience than others of the same age as them and some, like me, are interested in things that people their age aren’t. It is normal to feel like you can’t relate to the majority of your peers in cases like these and all I can recommend is that you find ways of meeting people that you can relate to. For example: join a club for something that interests you so you can meet like minded people.

oldgranmum's avatar

This is a lifelong issue. You are young still. So, you are just coming to discover this. To some extent, this shows that you are, like them, immature still. So, that is a positive thing! you are still like them. But, perhaps not really as immature as most of them. Anyway, life is all about learning to relate to all people, young or old. It is perhaps hard for you now because you are at an age where you are seeking friendships, etc. If you keep your eyes, ears and heart open, you will find your friendships and you will find peace and enjoyment with these immature folks too. There are likely a few there that you can relate to… or, at least some that you can relate to partly. You don’t need everything from everyone… just enough from some. Perhaps, you can find some older friends too. When you get older, you will find that age is somewhat irrelevant… of course, that takes time, or age, to understand. :-)

marinelife's avatar

Seek older people to hang with outside of school, and just put in your time. You will graduate soon.

wundayatta's avatar

You are a fish out of water. It has nothing to do with age and everything to do with experience—which may sound the same, but aren’t, exactly.

From here on, it’s up to you to decide how miserable you want to be. If there’s a chance you can get out of the school, than you can fight and complain and be miserable and beg your parents (or whoever put you in this school) to remove you and take you somewhere else. However, if that chance isn’t very high, you’d be better served by finding a way to reach out to your classmates and building common ground. Yes they have no experience like you did. However you can reach out to them—ask them about their lives, and get to know them. They may ask you about your life, too.

In reaching out like this you demonstrate leadership and maturity. You take charge. Who knows, maybe you’d learn something, too. Could happen.

CWOTUS's avatar

At 19 you’re already “old” for high school, so I’m curious whether you’re in a high school or college here.

If you’re in a high school, then you’re most likely with kids who are already chronologically younger (I graduated from high school at 17, myself) as well as less exposed to much of the world. (This seems particularly true of many of the kids I’ve met from Christian schools: they hadn’t been far from the house or “the flock” while growing up, and tended to think the way all of their friends did.)

So I would recommend what others have: seek out the friendship of older people and teachers – even teachers’ assistants, since they’d be closer in age to you chronologically and shouldn’t have some of the legal / liability concerns that older teachers might; volunteer on church missions to aid the poor, homeless, Haiti & Africa, for example, and explore your school’s town and nearby cities.

In addition to which, we’re always here on Fluther.

gailcalled's avatar

By Christian school you mean high school, correct? Being 19 puts you, in terms of the typical college scene, in the middle of your sophomore year at college.

If you are still in high school, you are really a fish out of water. Squeeze all the learning you can from your classes; is there not one teacher or other adult with whom you can relate?

I cam sympathise, from afar, about your plight.And being a boarding student must also be difficult.

How much longer? Do you graduate in June? Bite the bullet; learn as much as you can. Become a mentor or wise person for the younger students. You had your wanderjahres before you were chronologically ready. The cart before the horse, it seems.

Try to be creative about your situation. Good luck.

SmashTheState's avatar

Our culture infantilizes adult teenagers, with the predictable and wholly justified result that they rebel and become angry at being treated like children. Once, people married at 11 or 12 and middle age was 20. The concept of high school was created not to provide higher educational standards, but to keep young people out of the workforce longer, so that they couldn’t compete against their parents. It’s nothing less than age war against the young. The old hate and resent the young. They’d steal their youth if they could, but lacking the supernatural ability to filch years from their children, they instead oppress them out of jealousy and withhold their natural right to emancipation when they achieve physical adulthood. What you feel is the natural result of being an adult in a culture which tries to tell you that you are a child.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If you’re in the US then you’re already a year into being a legal adult. You can pick and choose who you want your friends to be based on who you get along with, regardless of ages. Schoolmates are not your friends necessarily. Think of them as co workers or acquaintances because you’re all there for the same general reason, not based on your social maturity.

emmafabre's avatar

Some people feel older than they actually are whenever they hang around people older then themselves, this is caused because your natural reaction is to act like them and eventually if you are with them to long you will feel older. My other solution is that you want to be older than you are, you may not be conscious of it but maybe you are.

Sunny2's avatar

It’s quite common that students who grew up in Europe are more sophisticated than American students. In looking for friends, check out students from large cities (New york, in particular). Look for the quiet studious types (if, indeed, you are interested in learning). Be careful not to come across as arrogant and condescending or you’ll be left alone Even though you feel older, there are things you can learn from being here. Be open to them.

Mariah's avatar

And I’m sure you know all of these people at a deep and personal level in order to make the judgements you’re making, right? It seems really rude and condescending to say that you’re more mature than everyone else and to say they don’t know who they are. Being wise isn’t about drinking and traveling alone. If you put aside your judgements for a while maybe you’ll find that some of them are nice after all.

Earthflag's avatar

@Mariah And here talks one of them…

Mariah's avatar

And by saying that you are only confirming my suspicion that you are judging people without knowing them.

Earthflag's avatar

And you? Lol.. Hypocrites these days

Mariah's avatar

I’m not going to sit here and fight with you, you asked the question, sorry you didn’t like my answer, just wanted to provide my honest thoughts.

gailcalled's avatar

@Earthflag: Perhaps you should re-examine your own maturity and abilities to behave like an adult.

When I meet people from college, or even people who graduated from college, I can get along so well.

The people here who are answering your question are, by and large, people from college (you mean, of course, “still attending college.”) and even having graduated.

If you want to prove your maturity, muster mature arguments and debate points. Calling us names defines babyish behavior. Drinking since you were 14 makes you neither grown-up nor interesting. You don’t describe yourself as wise; other people to that.

@Mariah has earned her stripes as a survivor of some medical procedures that would have upset people much older than she. You two are chronological contemporaries. I’ll take her in my life raft or post-apocalypse tent any day.

Stop being so self-centered and silly.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

It seems normal to me.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I think @Mariah has a point to be honest. Maybe if you were willing to give the people you are at school with the time of day, even if it is just to make the remainder of your school days more pleasant, you may learn some things about them that surprises you. I think we all have that feeling of “no one gets me” from time to time but quite often that is our fault and not the fault of others.

Earthflag's avatar

@Mariah You are making assumptions. I asked the question because I’m curious, or rather upset about this. Of course I know, I have been there for a long time, and know most people in it very, very well. And they know me well. And lately I’ve been hearing it myself from others, saying Im different. Teachers are pulling me, asking me to talk to them about their problems. I wouldn’t ask such question without even experiencing. And you are saying I did prejudice. Please be more careful, you can even say “you appear to be, but I don’t know if that’s true”. So it’ll keep you from the prejudice.

Mariah's avatar

Then I apologize for my assumption. In your question you said it was your “new school” so I was under the impression you didn’t know anyone well and hadn’t given them a chance. My apologies.

Earthflag's avatar

@Mariah Sorry for that. I spent 2 years in it. Also it being in another country makes it “new” to me, since it makes everything and everyone different than what I’m used to see. But sorry, and thank you :)

smilingheart1's avatar

@Earthflag, from your posts, I can tell you honestly that I really enjoy you, enjoy your spirit and spunk. You are just wiser than many your age. Just keep on being you and raise the bar for others.

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