Ah, spring. A beautiful time of year when the flowers begin to bloom, the sun finally emerges, and college seniors everywhere begin to bemoan their own ever-frighteningly obvious mortality.
Yes, if you live on a college campus or even college campus-adjacent, you’ve probably noticed an uptick in the use of the phrase “I’m so old.” I myself seem to notice it comes in waves: an initial big one right at the beginning of the year when being the oldest group on campus is a fun novelty because graduation is nine months away, then another uptick around the end of fall semester when actual graduation panic begins to set in, followed by a huge spike after spring break that then quickly dies down due to the fact that very few seniors are willing to accept that they’ll be leaving college in a matter of weeks and instead carry on in a fugue state of denial. Interestingly, you will never hear the phrase “I’m so old” actually uttered during graduation because it’s a very hard thing to say when you’re sobbing and trying to stem the tide of mucus that’s been steadily flowing out of your nostrils since 10 a.m.
But I’m here with some comforting words. That’s right, ladies, hold on tight because this is the hottest of takes: You need to stop saying you’re so old, because you are, in fact, so very not old. You’re actually just a senior in college. Big fucking difference.
I KNOW. I will patiently wait for you to clean up your splattered brain matter off the wall. Pro tip: I recommend using bleach.
All good? Great. You see by saying you’re old, you really begin to internalize this idea that you’re somehow past your prime and competently worthless even though you’re averaging 21.5 in age and still have yet to even begin to understand what cellulite is. Just because you’re a senior does not mean that you have somehow magically aged overnight into this fully grown adult who worries about her retirement savings and interest rates. You are still a dumb-ass college kid. You just happen to be the oldest one on campus. It’s all relative, baby.
Think about all the old people you know. Again, I will wait because I am a very patient and kind person. I bet you thought about like, the elderly all covered in liver spots and wearing those one-push-away ambulance button necklaces. Now think about yourself. You’re wearing a beer-stained sweatshirt, ripped jeans, and Converse. Your hair is still freakishly shiny despite your horrifying diet, which includes no omega-3s but all of the dollar menu items that you can afford. See the disconnect there?
So stop saying you’re old because it’s such a sucker-punch to those out there who actually are, you know, older. They would probably kill for the chance to go back to a time when the world seemed really full of opportunity and they didn’t need to worry about blowing out their knee on the treadmill. A time when having one hundred bucks in your checking account seemed like all the money in the world and when you thought you could ignore your mom’s advice to wear sunscreen everyday. Trust me, it won’t seem like such crazy advice once you head home for Thanksgiving one year and notice that the former most popular girl from your high school already has crow feet and a weird sun-spot on her temple. Don’t waste the time you have left being 21 or 22 by complaining about the fact that you’re already 21 and 22.
No but really, please wear sunscreen..