A Little Older

>> Thursday, April 11, 2013

Asalamu aliakaum! I dont know where should i start with first of all i am 19 years old and still doing alevels where as i should be in university i am scared that when I finally go in university everyone is going to make fun of me as I am so old  I feel so terrible whenever I think of this I feel I will have no friends

wa'laykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo,
Dear a Little Older,
First of all, sis, what's the definition of a friend? A friend is someone who cares about you, helps you, supports you...someone who is there for you.
Now let's break this down a bit.
Not every single person you meet in university is going to be a friend. But you don't need a million friends to be happy. 
All that you need are just a couple of people....

And the fact is: if someone were to make fun of you for your age, then that person isn't the kind of person you should want as a friend, anyways. Think about. Your age is just a number and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Anyone who decides to judge you by a number rather than who you are is someone who really doesn't deserve your friendship.

But besides that, hun, I really don't think you have too much to worry about because in university:

a) people are actually more mature and less likely to make fun of your age than in high school: by then, the people around you should have grown up a bit and should be more understanding of the fact that everyone has different experiences and journeys to university. You meet the chick who decided to take a year off and "find herself", the 'sister who changed majors', the 'friend who is working part time and studying', etc. Each person is different. I know most of my friends at university turned out to be much older than me for their own various reasons, as well (the one who was majoring in a second degree, the one who was a mother, etc.)

b) you have more of a chance of meeting people of different ages than in school. In university, you're not stuck hanging out with one grade-- you find freshmen taking classes with seniors and so forth. In electives, you find business students taking classes with sociology students and etc. There's more of a sense of 'diversity'. T

c) actually starting university at 20 means that you can have your driver's license and that's definitely a plus  Your schedule can be pretty flexible (if you have a car)

d) No matter if you're two or three years older: you should still be able to relate with the people around you. It's not like you're from a different generation (and even if you were 40, hun, that shouldn't be held against you).

All you have to do is remember that nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. Some people may ask you about your age and seem a little surprised: it's up to you to decide how to steer that conversation. You can simply keep it short and simple and say something like "Yeah, I took some time to get here" or you can explain your situation...whatever you want. In the end, though, remember you do not need their approval. Smile. And go to the next conversation   =)

May Allah make things easier for you, sis.

Any sisters here started university a little late? What was your experience like? What advice do you have for this sister? :)

Little Auntie

7 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

seekingpatience,  April 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM  

I had the opposite issue. I started university early. It was just a year early but on top of that I look really young for my age (like I could pass for 3-4 yrs. younger). So I would get annoyed when people would treat me like I'm too young to understand or exclaim: "You're so young. Are you really going to university?!" I know it's something little but that has been something that has bothered me. So I can understand a little bit how you feel.

One piece of advice I can give you is that after a while your age won't matter. People will get to know who you are like and it won't be a talking point anymore. You know, it would just be normal.

Plus, I don't know if it's like that where you live but here in the U.S. you will see people of different ages going to university. I've seen people much, much older (like middle aged) who are studying at the university. So at most, people would just assume you're in your second year or something.

Anonymous,  April 11, 2013 at 10:56 PM  

I started early, which I was fine with, but I was at times (especially early on) really afraid of people finding out how old I was! One person found out (she asked me directly and I told her) and then told the entire class which was embarrassing. For the most part though unless someone asked me specifically nobody knew how old I was or suspected, as I was tall and looked older than I was. In my later years of school (at a different, larger university) very few people had any idea and some of them didn't believe it, but by then I was closer in age to some incoming students as well even though I was more advanced. It really ceased to be a problem even though I'd been so worried before. There was a huge mix of ages. There were many people over their forties. Also, barely anybody actually finished in 4 years, many people took breaks after high school, or between the first two and the second two years. Many people were in college much longer or they were attending part time. There were lots of "returning students" who had dropped out when they were younger and where now back to finish their degrees or get additional degrees, or they'd changed careers. I think the bigger university you go to this will be even more likely, you can also find statistics about the demographics of your chosen university that will give you a better idea of the mix and might make you rest easier (my university was very diverse, but I could tell for instance that my sister's was less so). I had friends of a variety of different ages, and almost nobody asked how old I was nor did I know how old they were unless we were close friends... and if you're close friends, after you reach a certain age, age doesn't matter anymore. It seems so important when we are younger but when you hit college and even more so afterwards you start looking at decades or even bigger spans of time.

Smile Sadaqa April 12, 2013 at 8:05 AM  

Salam alaikum,

First of all: what a wonderful blog this is, may Allah reward you all for your efforts.

Secondly, I started university when I was 19. To be honest, nobody knew, nobody asks. In my experience, Mature Students (i.e. those 24+) were just as much treated as equals. Once you leave school, age really becomes of little note. I was born several years apart from my spouse, but we never even think about it.

In short: don't worry! :)

Seeker of Guidance April 17, 2013 at 8:37 PM  

Age is just a label. It's your spiritual age (i.e. spiritual maturity, how strong your connection is with Allah swt) that really matters.

And honestly, nobody cares about age in university except the gossip mongers and who wants to have any dealings with them, huh? Let them bark. They bark like dogs barking at cats in the street. I know this is a harsh way to express myself but seriously, we have got to nip the rumour-mongering culture in the bud and the best way is just to IGNORE and have an "I don't care" attitude.

Anonymous,  April 18, 2013 at 1:10 AM  

I started my study at my 21 years old. There is no a big different with younger students in the same batch. I mix around, make friends, being treated like the same age as they are even after they know about my real age.
Sometimes, the issue of age does bother me, but just be positive, face your daily life and aim the target.
Alhamdulillah i am happy being with who i am and the age is just a number. It is not a big issue, the real issue is to achieve our target, dunya and akhirah.

Zayub April 20, 2013 at 9:47 AM  

Salaam...I've got some tips to help you out with your skin...
try drinking more water...if your skins hydrated...spots and other facial marks start to fade out a little...don't force yourself to drink loads...try drinking a bottle of water everyday...and then increase it bit by bit...

Exercising regularly can help loads...again...don't overdo it..try jogging a bit every so often...it helps improve the skin..
and whenever you pray Salah, ask Allah to help your skin improve...

Face masks can help...
and rubbing a bit of olive oil carefully on your face every night...and then washing it off with warm water helps a bunch in improving your skin too..

Just take care of yourself...and remember even though your doing your GCSE's and your busy with all your exams an' stuff...it doesn't mean you have to focus your time and energy completely on that..save some time for yourself too and just pamper yourself...go up to your room, put on a face mask, chill out and read a book....

Exam's are always gonna be there...once you've finished one...there'll be another...and once your done studying...then there's the job too...eep...it's never ending really,.
so just think...is there really any point in thinking about it constantly and getting stressed out...not really...just have trust in Allah...try your best...and enjoy yourself at the same time...


Aziza April 20, 2013 at 8:59 PM  

I started university at 19! You will be just fine my dear...just have faith in Allah and give it your best. :) <3

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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