Why I'm grateful to be 'mature for my age'

Updated: Aug 9, 2019

Let me set the scene: On a day out with my mum I was having my nails done (as you do) in a salon. Upon finishing and walking out the door I bumped into a friend (who is around 17 year olds), joined by her two friends, I’m sure the normal reaction of most would be to say "hello, how are you" in a polite way as seeing someone you know is an ordinary occurrence. However, the reaction I received was of embarrassment, giggles and awkwardness, followed with a forced "Hi". It was as if saying 'hello' to someone you know (whom your friends don't) is weird and uncool.

I have always been described as mature for my age, and I've always felt it. I'm the type of girl who would much prefer to sit in a bar with a glass of red wine and socialise, over getting so drunk you wee in the street. I'm the type of girl who wants to set out her career plan, not date boys. But that's just me! Therefore, I've always noticed and been irritated by people who make situations into an immature, exaggerated mess.

Now, perhaps my privileged upbringing and education has enabled me to be confident enough to engage with people out of my comfort zone; I was taught that confidence gets you everywhere and being involved in every sports team under the sun, lead roles in pantomimes at school and attending boarding school possibly forced my character to develop these social skills. On the other hand, in my opinion these are basic human interactions that are not profound or even exciting...they are simply everyday mundane occurrences, not job interviews. Therefore a second thought or incident surrounding them is pointless, let alone making them painful to endure.

Run-ins such as this one remind me why I'm grateful to be 'mature for my age'. I am able to speak to anyone, on any topic without the desire for comfort or reassurance from anyone. Being mature is defined as behaving 'like an adult in a way that shows they are well developed emotionally' not just physically, and I find it strikingly easy to spot someone doesn't fill this criteria. At 16, while not fully 'mature' physically, I would behave and look ahead as though a 20 year old. Because of this I believe I've been able to organise my future instead of being trapped in a bubble, unsure of what or where I'd like to go.

Sometimes however, I wish I wasn't quite so mature. Over the last 3 years or so, there have been times I've wanted to 'let go', go rogue and not care whether it was classy, elegant or stupid. Yet this innate 'maturity' always holds me back, despite efforts to let go. While I am the life and soul of the party or club, on a subconscious level I am always aware of my actions, how I'm coming across and who I need to get to know.

Let me know if you think you come across as mature, immature or you've got absolutely no idea!

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