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Is growing up (mentally) too fast a good thing or a bad thing?

Just a quick background: I'm 16 years old, I have an elder sister and we're 10 years apart. I spend a lot of (or probably too much) time hanging out with much older people (mentors, older siblings, etc), and I enjoy being around them. And somehow, I enjoy it when they share their issues to me. (Work, money, etc)
I didn't realize about this, until I tried to talk to a friend of the same age about an issue I'm concerned about, and the only thing she said was, "Really? You worry about those kinds of stuff?"
Day by day, the more I realize that I don't enjoy hanging out with friends of the same age group that much. My friends are all wondering how come I know a lot about the current issues, especially politics, and I told them I watch a lot of news on TV and read the paper, and they said, "Really? You can stand that?"
An older friend told me that I really should keep hanging out with friends of the same age group as well, just to "keep me in the ballpark".

I like being a few pages ahead of my friends, but do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing? I appreciate your opinions. Thanks a lot!

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  • Jul 16 2013: I am in the same situation as you are, I too love politics (as well as philosophy) and in addition also tend to gravitate towards adults and older people (I'm also 16). My advice to you would be to continue to develop yourself mentally, that way you'll be as happy as you can be. I once tried to dumb myself down for my friends but it really only made me depressed and bored. The one thing that you have to be aware of, is that you might become socially awkward, it happened to me, I was rarely spending time with people my age and instead would spend time alone when there wasn't an adult to have an interesting conversation with, eventually when I would have to spend time with other teens I came off as a nerdy loner, so my advice to you would be to still maintain relationships with average people so you know how to deal with and manipulate them if necessary, as such social skills may serve to benefit you in the long run, its already benefited me and I'm considered normal by my peers now. Honestly though, don't think your wasting your childhood by being mature, as teens, we both have little responsibility and a lot more freedom than we will have as adults, as long as you take advantage of that freedom doing whatever you want, that's good and you'll be happy, so never feel the need to act like a bozo like the rest of them.
    Best wishes,
    Rajiv
    • Jul 18 2013: Hi Rajiv,
      I'm so glad that I'm talking to a person who's in the same boat!
      Don't dumb yourself down, it's true that it makes you suffer. and I'm glad that you're now being considered as 'normal' by your friends.
      I totally agree with you. Thanks for your advice and for sharing!

      Best,
      Valerie

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