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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 18 2013: This is who you are - everyone is different.

    I have a 6-year old son who taught himself how to read from watching TV at the age of 4 and could read Dr. Seuss books all by himself. At the age of 5, he was supposed to go to the kindergarten where they learn alphabet. Having a 15-year old son who was identified as talented and gifted in Elementary school, but struggles to complete homework in high school because he is not used to work and is bored in classes, we decided to enroll the 6-year old into the first grade, skipping kidergarten - and that in a French immersion school. Got his report card last week with all "meets and exceeds". Never regret the decision.

    We have friends who have very strong opinions about starting education early. They believe, kids need time to be kids - play and stuff. There are concerns that children feel more confident among peers when they are older than the rest. They also may feel awkward when all their peers get driver's licenses and they don't. So, some of these friends keep their children in kindergarten for 2 years - one year in a private, then send them to a public school when they are 6. Every child is different. My 6-year old son is very assertive and is fairly popular among peers. He often comes up with ideas for games and appears to be very comfortable and welcome among older peers.

    I myself have been always "different" than my peers. I remember, at high school, some of my friends were eager to be "accepted" by the group of the "popular guys". I learned to be comfortable with myself and not to bother with such things.

    I think, there is an advantage of being perceived more mature than your age - people will trust you with more responsibility and ask your advice. It's, definitely, good for career.

    There is a Russian saying "if you know too much, you'll get old sooner". This is a typical answer for questions that people don't want to answer. It does not seem to have much to do with reality.
    • Jul 19 2013: Hi, Arkady,
      Great story and advice. Thank you so much!

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