5 Lessons I've Learnt About Not Appearing My Age. ♡

I was out shopping and got chatting to the girl behind the till in River Island. She mentioned that she was 16 and it really surprised me, because she was so professional and acted much older than her age. This took me back and got me thinking about how people used to do exactly the same with me when I worked in retail when I was 16 and therefore, inspired today's post.

I quickly realised from a young age that people often perceive me as much older than I actually am. I constantly get comments online and in person saying "you seem so much older" and sometimes I take it as a compliment, but other times I feel a bit offended because people presume that if you're a certain age, you haven't got an element of knowledge or experience compared to them. You shouldn't assume that someone is of a certain age just by the way they look or act but it really got me thinking. I know most of the comments I receive are genuine and heartfelt and meant in a good way (and I do take them as compliments), but I also know that some people take it the wrong way too, and think I'm trying to be someone I'm not. As I turned 21 this year, I just wanted to share some thoughts on this topic so far.

♡ People can be unintentionally patronising.
I was a speaker at an event recently where I did a live Q&A about my blog and Instagram etc. At the end of the event, I approached some of the PRs and brands to do a bit of networking, and after feeling so nervous about the whole thing, I was hoping for some positive feedback. Instead, someone said "you were good, until you mentioned your age and made me feel old!" and then everyone laughed. Am I no longer good because I'm younger than you thought?

♡ Confidence can make you seem older.
There are different kinds of confidence. Its taken me time to build mine and is often the biggest reason people think I'm older than I actually am. I was never confident when it came to acting, being on stage or giving speeches at school however, I've slowly learnt (and am still learning) that feeling and looking confident gives me a massive happiness boost. It's how I continue to put myself on the internet, make friends and succeed in what I do, so if it makes me seem older then I'm rolling with it!

♡ I might act mature, but doesn't mean I always am.
I'm 21. I don't know everything. In fact, I hardly know the world at all. I've learnt a bit during my childhood and teens, but it's my twenties that will teach me a whole new level of life I've not yet experienced. Like I said, just because I appear confident at times, doesn't mean I'm always mature or think I'm older and wiser, because I'm most definitely not. Sometimes people use the quote "an old head on young shoulders" which is a nice compliment because I guess I come across as thinking, talking and acting older but regardless, it doesn't mean I always am.

♡ I'm not a stereotypical twenty one year old, but that's okay!
I didn't go to uni. I don't party three times a week. I haven't lived in halls. I don't have a student loan...
Even though I don't regret any of my life choices or feel I've missed out on any of these things, I'm not a 'stereotypical' 21 year old. My choices have happened because of time, gut feeling and believing in myself and therefore, naturally I sometimes appear older. I've been working full time for a while (I was a Manager in a shop at 18!) and if I could, I'd 100% have my own flat by now too. All these choices make me seem like I've 'got my sh*t together' but reality is, I'm feeling the exact same as every 21 year old right now.

5 ♡ People always presume.
There have been many situations where I've proved someone wrong because they've presumed because of my age, I wouldn't understand or wouldn't handle something the way other people my age might. For example, someone recently said to me '"I'm going to be honest, I thought that being 6 years younger than me you'd bring drama to our friendship but actually, you've really got your head switched on". Once again, I'm not saying I ALWAYS 'have my head switched on' but this was a really good example of how someone presumed I was too immature for their friendship based on my age, and clearly I proved I wasn't. Past experiences might have impacted their opinion but either way, don't always presume, even though we're probably all guilty of it!

What do you think? Do you ever get mistaken for acting or looking older? Or the opposite and people think you're in fact younger and act immature for your age? Let me know and be sure to catch up with previous 'Lessons I've Learnt' posts too!


  1. Great post B!!!!! :) It's funny how we sometimes presume someone is older/younger than us and then are surprised to find out the opposite!!! I guess we just shouldn't judge/presume and just get to know someone first before we find out their age!!! Who knows, they could be our next love, best friend or superior at work!! :D It does sometimes seem, to me at least, appear that you ARE older than 21! But that's not a bad thing, in fact, it's a great thing because you've still got your whole life left to do anything you want to, to travel, to move out, to find your Mr Right, to move to another country......and even if you WERE older you could still do those things!!! We shouldn't let our age stop us doing anything, it isn't a barrier, preventing us from living life to the fullest, grabbing any opportunity that goes by! And if someone deems us to young/old to be their friend or to work with us, then frankly, that's THEIR problem!! :D
    Thanks again for a very wise post Brogan.......definitely a wise head on there somewhere! xoxoxoxo

  2. Fab post! For me it's the opposite, people think I am younger than 22 because I look so much younger and therefore can treat me differently or don't take me as seriously as they would if I looked more like my age or older. But then again, I often get told that in 10 years time I will be glad to look younger than my age haha x

    Suzanne @ lovewithfirered.blogspot.co.uk

  3. This is such a brilliant post. You're doing great things with your life and have gone about it in a different way that other people, its definitely something to be proud of! I've always thought of myself to act older than I am. I like to pretend I'm a typical uni student occasionally but in all honesty a cosy night in ready for a busy productive day the next day is better to me :) of course with the little trip to the pub to let of some steam and have a natter. Sending big hugss xx

  4. Really liked this unique post. I'm a vet student and people always seem shocked because despite being 24 I don't 'look' old enough to be trusted with their pet. Anyway thanks for writing something a bit different!

  5. From your first point on being patronised and the person making you question whether your age impacted how good you were at the time - as someone 6 years older than you I would guess they were feeling a little jealous and getting this across badly. I know I felt old(er) when I began watching your vlogs and you mentioned your age in an early one. It's a mixture of the fact that despite the small age gap between early and late twenty somethings, the opportunities you have available today weren't around when I was younger, so there's an element of feeling I've missed out on something there, but mostly it's looking back at ourselves at 21 and knowing it took a hell of a lot longer to feel as experienced, professional and confident as you do. Ultimately, people think about themselves way more than the person the comment is directed at!

  6. I should add, since I don't think I got it across, this is all a positive on you, and 99% of the time I'd bet people think they're being nice when saying stuff like this, they just don't think it through enough!

  7. I should add, since I don't think I got it across, this is all a positive on you, and 99% of the time I'd bet people think they're being nice when saying stuff like this, they just don't think it through enough!

  8. Its strange isnt it, people will always make assumtions right or wrong about you and your age. I am 25, and got married at 22. When people meet me they always assume I am about 19, I dont think I look that young and then they always think its a big deal when they hear that I am actually 25.

    I dont know where I am actually going with this but I just think you are really mature for 21 and it obviously works in your favour! (p.s. I am totally watching your vlogs while reading you blog)

    Charlotte www.discoveringcharlotte.co.uk