23 Things Only Extremely Young-Looking 20-Somethings Understand

Pitch Perfect
Pitch Perfect

1. You’re carded everywhere you go, even if every other person in your group is not.

2. It’s now at the point where you always get your ID out when you’re heading into a bar, even if your friend tells you that “they don’t card here.” If only your silly friend knew that your adolescent mug will always be the exception to the rule.

3. Every time you hand over your license at airport security, the TSA agent makes some sort of exaggerated shocked face when they discover your real age.

4. And then they ask you several times if you’re sure that you’re twenty-seven years old.

5. Traveling alone is just painful in general for you. You’ll either get the approving head nod: Look at this brave, young soul, traveling all on their own! Or you’ll get the concerned and pitying look: Poor kid has to fly by themselves? What kind of parents would allow that?!

6. If you moved to a new city after your college graduation, everyone you met asked you if you had just moved there to start college. And you had to continuously reply, “No. I’m 22 years old.”

7. People that see you in your work clothes always assume you’re an intern.  

8. Sometimes you still get suspicious looks when you try to buy a ticket to an R-rated movie.

9. Any time you order a drink without being carded, the server or bartender always gives you an “Alright, I’ll let this one slide, kid” kind of look.

10. Even if you’re dating someone who is exactly your age or right around it, you still sometimes get judgmental looks from strangers who assume you are in a relationship with some creepy, much-older person.

11. And when you actually do date someone who’s older than you, even if it’s just by a few years, the public awkwardness multiples tenfold.

12. Whenever your older coworkers are talking about the latest and most ridiculous trends surrounding teens, they’ll often use the phrase, “You kids these days.” As if you’re just as much of a culprit as these teenagers who are ten or more years younger than you.

13. It’s not uncommon for you to get hit on by teenagers who assume you’re their age.

14. You’re usually confused for the tag-along younger sibling when you go apartment searching with your roommate.  

15. People actually ruffle your hair sometimes. They actually do it.

16. People frequently tell you that you’re extremely young-looking and always seem confused about why this groundbreaking observation doesn’t surprise you.

17. You can actually feel yourself receiving scolding looks when you curse – even if it’s as mild as “damn.”

18. Any time people ask to guess your age, you end up shaking your head at least 10 times before they finally guess – in a voice that you know means they don’t believe you – the correct answer.

19. If you had a dollar for every time someone said “You’ll love it when you’re older!” in regards to your physical appearance, you’d be the wealthiest damn person in the world.

20. Sometimes you still get nervous when you’re showing your ID to get into a bar, and you have a feeling it’s not going to go away until you’re in your late thirties.

21. People have made jokes about you shopping at Baby Gap, Gymboree, and Limited Too more times than you can count.

22. You’ll probably be able to take advantage of student discounts until you’re 32 years old.

23. It’s not unusual for someone who’s five years younger than you to call you sweetie, honey, or dear. And at this point in your life, you just let it happen. TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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