Serving Arizona State University Online Since 1995  Current Issue: Thursday, March 23, 2006





Editorial: From the Edge

 by Megan Irwin
 published on Thursday, March 23, 2006

Irwin<br>Editor in Chief/issues/arts/696301
Editor in Chief


I've been thinking a lot about age lately. Probably because one of my new best friends is a six-year-old. Sounds a little weird, I know, but I'm lucky I have this person in my life. She might be small, but this kid teaches me something new every time I see her.

Age is a strange thing. When you tell someone your age, they're likely to make certain assumptions about you -- your experience, your intelligence, your ability to perform certain tasks are all defined by the number of years you've walked on this planet. We assume the older a person is the smarter they must be, the more they must understand about the way the world works.

I suppose this is a logical conclusion to draw. The struggles we endure as we grow -- from learning to walk, to figuring out what to do after college -- give us more to pull from when making decisions.

But I can't help but feel these assumptions are a little unfair. Some of us are old souls. Others are young at heart. Maybe age really is just a number. After all, how old or young a person is depends a lot on your perspective.

Two stories in this week's issue have to do with age and go a long way toward proving my point. Our cover story this week (Kid in America, page 8) focuses on Corey Woods -- a 27-year-old ASU student who ran for, and lost, a seat on Tempe's City Council. Woods feels one of the main reasons he lost was because he was simply "too young" to compete with the other candidates. In another story (27-year-old Undergrad, page 12) our Lisa Przystup shares her experience as an adult re-entry student. Przystup struggles with life as an undergrad in large part because she feels "too old" to understand the her classmates.

What's funny to me is that Woods and Przystup are the same age.

It's too bad that we focus so much attention on age, because in doing so we miss out on what could be significant relationships. Age doesn't necessarily indicate personality or intelligence -- some of the most crotchety people I know are my own age, some of the coolest people I know are years older than me and some of the smartest people I know are years younger.

I can learn just as much in an hour of coloring or writing with my new six-year-old buddy as I can in an hour of heated debate with someone my own age.

Actually, now that I think of it, I probably learn more trying to stay between the lines with my new little buddy than I do talking in circles with my peers.

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