Thursday, 3 October 2013

Age is just a number.... or is it?

Ageism Definition: a type of discrimination that involves prejudice against people based upon their age.
Being an eighteen year old living in the South of England you may perceive me as na├»ve to the way of the world, the good, bad and ugly. But we may notice more than you realise. Addressing the whole ageism debate as a whole is too vague, so I’ll use my own experience to be more specific in my meaning.

Since the age of five I’ve been surrounded by peers of similar age to myself up until now, where the boundaries of school and sixth form have been released into the big wide world. I have experienced social circles with people older and younger than me, but the gap between learning capability and style of writing wasn’t as apparent before.

Starting college on a course where I’d hopefully emerge as a journalist, I was ignorant enough to believe that it would mostly be people of my own age. Although it was slightly daunting to be put in lectures with people who are five or more years older than me, we were all in the same boat at the beginning. Perhaps the pace was quicker than I had expected but I could handle it.

It became obvious that I was inexperienced in comparison when we began to discuss our backgrounds and work experience. You’re probably thinking “Well, you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to them anyway” but in a competitive field like journalism it’s pretty hard not to.

Then the pair work came, where a joint article was to become the result. With different specialisms, different styles of writing were expected but that wasn’t the problem, the vocabulary gap highlighted my youth and how much further they were academically. Thus causing all your hopes to be dashed in one single key.

Like that old saying, there are always two sides to a coin. Rather than complaining about the differences of writing styles, I have been learning and how I can adapt to better myself from them. Further to that, I’ve been learning about their lifestyles and previous jobs and education they had undertaken, whereas before all my peers had the similar Saturday jobs and hobbies. 

Ageism is a term I think of very lightly now, being welcomed into a group of older people with no judgement of your age has been refreshing and puts my faith back into humanity. Perhaps I drew the good straw, either way I am grateful for this new experience.

Rhiannon xxx

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