Joe’s Crow Country

I have enjoyed my birthdays less and less since I turned 18.

There is a big build up to this age. You become a legal adult, can be served alcohol without fear of being asked for ID, and start to feel the sense of optimism that comes with youthful naivety.

I like to think I made the most of my days as an 18 year old. I had a great time at university, was lucky to be fit and healthy, and had wasn’t worrying about the future.

Six years on, as I ‘celebrate’ my 24th birthday, the prospect of getting older fills me with despair. For since I passed 18, my birthdays have just become another deflating reminder that my best days are behind me.

Or are they?

I started to wonder whether there were positives to getting older. Anyway, age is something that can’t be stopped, so we might as well accept it. So here are my top ten reasons why being discarded by youth isn’t such a bad thing after all.

1 Knowledge: Put simply, I know more stuff now than I did when I was 18. I have gained a degree, travelled to various countries, read a few books and watched a few documentaries. This trend will continue for the rest of my adult life, until old age kicks in and you start to forget it again.

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2 Being taken more seriously: Ricky Gervais comments in one of his stand up shows that you reach a certain age where it’s acceptable to help a lorry driver reverse into a tight space. A scrawny kid of 18 would be laughed at if wishing to fulfil such a task.

3 Appreciating beer: During my first two terms of university I sank pub standard beer on a regular basis, thinking it was all there was. I have since discovered taste, and quality beer and ale, such as Innis and Gunn and Blue Moon.

4 Having money: Many people leave school and go straight into work, which means they have money from a relatively young age. I chose to wait around six years before I experienced a regular income, but am now able to splash out on the odd DVD, which is good.

5 Reminiscing about the old days: Being able to share the experience of age with people who are going through the same thing is always helpful, especially if you have known them for most of your life and you can look back on bad fashions and misdemeanours.

6 Being told you look young for your age: I understand this joy will only happen to a few 24 year olds, but I am occasionally asked for ID when buying products that require it. Firstly I feel mildly embarrassment, but when I think about it, I suppose it should be taken as a compliment now.

7 Being smug to those younger than you: After you have gone through the ravages of age its comforting to look back at those that haven’t yet experienced it, and say to them, “you have all this to come.”

8 There isn’t really a stereotype of someone in their mid-twenties: Teenagers are lazy and despondent, old people are forgetful and boring. However, there isn’t really a stereotype of someone in their mid-twenties, meaning we can break boundaries!

9 Give out advice: Using your experience you can help shape future generations! This can be used at work, socially, in sport and anywhere else where you have gathered knowledge. It also makes you feel cleverer than you actually are.

10 At least you’re not dead: If you’re reading this, at least you have made it this far! Thousands haven’t, so look on the bright side.