Closing the age gap

Senior women wearing purple glasses with orange and purple earrings

More and more, I'm witnessing daily tidbits that show less of a divide between the younger and older generations, and it's been warming my heart greatly.

University is typically viewed to be a conglomerate of fresh-out-of-high-schoolers and young adults discovering their future careers. To my pleasant surprise, I've come to known several senior citizens in my classes in my last two years of study. I was talking about this with my classmate this week, and he said that his grandfather, having been a practicing doctor his whole life, had just recently decided to take up studying law. 

Beyond the university setting, I've seen many billboards while driving that picture older generations in funky advertisements. One I saw was advertising colourful frames from Specsavers, worn by a woman with grey curly hair. The caption in bright bold lettering exclaimed, "60 is the new 20!" 

Graduation ceremonies were a few weeks ago, and UofA's Instagram page flooded with incredible stories of men and women in their 60s and 70s graduating with a new bachelor to embark on a new career. My heart fluttered at this, seeing that the idea of sticking to one career for your whole life is becoming less and less of a dominant ideology.

As a woman in her early 20s, I love seeing this shrinking of the generational divide. I love to see individuals break social conformity and do what they want to do, uninhibited and uncaring of what society might deem to be 'appropriate' for their age. As a child through my teen years, I would constantly worry about my age, and how eventually I would probably have to give up some things because it would be childish otherwise to still love them. One of the first things I learned coming into University is that age should never have a constraint on what a person does.

While I sometimes fear for my future, I see these people as wonderful role models for who I can be as I get older. I can go back and study at University any time I want, and I shouldn't put the pressure on myself that what I choose to study now will determine what I do for the rest of my life. Ultimately, being a student is a life-long title - we're constantly learning and adopting new things into our lives that mould our journeys through age, and I can't wait to share with future generations what I will have accomplished.

Tagged in What messes with your head, lifelong learning