Facing Stereotypes As A Young Fish In The Adult Sea


Before we get started, a disclaimer. Being young is, for the most part, a real privilege. We can have fun, not worry, and we still have our whole lives ahead of us. The possibilities are endless, and our responsibilities are still minimal. In many ways, these are the best years of our lives. Make sure to acknowledge that before they pass you by.

In truth, though, being a little fish in an adult sea isn’t always a positive thing. You’re at the age now where you’re technically considered an adult. Still, the ‘real adults’ fail to take you seriously in a lot of aspects. It can be frustrating, and difficult to deal with.

Many people assume that, because of your age, you’re sure to act a certain way. Like any form of stereotyping, this can be damaging, not to mention irritating. Especially when you consider that many of these assumptions cast you in a pretty negative light.

Sadly, for the time being, at least, stereotypes like these remain a sure part of our culture. But, you can do your part to change perceptions by proving how wrong these beliefs can be. To help you do that, we’re going to consider some of the top contenders, and the reasons why they’re wrong.

All young people binge drink

Oh, the old binge drinking belief. If you’re under the age of thirty, you MUST go out and drink heavily each night. You’re likely destructive, violent, and thuggish while you do so. That’s what all young people are like. At least, that’s what many adults think all young people are like. And, to be fair to them, the scenes outside of clubs on the weekends only reinforce this belief. In truth, tarring all young adults with the binge drinking brush may well be inaccurate.

Admittedly, you’d be hard pushed to find an eighteen-year-old who doesn’t hit it hard sometimes. But, studies suggest that more than a quarter of the young adults in the UK don’t drink any alcohol. What’s more, the same study suggests that levels of alcohol consumption in those over 65 are on the rise. So, society may have it wrong again.

The truth is that, when we’re young, we’re working harder than most to prove ourselves. Despite what older colleagues believe, many of us are tucked in bed with a book by 10, ready for an early start the next day. We get to the office before anyone, and leave last, too.

All to get our names noticed by the right people. So, where is all this heavy drinking supposed to fit? In truth, all you can do is try to educate people. Remain professional, and avoid heading to work with a hangover. Do it once, and people will assume they were right about you all along.

You’re probably a dangerous driver

Another assumption many of us fight against is that of dangerous driving. You’re young, and you have a driving license. You must be a careless driver. Hell, you probably mix that with your regular binge drinking. In truth, there’s no denying the factual basis for this belief. 1 in 4 drivers between the ages of 18-24 experience a crash in their first two years of driving. But, this is often more to do with lack of knowledge than anything. What makes young drivers dangerous isn’t how they drive, but the fact that they’re new to the road. Of course, they’re more likely to crash than someone who’s been driving for twenty years!

Still, this is an assumption which can have negative implications. If a young driver who did nothing wrong is in an accident, they may have a much harder time proving their innocence. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s essential to contact an accident lawyer like Joel H Schwartz, PC, who can help you clear your name. Of course, in an ideal world, you won’t have an accident at all. But, even the best young drivers can fall foul to an older, dangerous drivers making assumptions.

Your service won’t be knowledgeable

These assumptions follow us into our professional careers, too. Many customers assume that you won’t be as informed as an older colleague. We’ve all experience the eye-rolling sigh of a customer who sees how young we are. This is especially the case in healthcare and banking. Older people just fail to admit that you may actually know what you’re doing. And, of course, they would be right in assuming that you’re still learning your role.

But, never let them treat you as though you don’t know what you’re doing. In this instance, outline the training you’ve had or blow them away with your abilities. Have faith in what you do. If you let their judgment get you flustered, you may end up proving them right

You won’t be a loyal colleague

There are a variety of reasons young people struggle to get going in their chosen career. Often, these involve a need for experience or something along those lines. But, it’s also often the case that employers fail to accept young applicants could become loyal staff members.

Many employers will assume you’re just trying to get a foot up, or that you’ll change your mind about your career path. This can be frustrating, especially when you’ve trained hard for that position. Surely you would have changed your mind before the five years of academia you went through to get here?

The only thing you can do in this instance is to prove your loyalty. Don’t leave yourself with a string of short-term jobs behind you. Always stay in positions for a good year or so, to show that you won’t jump ship as soon as you receive your training. And, if you intend to get a foot up, see what the possibilities are for expansion within that company. The chances are that you can get where you want without having to head elsewhere first. This will prove loyalty, as well as making your life easier.


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