Old or Young… who can tell?

Sometimes I feel like I’m straddling childhood and major adulthood. I’m 23. But either feel 13 years old. Or 73 years old. (Very little in between!!!)
First, I’ve been being confused for being 17 twice in the past week. 20, maybe… but seventeen??? First, the lady at the dry cleaner did not believe me that I had graduated from college. I seriously showed her my (almost expired) student ID to prove it. And then I went to adopt a cat (which I didn’t end up doing) and the lady at the Humane Society said, “I see that you checked the box saying you’re older than 21. Just so you know, we check to make sure that you are actually the age you say you are.” Perfect.
Let’s take a look, at the things I’ve bought most recently:
It’s all over the sliding scale of age here!
I go from buying grown up things (like the much needed desk) to children’s jeans. Totally normal, right??? No wonder everyone’s confused! Maybe my face looks a little young, but don’t forget about all of my grey hair
Does anyone else feel like this? It has to be part of the whole first year in the Real World… or does it ever even end? Hmmm…

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laura emily

I was looking for a new black skirt last week, and the lady thought i was looking to buy school uniform! I look the youngest out of all my co-workers too!

I hope this means I will look youthful even when I am old! 🙂


I'm 25 and teach 4th grade, my students' parents every year ask me "How old are you, anyway?!" at open house. I guess it could be worse- they could think we're 35!

Southern Charm

I totally understand! I just turned 21 and people think I'm 16! Every time I go into work the people are like are you a freshman in high school? And I'm like noooo I'm a senior in college! ah ha, it can be frustrating sometimes.

Katherine Diane

I completely understand! I am turning 23 on Friday and I struggle all the time with feeling like a kid and an adult all at the same time. And wanting to be a kid and an adult at the same time. I am graduating in December, so "adult life" is right around the corner and I'm about 50/50 on how I feel about this milestone. Some days I cannot wait to no longer have "homework" and exams, but other days I wish I could be a student forever! We're at a weird age, it is somewhat frustrating at times.


Oh Carly, I can identify like you wouldn't believe! I'm your same age and I constantly get mistaken for 15ish. Before I was back living at home, I was visiting for the weekend and my mom wanted to trade in her car for something a little smaller. We went to the dealership and the first thing the salesman started in on was "Your first car! How exciting! Did you get your license this week?" Hoooboy.

And I have plenty of grey hair of my own. The first time I found one, I nearly cried.


Haha, so funny that you posted this… on Saturday I went to a golf event with my dad and the lady giving out registration stuff wasn't going to give me my packet because "it's not for the juniors." I hesitated and asked what they consider a junior and she said 16 and under! I told her I'm 27 and she looked pretty embarrassed as she handed me my packet.


I completely understand…I'm 21 and my boyfriend is 23. We are both in-betweeners, though I must say I shop at crewcuts/Gap Kids more than I shop at adult stores!

But being mistaken for 17 is still better than being mistaken for 13! My roommate last year was carded on the commuter rail near where we lived (you have to be 14+ to ride without an adult…). She's 22.


It's really hard for me because I work in a company that has a big mix between college grads and 70 year olds, close to retirement. And I work in IT, so it's literally an Old Boys Club! It's so hard to be taken seriously, not just because I'm a girl but because I'm so young.

I don't think enough people I work with respect the fact that I have my Bachelors and Masters at 22 – which I do!

carelessly graceful

{av} | {long distance loving}

You make me smile. When I first graduated, someone asked if I was old enough to sit in the exit row (read: 15). In any case, I totally understand 😉 My first "big girl"/"old lady" purchase was a set of couches. I am still proud of them. Weird? YES. Just enjoy the 17 mistake…you'll wish people still made it when you're 27 😉 xoxo {av}


People mistake me for 16 all the time – even family. This is my last year in college and whenever someone asks my age they're always like "no way." Same for my dad, nobody wants to believe that he has a 20 year old daughter – well believe it buddy lol

Shelby Foster

Ahh I'm 21 and every time I go out it's a battle to convince the bartender that my ID is actually real! So embarrassing, I can completely relate. But everyone tells me that girls like you and me will be loving it when we're in our 30s and 40s!


Mrs. Dork

I can understand your problem completely. I'm 21, but on average people guess I'm 14. I'll mention something about my husband and people are like, "How old ARE you?" I had trouble checking out at the library a few months ago because I "needed a parent." So I feel ya. But on the bright side for you, at least people don't think you're a freshman in high school!


I'm 29 (will be 30 in a few weeks.. ugh…) and I sub at a bunch of districts in the area and when I was at the high school a few weeks ago I was mistaken for a new student.


I am 23 and look young too. There is a Huge college aged population where I live and I find it funny that the people often questioning my age, are in fact younger than me 🙂 its annoying but I'm just hoping it pays off for us when we are 40.


Enjoy every second of it because once you are a member of the fifty something club……..YOU wonder where did all the time go.
Enjoy your day!


I'm 26 and people think i'm much younger all the time, and it use to irritate me. Now, I try and think of it as a positive, not a negative. It's better to look younger than your age than older right?


I'm in my first job after college and I understand completely. I look young- I teach middle school and older teachers regularly reprimand me for being in the hall before the ball….. but I am a total old lady at heart. In bed by 9pm (so I can read for an hour of course) and not into the bar scene. Love having a blogger to read who can relate to being such an old soul 🙂

Deonnah Davis

You aren't the only who always have to reassure people of your age! I am the opposite though, people think that I am older than what I am. When I was 17, people thought that I was in my early or mid 20s, it was just awful because OLDER men would hit on me at work and they would think I was trying to get away when I told my age. My mom says I just carry myself like an "old soul". Hahah. I guess it's cool because we are in some way mysterious in the fact that people can't detect our actually age! Such a cute post, keep up the good work!!



I'm 25 and was recently mistaken for my best friend's mother because I was dressed so conservatively compared to her! Some days I have people ask if I'm still in college, so I guess it all depends on perception. However, people really need to learn a little tact before they comment on someone's age!


Haha, I guess I look like my age, so I can't say I get mistaken for being anything else! That's really funny about the cat, though!


Story of my life! My boyfriend and I (both 25) get stopped when traveling together or going to see a movie to make sure we're old enough to do it by ourselves. It's a little frustrating sometimes, but I've been reassured that as we age, we'll be thankful for this characteristic.

With that said, I think the #1 thing is to make sure you're always true to yourself. Comparing yourself to others or trying to do what you think someone your age should be doing won't lead you anywhere healthy or productive. Clearly, you've got a lot of great stuff going on and I'm sure lots more people are saying how does SHE do it all?


ah yes, I feel like this all of the time! I'm 23 and the youngest on my team by a few years (and light years away from everyone in terms of zero husband and kids) … it can be really hard to remember that I'm at a totally different stage from them. But my friends in college – I'm at a different stage from them too!

I was just on a work trip and someone said I could have passed for a high schooler … eek.


I used to get the "you can possibly be X years old!" all of the time. Recently it stopped and I find that I miss it; I feel (almost) old.
I love those crewcuts toothpick jeans. How do they fit in comparison to jcrew items? Thanks!

Beth B.

Haha! I'm 23 and just graduated from undergrad, and people always ask me what high school I go to. I love Disney movies and some little kid stuff, but I also get along well with old people because I LOVE Elvis, oldies, and old movies. I feel ya!

Julia D.

I'm in third year university and this past summer someone thought I was about to start high school, if it makes you feel any better. I guess we'll just look young for our age when we're old?