We never stop learning. From the moment we’re born we’re learning about our bodies and exploring our environments through the use of our senses, we spend our childhoods and teenage years in an education system, we grow in knowledge by the world of work. Until our last days we observe to gain understanding, continuously engaged in experiences in which help us to understand or guide ourselves and others. Staying in a lecture room alone isn’t going to enlighten you with realisations. Having a degree doesn’t cease your learning journey or make people inferior to you. You need to bury yourself in books from time to time, travel between cities and countries, socialise with people who are totally different from ourselves.
Due to the fact that we need time in order to teach ourselves and assist others, there is a stereotype that young adults can’t advise people who are older than them. Undoubtedly someone my age, in their early twenties, may not have been through certain life stages that someone 10, 40, 60 years older have been through; but its a rapidly changing world. Young people can help elders understand what it’s like to live in a modern society. It’s not all about justifying bad manners, moreso making older people become aware of pressures through social media and that gang ‘cultures’ aren’t idolised by all who haven’t settled down into marriage and raising a family.
Think of this a trading recipes. An elder passes a recipe in which they inherited or adapted themselves through years of practice. A junior chef, new to the food industry in return offers the elder a recipe which they have only just mastered. Having more time gives the elder more of an advantage of learning through trial and error, but that doesn’t neccassarily mean they know everything about cooking; therefore the junior chef can offer the elder what they lack and vice versa.
When I was 19 I started a job as a Teaching Assistant and play/midday meal supervisor. Of course I had to be shown the ropes. All I needed was to see the routine of that particular school and know where equipment is stored. Being a newbie doesn’t mean you know absolutely nothing. In order to get the jobs, I had to have some specific qualifications and training certificates. I knew what I was doing, I just needed guidance of how to implement my skills and knowledge in that unfamiliar environment. Some older colleagues automatically assumed I knew nothing about the more specific reasons as to why the school provided particular lessons and play sessions. It wasn’t until I found the confidence to openly discuss legislations within our sector and about child behaviour theorists that I was taken seriously.
I’ve learnt that it’s unfortunate to be judged so prematurely. I have also learnt that this can pass once people can be involved in enough conversation with you, or when they can see you physically fulfilling your roles and responsibilities. First impressions aren’t going to define you forever. It would just be preferable if we all made an effort to put ourselves in the shoes of new acquaintances. How do they feel? – Most likely nervous or unsure of the reaction they will recieve. There’s no need to be entirely professional straight away: after all we are all human before our titles. Don’t interigate them with questions. Provide the guidance you need to give, asking once in a while if they have any quiries. No one like interviews, so why are we still performing them so formally? Yes, the job might enforce serious requirements, such as saving the lives of people; though is it a must to make people feel uncomfortable when entering an establishment?
My final point is that you shouldn’t discourage yourself just because you are young, and you don’t have to feel obligated to give someone a stern teaching just because your are mature by age and mind.