Turning 24: Reflections from a Former Young Person

As of my birthday this past week, my Jordan year is officially over but now my Kobe year starts. One of the beautiful things of getting older is the wisdom and perspective that comes with age.

Generally speaking however, western society is ageist. Ageism is especially prevalent in tech culture, and even moreso on Twitter.

I used to take pride in being young [1]. When older folks would ask me how old I am, I’d tell them my age as if to say, Look at what I’m doing at only x years old.” I’d compare myself to my older peers and think that I still have time to surpass them.

But as I get older, and I’m past the point where I can flaunt my age, I see many younger people accomplishing more then I did when I was their age. Before, it was about being the best, it was about crushing the competition, it was all ego driven. Now, it’s about how I can inspire and pass on what I know to the next generation.

The true mark of a successful student-teacher relationship is if the student surpasses the teacher. As I’m starting to reach a point in my life where I’m a teacher, a role model, a mentor, this saying has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Though my best years are still ahead of me, it’s important for me to pay it forward to the next generation.


[1] Young and old are relative terms. Since I’m still an undergrad, many of my circles are in the 18-22 range.

April 24, 2021

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