Age is more than just a number

Age is more than just a number

Jake Keeley

Age, although just a number, plays such a pivotal role in our lives. Age acts a gatekeeper to whatever activity either your parents or the government has deemed inappropriate for you. Whether it is an increase in curfew, being able to drive, vote, drink alcohol or run for president, age is often the sole determinant in whether or not you are allowed these privileges.

However since I have no plans to be commander in chief, and my mother no longer has the power to impose a curfew on me, I must ask myself: what else do I have to look forward to? Is 21 already the pinnacle of my young life?

Turning 21 has been a lot of fun, but with age comes wisdom, and my newfound wisdom is telling me that I will not, in fact, be forever young. Reminders come in different forms every day. As a prime example, I just did a brilliant karaoke rendition of “Ocean Avenue” by the great American philosophers, “Yellowcard,” as if that song was some recognized classic. To my surprise, ‘Ocean Avenue’ came out twelve years ago, not five.

Not only that, but I believe the lyrics go, ‘We were both 18 and it felt so right,’ not ‘We were both 21 and it felt so right’. That’s because nothing feels as right at 21 as it did at 18. For a stark contrast, but historically the best genre of music ever, Crunk music has not been popular for more than 10 years. To the dismay of my mother, I grew up on that stuff. I guess she didn’t think the lyrics to “Get Low” were appropriate for an elementary student.

Now I could go on and on about these pop culture reminders – “Fuller House” was just made — but nothing is more relevant to me than what’s happening in the sports world.

Derek Jeter does not play baseball anymore. Kobe Bryant is playing his last season in the NBA, where there are a large number of players that I am older than. Nicklas Lidstrom just played in an alumni game. Peyton Manning looked old as dirt in the Super Bowl.

But it’s not just the players that are making me feel old, it’s the rules. There used to be a segment titled ‘Jacked Up’ on ESPN celebrating the biggest hits in the NFL over the past week. Now you can’t even touch anyone without drawing a penalty, and the same goes for hockey. Watching highlights of my favorite safety ever, John Lynch, makes me question whether or not he would be able to play in today’s game.

But maybe I’m just worrying too much. There are some things that I do look forward to in my later stages of life. Going to bed at a reasonable time, hosting family parties, driving a minivan…Wait, these all seem horrible.

No, but honestly a career and a couple juniors running around can’t be all that bad. I’m sure parents enjoy nothing more than watching their offspring score their first goal. Because it’s always fun to watch other people score goals, instead of yourself.