For as long as I can remember I have always been the youngest in my group of friends, and up until about a year ago, I hated this. It was only when we all graduated high school and the age-gap began closing that I realized all of the pros that came along with the cons. Here are just a few.
Pro 1: Being one of the only freshmen in high school who knew where they were going on the first day.
I remember walking into my first day of high school with no fear at all. I knew where to meet my upperclassmen friends in between classes, I knew who I was eating lunch with and I knew I always had a seat next to someone at the football games. I recall never having to fear for my life, either, because I knew just about every sophomore, junior and senior. An added bonus is that I occasionally got a ride to and from school instead of taking the bus, which was pretty rad if you ask me.
Con 1: Realizing how lonely senior year is without all of your friends.
Personally, the beginning of senior year was hard for me. I didn't take into consideration how very few people I talked to in my own grade until senior year rolled around. With all of my older friends starting college or being well into their sophomore/junior years, it was hard to stay in contact every day as well. I found people to spend time with in school eventually, but it was still a wake-up call realizing how quickly we were all growing up.
Pro 2: Not having to worry about getting your driver's license.
My first friend got his driver's license at the beginning of my freshman year, and we spent that whole summer driving around in his car (probably listening to Mac Miller's "Blue Slide Park" on repeat). I never worried about how I was getting places or who was picking me up, because everyone was always willing and ready to take me on an adventure. This was single-handedly the most magical time of my life. Not only did I not have to work or worry about anything at all, but I was also taking care-free road trips with all of my friends about once a week, no gas money needed. Take me back.
Con 2: Frantically trying to pass your driver's test before starting your first year of college.
I spent the entire summer of 2016 trying to pass my driver's test. I hadn't driven since the first time my dad took me out driving after I got my permit in 2014, and I had pretty much no experience behind the wheel. I didn't realize how much I depended on my friends and parents until last summer rolled around and I was always searching for a ride to work or looking for someone to pick me up from my house. Needless to say, everyone I worked with was pretty much over me by the end of the season.
Pro 3: Always being invited to parties that no one else your age was invited to.
More often than not, I was the youngest at every weekend party. This always allotted me bragging rights when school came back around on Monday, and most of the other kids in my grade were irked by my mouth constantly running. Eventually, they were more annoyed than impressed by me.
Con 3: Asking mom for permission when no one else had to.
Being the youngest at every party was great and all, until I'd wake up with 23 missed calls from mom wondering where I'd been. Then the torture of all of the older kids making fun of me petrified me just enough so that I would stay away from parties for a while.
As time has passed and we moved into our college dorms and apartments, these pros and cons become less and less noticeable, being as we are all older and age starts to matter less. I still see the positive and negative sides of being the baby all the time, but to me now it's just the beauty of having friends from all ages and walks of life. I wouldn't trade what I have with my group of friends for the world.
Lead Image Credit: Sidharth Bhatia via Unsplash