t minus 4

Growing up, folks tended to think that I was younger than I was.  I was tiny, in part due to a back brace, so this kind of made sense.  When I was a senior in high school, a parent mistook me for a middle schooler.  That's a four year gap, ladies and gentlemen.

Today, the four year gap hit me again.  A visiting postdoc thought I was a senior.  When I told her that I was a first year grad student, she didn't realize how far off she was, since I didn't bother to explain that I took three years off to work/play in between college and grad school.

I used to be flattered by this kind of mistake, but today it kind of irked me.  I try not to think about what others think of me, but I do care about having a professional demeanor.  Do I just look young or am I acting or dressing immaturely?  Do I seem inexperienced?  Is it a confidence issue?

At this point, I'm no longer reading into interaction I had today, but trying to determine how to assess my demeanor.  There are so many factors, how does one test which ones might be problematic, let alone improve?

1 comment:

Rachael said...

This happens to me too, and I feel the same way. It's irritating, especially now that I want to be taken seriously in the professional world. I started my new job and one of my superiors thought I was in high school and told me I had the face of a 12 year old. Not exactly professional on his part, but still. I have no idea how to look/act/come across older.