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“Wait, you’re a senior??” If I had a dollar for every time I heard this, both in high school and in college, I might be a multi-millionaire by now. (I’m coming for you, Bill Gates!) I have the babyface blues. Although I am the ripe old age of twenty-one, a majority of people think I am maybe seventeen or eighteen at best. I work with children and when my age comes up, I constantly get “are you sixteen or seventeen?”.

I have always looked a little bit younger than my actual age, but it became more apparent in high school as everyone seemed to have this random “facial maturity” growth spurt that I was missing. Truthfully, I didn’t really notice it until my junior year; I was in a women’s chorus class that included all grade levels. When we introduced ourselves on the first day with our name and grade, I was surprised at the number of people that were shocked to hear that I was a junior. 

So fast-forward a little bit to college. Here I am, finally a senior. I’m ready to look like I am a wise, old sage with a long grey beard. Yet again, people are astonished that I’m not fifteen years old. In one of my campus organizations, we get split into teams. During team introductions, I said the usual “Hi, my name is Helena and I am a senior.” One of my teammates looked at me like I had just said “Hi, my name is Helena and I am an alien.” She laughed and apologized stating how she just assumed I was a sophomore. 

When I was younger,  I tried all the makeup tricks in the books to look older. “Use contour, use lip liner, cat eyes are the ultimate way to look older,” I tried to copy what I saw on my teen drama shows. For a long time, I hated looking so much younger. I just wanted to look like the right age. I had younger friends that looked older than me and others always thought that I was the youngest friend. It used to embarrass me to always look like the baby. 

Until someone told me the most magical idea that changed my viewpoint on my baby face. Someone told me, “Well when you turn forty, you’ll look like you’re thirty.” Ah-ha! A lightbulb went off in my head. Maybe having a babyface isn’t the end of the world. So y’all go ahead and age while I stay looking young. Hey, Halloween is coming up! If you’re nice, maybe I’ll show you what magic potion I’ve been drinking that’s actually making me look young.

Helena Sherman is a senior majoring in elementary education and will be pursuing her master's degree in early childhood with +30 credits in literacy. She is a writer for HerCampus and is on the Heller Leadership Team. She describes herself as a curly-haired Jesus freak. Her passions include reading, talking, and musical theatre.
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