Yes, I am too young.

I attended first grade when I was five —and everyone else was turning seven or was already seven. I was the youngest in class, and the school even had to think it through whether they’ll accept me that school year or not. What made them decide to take me in, that I would never know. But yes, they allowed me to join the 7-year-olds in the top section.

I wasn’t always the best student. I’d usually rank third to fifth in class every last semester. My teachers would usually remember me as the student who never spoke Hiligaynon, the girl who didn’t want to seat beside anyone so her parents had to bring a custom-made desk to school, the child who didn’t want to apply floor wax so her caretaker had to do it, the kid who topped the number of absences simply because she didn’t want to go to school.

I was bullied in class. There was one guy in my class who’d always do nasty things to me —but yes, I fought back every chance I had. I can list down a lot of other harsh instances I had to go through just because I’m younger than the rest. And recently –I had yet another of these “oh-no-you-are-too-young” encounters.

One of the most respected magazines in the country contacted me for a job opening. Because I’m not the type who just turns down offers like this, I went to the scheduled interview date. The HR manager was so nice and bubbly but when she was scanning my curriculum vitae, she gasped, “Oh no, you are too young for the position.” Hearing the phrase “too young” made me a bit sad. So I asked her nicely, “but, will you please give me a chance for the position?” I was lucky she was nice enough to consider.

Recently, they called me back. There are no final results yet, but I was one of the shortlisted candidates for the position. I’m not sure if I will get that job. If I get hired, I’ll definitely be thrilled and I’d consider it a great blessing. If I don’t, then I’ll have to continue with my plans.

But I just hope to prove a point. Yes, I am too young. But that doesn’t make me a lesser person. It’s not always about the age. These are merely numbers. It’s about what one can do, her willingness and dedication to learn and improve, and if it is God’s will. 😉

-H

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