It is an awesome feeling when, growing older, you find out that you are just as smart as you used to be.
I always thought the mind aged like wine, growing less sharp but more mellow, and while you lost intelligence, you gained wisdom. I was wrong.
As many of you know, I am 33, and I want to go back to school for my PhD in Economics. To prepare, I am taking math courses, beginning with Linear Algebra this semester. I was afraid when I started that it has both been too long since I was last in school, and that I was too old to do the heavy lifting in math. I struggled the first two weeks of class, showing up for all of my professor’s office hours.
Well, last Thursday, and again today, when I went after the homework, I got it, and more quickly than the other people in my class. The brain still works, despite my seven-year neglect.
The proofs are coming especially easily to me now.
What has changed, being older, is the wisdom…I now know when to shut up and listen to what other people tell me. This is making a HUGE difference in my performance in class.
I have gained in wisdom, but not lost the wit, and this is awesome!
To all you young people (as if 33 was especially old) out there, this does not mean, “put off until tomorrow”. Rather, I want to remind you that 33 is not too late to pursue that life you wanted.
In conclusion, Age and Guile beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut.
PS: I stole the title from P.J. O’Rourke.