Why do young Americans try to prove that they are more mature than they are? I’m talking about the type that will not hesitate to tell you situations they’ve been in that made them grow “faster” than their peers.
I had a coworker who would always say he’s worked since 16. Or this girl would always tell me she’s lived abroad and is “different” than girls her age, and another who kept bringing up the painful child divorce and how she had to go to school and work at the same time (the horror!). With all that experience I’m surprised they missed visits to countries where 10-year-olds work on the street for food while living in garbage bag tents next to the bus station. I think in that case they’d find their experience to be pretty damn timid.
I’ve done a couple interesting things but it’s never crossed my mind to use that as proof of my value as a person. Your past doesn’t speak for you—you speak for you. Speaking up your past is the fastest way to get labeled as a “douche” if you’re a guy and a “nerd” or “drama queen” if you’re a girl. It’s like that guy who puts his BMW key chain on the bar in a lame attempt to get attention from females.
In the end there is no substitute for the number of days you’ve lived, whether you spent that “living” abroad in some other country during college or not. There’s the claim of experience and maturity and then there’s who you are. One you can lie about, the other you can’t.