Image description: A black-and-white illustration of a person with shoulder-length hair looking up. The two flowers in their hair are the only pop of colour. End ID.
Image description: A black-and-white illustration of a person with shoulder-length hair looking up. The two flowers in their hair are the only pop of colour. End ID.

Illustration by Aljoud Alhajaj

An Old Soul In A Young Body

How does a young person go about life with the mentality of a middle aged or older person?

Oct 8, 2023

I don't want to call it a stereotype, but when people look at those in their late teens and early twenties, there is a perception that we are all the life of the party and our schedules are packed with events, hangouts, and more. Every now and then, when they come across an individual who replies to the question, “So, what do you do in your spare time?” with something as simple as “I knit,” the reactions are mixed. Some respond with an “aww,” while others call the parents blessed for having such an “easy” child. However, there is always a slight sense of confusion. There are many misconceptions about the so-called “old souls,” and being one is not as bad as others make it out to be.
First of all, what is an old soul? The most common way to describe someone who is one is that they do tend to not represent their own generation in the sense that they think and act older than they are. Old does not necessarily mean retired. Just because someone considers themselves an old soul, does not mean you will see them walking around with a walker whilst wearing a sweater they made. It can refer to someone who is drawn to things that are usually associated with hobbies and activities of those older than them or who simply chooses a chill lifestyle.
In other words, an “old soul” is common lexicon used nowadays to describe someone who gets the following said about them:
“You are boring.”
There is literally nothing wrong with wanting to spend the night in rather than falling asleep when the sun rises, or doing simple activities with your little group of friends rather than participating in what seems like extreme sports (and meeting a new group of people every week). Are you happy with your New York Times word search puzzles or cross stitching with Laufey playing in the background? Or having an early sleep schedule? Great, same, keep it that way. That is around the time where the “you are boring” comments tend to cue in.
“You must get better grades.”
Not doing much doesn’t mean I make up for that time with studying. I am an old soul, not an academic weapon. Once again, an old soul who, say, goes on walks often or knits, can still do such hobbies for prolonged periods of time, meaning there are still less hours spent studying. Is it easier for one to put down their knitting needles and pick up a book compared to leaving a hangout? Arguably, yes, it is easier. Personality does not reflect academic performance.
“You are probably single.”
…Moving on.
“You are really mature!”
If anyone says that to you, take the compliment. No one is indirectly calling you an old soul, and if you find that someone calling you one is offensive, it should not be. For example, making a smart choice and going to bed at a reasonable hour does not necessarily reflect one's maturity level. A preference is a preference.
This might be a personal opinion, but I do find life to be much more peaceful because I tend to lean towards being an old soul. I am usually at the same places, meaning I tend to be around the same people so our bonds grow stronger than those of others, who choose to constantly expand their social circle. Life moves at a slower pace. I get to take in more from the moments I enjoy, whether it be with the people I love, or doing the things I love.
There is another comment, or question rather, that tends to be thrown out there which is, “Don’t you think you will regret it when you are older?” Some other variations of this include, “Don’t you want to enjoy this time of your life?” Coming from a personal standpoint, but also hoping someone will resonate with this, I am actually enjoying my time. Questions and assumptions are arguably thrown around because of confusion at the unknown where our likes and dislikes do not match. So reactions of surprise from others who do not share our interests, in the same way we do not share theirs, are understandable. We may look at others and wonder how they are not tired from doing so much and being around so many people all the time.
Like I said before, there is no right or wrong way to live, but taking the slower route of life is not wrong either. However, doing something different that is out of your comfort zone is usually where the best memories come from, so going with the crowd from time to time is much recommended.
Xandra Eid is Deputy Columns Editor. Email them at
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