If you could stay one age forever, how old would you be?

When I was 17, I made a pact with myself to read only young adult books for a year. My reasoning went as follows: I wasn’t getting any younger, I wasn’t ready to outgrow fictional brooding teenage boys, and I had the rest of my life to read everything else.

In the five years since, it goes without saying that I did, eventually, outgrow those characters. They stayed 16 and 17 forever, and by the time I hit my 20s, the things we had in common became fewer and fewer.

It’s a funny notion, never aging. Ultimately, while I loved the reckless, hopeful invincibility that came with being 17 (a year in which I wrote a ridiculous amount of poetry and met Nick Jonas), I’d have to say that I’d rather be 21 forever: a little wiser, a little less naive, but still young enough to carry this not-so-secret idealism everywhere with me. A little more settled, but nowhere near figuring it all out.

I asked seven other people about their idea of the best age to remain for eternity. Here’s what they had to say:

“Twenty-one was when I became the most socially aware and responsible, and also the age I experienced all my romantic firsts. Basically, 21 was my turning point; from a reckless young boy to becoming a well-rounded, albeit jaded, young man.” – Gab Reyes, 22, BS Civil Engineering (@deadboygab)
“If I were to get stuck at any age forever, then it would have to be 18. You get to keep all the ‘e-mo-tions.’ One thing I’ve always feared about adulthood is the lack of emotional sincerity in conduct and habit, the lack of ultra-introspection, but since I’ll be 18 forever, no problem.” – Kiana Flores, 20, freelance writer and AB Mass Communications student (@kiandrogynous)
“If I could, I’d stay a seven-year-old forever. Back then, Papa would force me to sleep after lunch every day, and my greatest joys were toys from McDo and Jollibee. Everything was routine, but I loved every bit of it. Also, Pancit Canton was the whole world and nothing hurt.” – Randolph Pontillas, 23, BS Family Life and Child Development (@rabdolph)
“I’d like to be 19 forever. I’d like to be able to experience everything without having to worry about being too young or too old. It was my year of realization, and it also made me realize being older means being closer to the possible terrors of adulthood.” – Steph Bracewell, 20, AB Multimedia Arts (@steph_bracewell)
“I’d choose 18: young enough to make mistakes but old enough to choose your own decisions; old enough to vote but too young to pay taxes. And I’d get to throw a Rocky Horror-themed debut every year.” – Patch Ortega, 20, graphic designer (@pahtch)
“I’d be seven years old, because I want that honest curiosity and hunger to learn that being seven can give you. That, and I want to use my Game Boy Advance forever.” – Nikki Bonuel, 19, freelance photographer and BA Communications student (@nikkibonuel)
“Maybe I’d stay 12 forever. Because I was ignorant enough to pursue anything persistently, and because the years after my 12th until the present were beset with acne, ha-ha!” – Aaron de Borja, 22, BA Comparative Literature (@AarondeBorja)
#self #survey

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