Sometimes I still find it hard to imagine that a few years ago, I was a student in college, dreading thesis defense and partying till the wee hours of the morning. Then the next thing I know, I’m a thesis panelist and a chaperon for a debut.

This is one of those little things in life that tell you: hey, you ARE getting older.

The icky “damn I’m getting old” feeling struck me the moment I was given the scoresheet for the students presenting their thesis last Saturday morning. I couldn’t accept the fact that just a few years back (around three or four), I was the one freaking out while waiting for my turn to have my thesis butchered into pieces. Never did it ever occur to me that I would be one of those panelists I used to dread. Armed with a pen, a scoresheet, and an incredibly bad mood—I was the students’ living nightmare that morning.

I wasn’t that hard on them really. I was in a bad mood due to lack of sleep—so yeah, they got a bit lucky I wasn’t my usual energized self. Drowsiness prevented me from being total biatch. Hehe. Besides, I felt bad about failing them on purpose just because (70% of their finals grade would be coming from me). But I think if I was wide awake, I would have really made them earn those grades I would be giving them 😛

I was actually torn between compassion and the thought that they should learn from whatever mistake they did. A part of me doesn’t want to make their lives miserable (having gone through the exact same thing myself), but a part of me also sees the need that they should be able to experience it themselves (getting your thesis butchered IS a learning experience, you know). I couldn’t believe that I would be having that dilemma, actually. To think that a few years ago, I was just bitching about the panelist who butchered my thesis—and now, they’re probably bitching about me.

I got the same “I’m getting old” feeling during my cousin’s debut party that evening. Marc and I sat with my uncles, aunts, and a few cousins around my age—we found it a bit unnerving that we were in the “chaperones’ table.” And what was more unnerving was the fact that I couldn’t resist checking up on the “kids” for signs of trouble—just like a true-blue chaperone.

Now I know what my dad meant when he told me, “you’ll understand when you get older.” I’m beginning to understand… So yeah, I think I am getting older.