Being the Youngest Expert in the Room
One thing about entering and graduating from a Master’s program at a relatively young age means that in a room full of experts, I tend to be the youngest one. It’s not a bad thing most of the time, and I’m probably the only one who quickly sizes up and estimates colleagues and parents’ age. Sometimes, when I’m about to share my evaluation report or discuss a recent diagnosis, I get nervous. And I start running down my list of personally-perceived short comings; my gut reaction is to think of my age.
I’m 25 and in a position that allows me the responsibility to diagnose and plan courses of treatment for individuals who have difficulties with communication. 5 years ago my biggest responsibility was waking up in time for my dreaded 8:00 AM Philosophy class. This CF year has been a huge transition in my life, both professionally and personally. I needed to mentally catch up with my new degree, new responsibilities, and new career. I’m still working on it…obviously.
Walking into a meeting where I am the expert on the child, the expert on his or her language, I am supposed to gauge how the next year will look on our plan of action. I need to remember my skills and my strengths when those moments arise and I think my age makes me appear weak or uninformed. I’m young, but I have education and research on my side. The experience will come in due time.
Until then, I am thankful for colleagues who share kind words about how well I do in meetings or how organized and on-top of things I seem. Only myself and you, my readers know the quiet inadequacies I need to overcome. Carry on.