Live fast, die young

Increasingly, I find myself wanting to die young. This isn't because I'm depressed, or because I have some kind of death wish. It's because I think that a short life full of worthy acts (such as protesting) is better than a long, quiet life lived doing essentially nothing (i.e. what most people do), and because I fear growing old.

But why would I, a future scientist - not a model or actress - fear growing old?

Because as well as being a future scientist, I might just be a future activist. I've gotten myself involved (foolishly, some might say) with radicals and motivated people. It''s best described as enlightening. I've learnt so much that I never could have in the classroom; I've met people from all walks of life who share my crazy views, and it doesn't matter that other people think us crazy because at least our beliefs can get a proper airing here. I try to think critically, evaluating everything I come across, and I try to join in the demonstrations because they might be my only shot at changing the world.

Some people who know me probably think that was the stupidest paragraph I've ever written. They think I spend all day on Facebook and Twitter doing...what? Nothing, I expect, given their reaction. But the above paragraph was what I really use Twitter for, what I've really learned from it. They may choose to believe what they want - I'll give them that - but now their beliefs will be flatly contradicted by the evidence.

I digress. The thing is, I've barely met anyone middle-aged or older who still protests; I've barely met anyone middle-aged or older who doesn't believe in what the old media tells them. And the chilling thing is that some of these people worked for activists and may have even protested in the streets like I want to do. It means that with age they've forgotten what they used to care about, forgotten their critical thinking (if they ever thought, critically or no) and passed blandly into middle and old age, into being just like the rest of them - into being nothings, into eating and sleeping and reading the paper and sitting at a desk and making small talk and never thinking, never feeling, never being fired up with the passion they used to have...

...I don't want to end up like that. People tell me I won't, but when they were like me and they ended up that way, I don't have much hope. If I'm honest, I'd rather die than end up that way - rather die than lose what I really cared about. And if I'll lose what I care about as part of growing old, then here's to dying young!