While some people look forward to getting older, some would like to delay the process for as long as possible. These six young Nigerian women share with us why they are scared of getting older.

Mimi, 19

I’m scared of life after university. Getting a job in this country would not be an easy thing and I have no skill, so I’m really scared of how I’ll survive. I certainly do not want to depend on my parents because I do not want them to disrespect me. I do not plan on getting married or having children, but at the same time, I’m scared of loneliness. Sometimes, I imagine dying in my house and nobody discovering my body until after 3 weeks.

Winnie, 20

I’m scared of the regular things like having kids or experiencing menopause, but also of potentially being attacked in my home if I ever live alone later in life. I have a deep fear of not being a good mother to my daughter because of my own relationship with my mother.

Hafiza, 20

I am scared of outgrowing my interests. I feel like I would be too old to make TikToks and buy plushies or also dress the way I want. Growing older feels like I would need to have more “mature” fashion like skirt suits instead of the mini skirts I wear now. Also, there is so much pressure to be super successful when you are young. I am scared of passing that age limit and having nothing to my name.

Jennifer, 18

I’m scared of being alone, living alone, and being knowing I live alone. The older I get, the closer confrontations with family about religion, body modifications and my values will become. The confrontations will happen, but I’m scared of the changes that’ll follow that. I also am scared of getting older because I do not want to do adult things on my own. I still want my mother to follow me to places. If I ever become a mum, I am scared of becoming one of those women that completely bend themselves and become mothers. Everything you used to love and do, you just shelf it and be a mum.

Emem, 20

I am scared of getting older because I do not want to be ugly. Growing up, my mum always told me that women get old fast and become ugly. So, I guess it has always been on my mind. When she found out my boyfriend is my age mate, she said it’s not ideal because I’ll age faster than him.

Bimbo, 21

I do not want the responsibilities that would come with being older. I’m already the oldest of my friends, and am responsible for my younger brother and nephews. I feel like it would get more when I get older. I also feel like I should achieve or should have achieved some things at my age, so growing older stresses me out a lot.

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