The Balamb Gardens students are emotionally-stunted. They’re perpetually adolescent teenagers. Part of this is due to the fact that, as kids during the war, their emotional development stopped. But there’s a difference between how Garden students and how those kids outside of the Gardens act.
First, we have Ellone:
Ellone maintains a childlike innocence about the world, even as a young adult.
Ellone’s like a child. She’s trusting and innocent. but from the way she talks, she carries herself as a graceful, mature adult. She’s a child but in a good way.
Next, we have Rinoa:
Rinoa is compassionate, warm, and friendly, although she can act stubborn and naive.
She can be impulsive and act without thinking, which gets her into trouble. She is loyal to her friends and committed to doing what she thinks is right.
Although Rinoa puts up a brave front, her isolation is hinted at, having lost her mother at a young age and having a strained relationship with her father. Rinoa has many followers but not many close friends save for her dog, Angelo, leading her to bond with Squall over what they’re both missing from their lives.
She’s like a lot of teenagers: she’s up to date on current events she can’t directly affect. But she has a desire to change the injustices she sees. She’s idealistic and a brat. Look at how she interacts with her strict father. Rinoa lives in relative opulence, yet still throws temper tantrums due to her father’s position in life. She’s a child but in a healthy way. She can express emotions that’s appropriate for the situation. And her father, General Calloway, definitely didn’t indoctrinate her with a military upbringing.
And then there’s SeeD. Squall, Quistis, Selphie and Zell aren’t fully…people. They are efficient machines, yet mentally children pretending to be soldiers. Rinoa, by contrast, can probably sense that something’s quite off about them.
Rinoa clashes with Squall and Quistis for what she perceives as a cold and mechanical attitude and their impatience with her inexperience.
She’s probably wondering why professionals are criticising her model train when the mission is more important. She probably thought it was odd when Quistis yelled at her for being naive. She still doesn’t totally get Squall, but knows that he’s a child and talks to him accordingly:
Squall: “You wait here.”
Rinoa: “Big meany. Come on.”
She kicks Irvine down the stairs for pretending to act “so cool” after escaping Galbadia D-District Prison. Rinoa is mature enough to see through their pretend personalities and acts accordingly. And how could she not? These kids are “professionals” who call each other “chickenwusses”. They speak in one-word sentences, have speech ticks like “y’know”, sing about trains, obsess over hot dogs, etc…