20 Things About Becoming An Adult That Completely Caught People Off Guard

Published 1 year ago

As kids, most of us wanted to grow up and be adults. Mostly because adults seemed to have a lot of freedom, confidence, knowledge money and power. We saw these cool grown-ups around us and assumed that one day automatically, like a switch, we too would have all these amazing abilities at some pre-determined age. 

However, on growing up we have come to realise that the world is a lot more complex than our original understanding. Most importantly our reality is what we make of it. So what aspect of adulting took you by surprise? One Redditor posed a similar question online and we’ve shared a few of the common themes that popped up in the now-popular thread. 

More info: Reddit

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#1 I can do whatever the f**k I want.. But I don’t really want to do anything…

Image source: IcarusWax, EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA

#2 The constant anxiety of realising you’re just getting older whilst still not knowing what the hell you’re going to do with your life. It’s especially stressful when everyone around you seems to be progressing and realising what they want out of life and you’re just sitting here waiting for death.

Image source: 2alchow, RDNE Stock project

#3 Feeling able-bodied to having a broken down body happened seemingly over night.

Image source: HappyGilOHMYGOD, Karolina Grabowska

#4 The mental labor involved in meal planning, let alone cooking.

Image source: pizzajokesR2cheesy, Vlada Karpovich

#5 God damn dishes!!!!!

Image source: Jhellams83, Marek Studzinski

#6 That you are on your own. No one cares if you get injured. No one cares if you are homeless and hungry and if you were to die, life just goes on without you.

Image source: Intelligent_Put_3594, Michelle Leman

#7 I think how people stop giving a s**t about you when you get older, in a general sense. I see homeless people, very poor people struggling and others struggling with mental health and people with low pay.

Image source: 1_art_please, MART PRODUCTION

If you saw a small child on the street, crying, alone, our hearts would break at the innocence. We would console and help them. Adults were all somebody’s little children at one point, we have the same basic needs as children. When you’re older, if you aren’t making society move money around, you become worthless in the eyes of the public.

#8 The general cruelty of people. We’re you’re a kid you think we’re all team humanity or team [your country] but it’s not.

Image source: Captcha_Imagination, Elti Meshau

#9 How much the magic for things that you experience as a kid wears off. Holidays, vacation destinations, stores and restaurants, etc. They are still cool, but not as amazing as they were when I was a kid.

Image source: jos_piersdad, MarcTutorials

#10 That the majority of adults are absolutely stupid. i was under the impression that as you got older you gained knowledge and wisdom… not so much.

Image source: weedgretzky42099, Hasan Albari

#11 High School level drama still exists in the workplace

Image source: DanMahBoy, Jopwell

#12 Watching your parents becoming old and frail

Image source: Mrbusybaconandeggs, Andrea Piacquadio

#13 How it just goes on endlessly.

Image source: anon, RDNE Stock project

When you’re a kid, there’s a summer break every year, and a new school to go to in a couple of years. Whatever part of your life you are in is clearly delimited and there is something new to look forward to after it.

Once you’re an adult, it’s just 5 days of work and 2 days of weekend over and over and over until you die.

#14 Just how tiring everything is. Tired when I wake up. Tired after work. Tired after cooking dinner. Tired catching up sleep on the weekends. Tired while doing something fun on the weekend. Almost always a bit tired. Always feeling tired and just pushing through it.

Image source: Dylan7675, Andrea Piacquadio


Image source: flannelfrankenstein, Archie Binamira

It’s hard to explain, but I always thought getting older would feel different in your soul, somehow. I don’t mean that in a religious or spiritual way necessarily, I’m more referencing the little version of you in your brain that pilots the ship. I always thought that, as I got older, he would feel older too.

I’m 33 now. I’ve had a lot of adventures and experiences, I’ve learned a lot and I’m definitely smarter than I was at say 20, but the little me piloting the ship doesn’t feel any different.

The little me in the ship still feels like it did when I was 15 or 16. I’m not complaining, I actually think it’s sorta nice and even helpful, I just find it strange.

#16 How calm it is.

Image source: -acidlean-, Julia Avamotive

Through all of school years, adults kept yelling at us, that these are our best years of life, and when we grow up to be adults and get jobs, we will be much more stressed, and the responsibilities will be much more serious. I really believed that and thought my adult life will be hell on earth, and I felt guilty for hating school and being a kid so much.

But there is no bullying in my adulthood. There is no yelling at me. And when there is, I can yell back. And if I yell back and get into a fight, I’m probably going to end up bruised but that’s it. There is no more yelling at me for getting into a fight. There is no yelling at me for yelling back at someone. Job is way more slow paced than school, I’m almost never in a hurry. And when I finish a work day, I just go home and play games, or do whatever I want to, without stressing about the other day or crying over the homework in my textbook. I can eat candy for breakfast if I want. I can still go out with friends to play football or ride bikes. I had no time for it in childhood, except winter and summer breaks. Also, I had no friends. I was throwing up in the bushes everyday and crying because my stomach hurt so bad from the stress, going to school. Now I’m walking to work singing along to the music in my headphones, feeling generally happy. Adult life is much better than I expected.

#17 Becoming more emotionally mature than the adults I used to look up to.

Image source: Its_Curse, Anastasia Shuraeva

It’s weird to watch my family talking behind each other’s backs and being two faced and back stabby and throwing fits when they don’t get their way. It’s literally bizarre highschool drama or toddler level tantrums and I just sit there thinking “Was that really the most mature and productive way to handle that?” But you can’t say anything without literally getting told “I’M the ADULT! I’m older and wiser so I know better!”. Oh, is that why you threw a screaming fit over the laundry being moved? Because that’s what adults do?

I don’t know how I didn’t see it when I was younger. I’m in my late 30s, so it’s not like I’m some teenager who thinks I know better than the adults. I’m just an adult flabbergasted that they’re still doing this petty drama at age 60.

#18 How little free time you have. You have to work, you have to prepare for work, drive to work, drive home from work. You also have to do household chores. You have to take care of kids if you have some. When do I get to enjoy my hobbies?

Image source: lllSnowmanlll, Tima Miroshnichenko

#19 Understanding how young my parents were while raising us now that I was (then surpassed) that age.

Image source: aaronrobles, Daria Obymaha

Gave me a lot of compassion, especially as new immigrants to the US where they didn’t know the language. I’m 32 and still trying to figure out they were 25 with two kids in a totally new country.

Bravo mom and pop.

#20 How clueless other adults are. I really thought adults had their s**t in order while in reality most people are winging it.

Image source: xepci0, Mikhail Nilov

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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adult issues, adult problems, adulting, adults, growing up
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