Through every stage of life up until adulthood, we dream of becoming an adult. We can’t wait until we can drink on our 21st, until we can eat ice cream for dinner, until we can live on our own, until we can get married and have kids. We can’t wait until we have say over our lives. I was one who couldn’t wait either, and I am technically an adult now. I’m twenty and for the most part carry myself like an adult.
In my two years of adulting, I have learned that being an adult really isn’t all that fantastic. Save the “I told you so’s” please. Sure, I do enjoy being able to eat a bag of chips for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I don’t have to ask permission before I go do something, but there’s so much more to it than that.
Spending money almost weekly on unexpected things
I never knew so many things could break or happen unexpectedly. Your car breaks this week- $400. You get sick and have to go to the doctor the next week- $40, and that’s if you’re lucky and have health insurance and don’t have to go for extra testing. And the next week you break your phone- $150. Every time I get excited about having extra spending money, it’s gone.
Worrying about saving money
On top of having to spend on necessities, the unexpected things and spending on yourself every now and then, you also have to worry about saving money. You have to save for the necessities, save for the unexpected, save for spending, save for retirement, save for your future family, save for traveling, save for a new car. You literally have to save for everything.
I’ve never been so stressed out than trying to figure out if I’m saving enough, if I need to save more and if I’m saving for all the things I need to save for. Should I have a separate account for everything or should I have one big account? And if I have one big account how will I know that it’s okay to spend a certain amount on just that one thing because I still have all those other things I’m saving for.
Constantly asking yourself if you’re doing this right
Sure I have control over my own life, but is that such a great thing? Because I look around and some people seem to be making all the right choices, and I’m not sure I’m with them. Should I have bought the expensive brand? Maybe I should’ve just got the store brand. Should I still be laying in bed on a Saturday at 9 am, or am I supposed to be doing something more productive? I just don’t understand how I’m supposed to make all these decisions in a day and then worry if I’m making the right decision.
And then wondering if your parents would agree.
Unfortunately, there is no magic switch to turn this off once you become an adult. You actually wonder if your parents would agree with your decisions more than you ever have before. Before making a decision you ponder on what they would do and what they would say to you about your choice, and then after you make a choice you pray and hope that you made them proud and they would be okay with it.
Always thinking about your career
Whether it is a future job or your current job; you think about work constantly. You wonder if you’re doing a good job at your work, if your job is going anywhere, if you should apply to new places, if you you’re good enough to be applying to certain places, if you’re making enough, if you’re ever going to make more. You worry about everything because you realize that your career is what allows you to pay for the necessities, unexpected things and put money into all your savings accounts. You also spend the majority of your time at this place, so you can’t help but too think about it.
Complaining about being an adult
And the number one thing that I’ve learned that being an adult is, is complaining about being an adult. You just complain about this and that, complain about all the responsibility you have and wish you were a kid again. Then when you see a kid you tell them they don’t really want to become an adult. You tell them to stay a kid as long as they can. You complain to your parents, you complain to your own kids, you complain to your co-workers, friends, family and even strangers in the grocery story line. Just DON’T STOP complaining.
Being an adult is a lot of responsibility and a lot of worrying, but it’s also a lot of fun. It’s nothing I would rush to if I was a kid again, but it’s not as bad as what most of us make it seem. Seeing as I’m just starting out and I’m a rookie at this, I hope it does get easier, but if all the experienced adults are right it doesn’t seem to.