5 Popular Myths About Being An Adult

Brittani Lepley
Brittani Lepley

1. There’s such a thing as being an adult

I used to look at adults as people that really had things figured out. I wanted to obtain that knowledge, those life skills, so fervently that I rushed right passed my formative years without a second thought. Being young meant that nobody took you seriously and I wanted the respect that all those adults received by proxy.

The only people that respect adults are children, though, and the only reason they respect us is because they’re expected to. When you realize this, and just after you have your first existential crisis, you’re left with two unavoidable questions.

Who knows what they’re doing?
Answer: Nobody.

Who has life figured out?
Answer: Nobody.

Adults are just overgrown children with a superiority complex. We get ourselves into the same trouble, and the only difference is that we’re expected to overcome it by ourselves. We aren’t equipped with those skills, though, and most of us are constantly eating crow.

2. You will be special

My entire generation was praised for merely being alive. This strange sense of entitlement has made the vast majority of us feel absolutely special, eventually getting stuck in a perpetual winter full of unique snowflakes.

I remember being on a crappy soccer league in elementary school. We lost every game that season, by large margins, and we still got a trophy at the end of it all. We still ate at a pizza joint and we were all able to order whatever we wanted to eat. We were rewarded for accomplishing nothing at all.

All of these kids enter the world and its workplace with zero life experience. In an instant, we all go from unique to disposable commodities. Just like that, you can almost hear a collective sigh fall from the factory’s smoke-stacks. New pollution.

It turns out that, by making everybody feel unique, nobody ever actually got to be.

3. You will have an awesome job

Quite honestly, I don’t know anybody that enjoys their profession. It’s a steady paycheck, it’s a way to keep the lights on, but nobody is eager for Monday to roll around. As an adult, you’re expected to live a thankless life because that’s what adults do. Pay your taxes. Pay toward your mortgage. Pay your car payment. Just because.

Remember grade school? Remember the reports we’d have to write about what we wanted to do when we grew up? Remember when we thought we actually had a choice? That was nice, wasn’t it?

Too bad, at least for the majority of us, this was a lie of insurmountable proportions.

4. You know what it’s going to be like

I used to anticipate summer vacation so much. Finally, a period of time where I don’t have to be responsible or learn anything! This was going to be great! Then, all of the sudden, you experience your very last one and don’t even realize it. Friendships dwindle and disappear, you take on a job somewhere new, and just like that, summer vacation is dead forever.

From there on, summer is just another season. It isn’t even one you particularly enjoy anymore. Days start to blend together, then weeks, and then finally years and decades. You still sweat, but you don’t look forward to it ever again.

5. Being an adult means you have tons of freedom

Kids are allowed to be stupid in ways that adults aren’t. I was once detained for throwing eggs at a teacher’s house, and even though I received a harsh talking to, I didn’t even have to clean the eggs off the house. I wasn’t arrested, I didn’t face jail time, and I didn’t owe any money to the state.

I used to get away with so much, including (but not limited to): arson, property damage, streaking, underage drinking, resisting arrest, and possession of controlled substances. I was detained so often that a few police officers knew me by name, but I was never once arrested for any stupid thing I did.

You aren’t allowed those freedoms as an adult, and there is nothing a state enjoys more than sending someone to prison. We live in a world of privatized jail systems, where companies actually turn a profit by imprisoning somebody.

And the punishment rarely fits the crime, either. If you’re caught with a little marijuana, they can send you straight to jail and force you to take religiously-oriented addiction counseling upon release. If you go streaking, you’ll have to spend the rest of your life registering as a sex-offender.

Kids rush to adulthood, in part at least, because of the presumed freedom. This is just as illusory as becoming an adult is in the first place. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog