50 Ways Adulting Sucks (And Why You Should Enjoy Your Youth While It Lasts)

50 Ways Adulting Sucks (And Why You Should Enjoy Your Youth While It Lasts)

Once you read this list from Ask Reddit, you are going to wish you were a kid again.

1. Planning out a week’s worth of meals before going to the grocery store and then not wanting to eat the meal I planned but doing it anyway.

2. How incompetent everybody is.

When I was a child adults always had the answer. You would look at somebody in their thirties and they knew had their shit together, they had a house, a partner, 2.4 kids, a good career. Basically, adults knew what they were doing everything was under control.

Now I’m an adult, everything is a shit show. I’m the person who allegedly knows what they are doing, half the time I’m just making stuff up. EVERYONE is doing this. Our whole society is held together by well meaning people making guesses, and duct tape.

It is terrifying.

3. There’s always something you have to do. Like even when relaxing there’s things you really should be doing.

4. Having all my close friends slowly drift apart.

5. Loneliness. The depressing monotony of working the same job day after day.

6. Having a job I don’t like but can’t quit because it pays well and wouldn’t be able to get the schedule and paid leave anywhere else.

I always assumed all grownups had jobs they loved, found out what they wanted to be and lived happily ever after.

7. Not having other adult friends, or even potential adult friends close at hand.

When you’re a kid, “friends”, or even potential friends, are almost always close. Close by proximity. Close by in the same class. Close by at the same stop. Close by at the same swim meet.

When you’re an adult, you’re more closed off. By your commute. By the train. By the bus. By the pre-school schedule. By the 37.5 hours a week that you close yourself off from the ones that actually matter the most to you so that you can in turn support the ones that matter the most to you so you close yourself off from the ones that actually matter the most to you so that you can in turn support the ones that actually matter the most to you….

8. The loss.

Everything goes. You lose friends, family, time. Hobbies fall away and things that once brought joy now take up space or gets broken and has to be disposed of.

Losing your sense of self, losing sight of what you thought your life would be.

Just, loss.

9. Probably that fact that I still feel like a kid, definitely don’t have the sense of wisdom and maturity I expected.

10. Your parents getting noticeably older each time you see them.

11. Being alone. If you don’t have someone by the time your in your late 20’s you will find yourself alone a lot.

12. No free time. Sure I have money but I havent got any time to bloody do stuff with it – and if you have time, then no money!

13. Getting cheated on. May not happen to every one but this is part of being an adult. You deal with it, you learn from it and you move on.

14. Peer pressure is still a thing. But now, instead of cigarettes, weed and beer, it’s marriage, careers and homeownership.

15. How hard it is to get fit, and how easy it is to gain weight.

16. Feeling like I’m running out of time.

As a teen, one summer break from school was the longest time in the world. All that mattered was this sunrise today, this crush on someone I have right now. The ability to live in the present to the fullest.

These days I’m running in circles trying to decide what to do because what I choose now may affect my entire life. What do I study? Where do I wanna work? I DON’T KNOW HELP ME CHOOSE!!! All the while working a minimum wage job so not exactly having tons of possibilities to just take time off and explore what I would want to be.

17. The thing that has hit me hardest recently is that there is no “better time” for me to do the things I want to do. I either make time for it now or it never happens.

18. The multiple levels of bureaucratic bullshit that you have to go through to get anything done if you ever have an issue with anyone, literally anyone. Companies, utilities, government, doctors.

It all seems to be set up to make it the most excruciatingly painful experience in the fricken world to get anything done and no one is ever held accountable. You spend hours on the phone, you send in form after form, you get directed to the wrong people to help you get something done, you waste so much dam time running in circles and getting madder and madder. But if you go into your job and act that way, they fire your ass.

19. The way your body seriously begins to break down. Every morning, it’s something new. and being exhausted all the time.

20. Lack of sleep. I get about 5-6 hours now, just odd. No reason other than time to get my wits about me.

21. The funerals. I had been to plenty of funerals in childhood. I’ll never be prepared.

22. Looking back at the past, unable to relive the great moments and unable to change the bad ones.

23. Realizing my decisions, actions, and opinions directly impact this small person I made. It’s terrifying.

24. Interviewing for jobs that I don’t really want.

25. Too much responsibility. I feel scared to be honest. I feel scared to be the leader. I always looked up to my parents and trusted them with all their decisions. I don’t want to believe that some day, I will be more capable than them, and that I’ll have to be the one to be the leader.

26. The endless, endless, ENDLESS expenses. Surprise expenses, too. Like the steering of my car suddenly conking out, or my bed randomly breaking, or my car catching fire, or my dressing table stool leg falling off, or someone reversing into my car and fleeing… (All happened – my car is cursed).

27. You can major in what you love, sure, but that doesn’t mean it will pay the bills.

28. Initially I wasn’t prepared for being the driver in a world full of shitty drivers. I’d always been the passenger. Some form of metaphor there, I think.

29. Disappointment. When I was younger, I didn’t care as much about others and why they were the way they were and how it affected me. Now I’m disappointed by nearly everything. That I’m not as successful as I’d like to be, that I don’t have many friends, that the friends I do have aren’t that great, that I’ve been forcibly separated from the person that makes me happiest.

Life is disappointing.

30. Sleeping “wrong” is a thing now. Didn’t see that one coming.

31. The fact that very few people actually end up doing what they like for a living. That most of our childhood dreams are more dreams now then ever and that doing your best isn’t always enough to achieve them. Knowing that mom isn’t very Happy with how her life turned out, that dad also feels the same, that I’m not studying what I love and will be doing something else… I don’t know how to deal with this pattern.

32. Price of groceries.

33. The fact that my progress in life, emotional, mental and physical, is completely and wholly my responsibility. No one really pushes you to do the right thing – it’s ridiculously daunting.

34. Laundry. The chore that is literally never finished.

35. How tired I would be. All. The. Time.

36. Having to figure out how to bolster yourself, inspire yourself and reward yourself. As kids, we get parents, teachers, etc who (hopefully) encourage us, praise us for achievements, celebrate with us. You grow up and half the time your declaration of “hey, I did a good job with (whatever)” is met with an eye-roll or variations of ‘oh, did you want a cookie?’ I try to celebrate things and if I hear something good, no matter how insignificant it might seem to most people, has happened for someone else, I congratulate them or cheer them on. It just sucks that I don’t know more people who react the same way.

37. Very few people care about you as much as you think they do. It’s a catch 22 though. You spend more time around the people who matter and less around the bad influences but it’s still a big shock realising how small your world really is.

On the bright side, you learn to love Mum and Dad even more once you have kids. It puts things in to perspective

38. Realizing your friends from childhood/college/high school/ whatever really don’t have much in common with you except a few fading memories.

39. Having to book my own dentist appointments and tell them what I need done. Have yet to do that, since now I also have to pay for them myself? Really?

40. Owning a home.

I’ve been living under some unique circumstances that resulted in me actually owning my house, which is rare for someone my age.

It’s a nightmare. Not enough money to keep it properly maintained, not enough time to worry about maintaining it.

41. Taxes, insurance, saving for retirement, etc. The US education system does not prepare children and teens for the fine details of being an adult.

42. Not being able to go to bed at 3 in the morning and remain healthy/employed.

43. Waking up super early… everyday.

44. Your path to independence is filled with a loss of people. There are people you sincerely care about that will just disappear because of distance and growth in different directions. When I was a kid, I was afraid of losing everyone to death just because that was such a set out end. Now, I’d say the older people in my life that I’ve maintained friendships kinda just sail off into the sunset and its a good final resolution.

People my age though, it just sometimes feels like whatever connection we had became meaningless overnight. You can contact them all you want, try to fight for it as you can, but that’s gone.

45. Marrying and having kids with the wrong person can ruin your life.

46. That I needed to learn to think a few years ahead all the time. Not like, have a Five Year Plan, but just getting my head around how long it takes to make changes that stick, and how that happens more easily if I’m in the habit of thinking, what do I hope to be doing in 2022?

It’s harder to get spun up in useless daily shit if somewhere in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “Pretty soon this particular thing I’m thrashing over will not matter to me at all.” Which almost ALWAYS turns out to be true.

I was in a class once where the theme was, “if you’re not working on your own plans, you’re working on somebody else’s.” We had to do this exercise where we imagined a future version of ourselves in excruciating detail. What was the room like where we woke up. Who was with us, if anyone. What clothes did we put on. Did we go to a job? How did we get there? What did we do there? Etc, etc.

It was kind of eye-opening, in the sense that it made me realize this imaginary future me wasn’t going to just spring whole and fully formed out of a date on the calendar. It was an exercise in values, really.

Worth doing thirty five years ago, and still worth doing now that I’m looking at how to spend the last 20 or so that are (if I’m lucky) still ahead.

47. Things that used to be easy like staying skinny or drinking 8 beers then waking up at 6 AM become more difficult. You will have to start worrying about things like your blood pressure and your fiber intake.

48. Not having someone to help you when you’re sick really sucks.

The first time I got an ear infection so bad that it gave me vertigo. I made it to the bathroom before I threw up but missed the toilet, and I couldn’t just crawl back into bed and sleep it off. I had to clean it up first, because there was nobody there to clean it up for me.

49. Poop conversations. Growing up adults always admonish you to not talk about poop. Then you have two kids and a dog and poop comes up all the time.

50. Realizing that time does in fact fly by. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.