1. The world won’t wait for you.
“This is a bit of a weird one and I’m not sure how relatable it is, but when I got older, I realized the world wouldn’t wait for me. That I didn’t just have an endless amount of time to get my shit together. There would be no miracles and I would actually have to do something because no one was going to do it for me. The world isn’t fair and won’t wait until I’ve achieved whatever my ‘purpose’ is before I die. That seems obvious but it took me awhile to really get it. I guess I’m still working it out but I’m glad I’ve realized it at least…even if it’s kind of depressing, because I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time just waiting for things to work out on their own with minimal effort on my part.”
2. Your friends will drift away.
“Realizing that making and keeping friends is extremely hard. People drift apart pretty easy.”
3. You will be lonely.
“Loneliness. As a kid there was always someone around or someone who would be around soon be it a sibling or a parent or a classmate or someone. You weren’t left completely unattended for any significant period of time. As an adult, I can go weeks without talking to anyone about anything not work related. I wake up alone, go home to an empty house at the end of the day and am left to my own devices to deal with any problems that may arise in my life with no support system.”
4. The long slog never ends.
“The long slog.
It seemed when I was young there was always a half term around the corner, and a long holiday period on the horizon. I new my scheduled school hours, and there was no deviation from that. Now that I’m an adult, I often don’t know when my next holiday is. I just have to head into work, day after day after day after day with no tangible end in sight. Not only that, but the predictability of my schedule is totally out of the window. I’m at work right now, and I’m not very busy, but for all I know, something will come up and I’ll be in the office an extra couple of hours. The slog is even worse than that though. When I was in school, there was always a finish line off in the distance. The end of school. The beginning of a new chapter. There is no such end now. Or at the very least there’s no way to see it. I might be doing the same work for the next 70 years. I have no idea. I can’t see the end anymore, and I just have to keep going until I die.”
5. There’s never enough time.
“Balancing life in general. Between working full-time, maintaining a healthy romantic relationship, eating healthy, staying active, having to go grocery shopping, paying the bills, all while having to stay in contact with close friends and family….Sometimes it just doesn’t feel like there’s enough time in life!! That’s why it’s so important to prioritize but it’s difficult, nobody really prepares you for the fact that you will inevitably lose friends, that you’ll probably gain a bit of weight, that you’ll have struggles with work-life balance, etc.”
6. Most of your ‘free’ time will be spent doing errands.
“Exactly how much time would be spent doing ‘errands’ 70% of the weekend is dedicated to food shopping and laundry. Why did no one warn us?”
7. You will dread waking up every day to a meaningless existence.
“The dread of waking up every day to a meaningless existence, everyday going to a job where my time, my most precious resource, is mortgaged just so I can survive. The dread of knowing that I will have to continue this rat race my entire life, each day feeling worse and worse as my body and mind ages and becomes weaker and more frail. And as I age, death, oblivion, ceasing to exist, marches ever closer.”
8. The time will come when you realize you will die someday.
“That the time will come that you will have buy life insurance, make a will, and create your own funeral plans because you’ve hit 40 and come to the realization that you will die someday.”
9. You will wake up one day and you realize there is no reason for you to be there.
“Purpose. You wake up one day and you realize there is no reason for you to be there. The fact that you exist is a fluke and there is no knowledgeable goal to your existence. You didn’t ask for it yet you got to get an education, a job, pay bills, act nice, do your routine over and over until you retire, slowly degrade until you croak at seniors home and maybe you have people that cared enough to say a few nice things at your funeral. That’s it.
And if you think that’s weird and if you don’t want it then you’re the one with a mental illness or branded as an outsider. You have to participate even though nobody ask if you if you even wanted to start this game. Finding meaning and purpose knowing that is hard and no one is telling any of this in school. It’s all: ‘because God,’ ‘because you have to an adult.’ ‘because you have to find happiness,’ or simply ‘because.’ It’s all pursuit of meaningless things and occasional happy moments in the hopes that tomorrow will be better. Like if you don’t know that it’s just going to be more of same, again and again.
Or maybe I’ve been unemployed for too long.”
10. You get ahead by kissing ass or being related to someone.
“Everything is about politics. When you have a job, your workplace is run just like the government. People get jobs they don’t deserve by being a kiss-ass or related to someone, the people that work the best/hardest are unappreciated and nothing comes without a price.”
11. There’s no ‘getting over it’—you learn to live with it.
“Death of a loved one I’ve dealt with my wife and sister dying, cancer in both cases, my sister took 4 years, my wife 3 months My advice to others based on my exp:
- There was no ‘getting over it’—you learn to live with it.
- Be close to family if you can, they can help more than you know 2b. Remember the people that were there for you, that is a friend
- Don’t beat yourself up—I went through a period wishing death had taken me, not my wife.
- It’s OK to cry.
And if you are going through this, good luck my friend, I don’t know you but I’ve walked that road and you are not alone.”
12. You can’t do whatever you want; instead, you have to do what you need.
“You can do ‘whatever you want,’ meaning you now have to figure out what the hell you need to do rather than getting told, and then make yourself do it.”
13. Your parents will one day be like children to you.
“Looking after older parents/loved ones when they lose their independence.”
14. Food is expensive and spoils quickly.
“How expensive food is and how quickly it goes off. I swear my mum did one big shop on a Friday night and her fruit and veg just lasted long enough for that week. I buy a few bananas and within a couple of days they are starting to go brown. Also don’t get me started on the price of cheese.”
15. Adulthood brings constant worrying.
“Just the constant worrying about shit. Even in college I had good grades and the dumb idea that everything was going to be fine, just be cool to people, work hard and despite some issues stuff gets done. Fuck that.
Adult working life for me thus far given me a constant sense of impending collapse. Then ratchet it up 10x when you have a baby. That fear of: ‘I cannot fail or my baby will starve.’ really gets to you after a while.”
16. Some people are awful.
“Dealing with manipulative people.
My family is (thankfully) sane. My social circle in school went through ups and downs, but was generally sane.
My first girlfriend as an adult, later my wife, is a manipulative narcissist. It took me years to get a handle on my reactions to her drama before I could really control my own life.”
17. Your paycheck may barely cover your bills.
“When you pay all your bills on payday and then realize you have nothing left.”
18. The mob rules, and the mob is stupid.
“Tyranny of the majority.
In school, if you got a question right that most of the other people got wrong, you were praised for being smart.
In real life, if everyone else around you believes something wrong, it simply becomes right.”
19. You will be constantly anxious that something will go wrong.
“Having anxiety about something going wrong in your life, and being too anxious to actually get it checked.
i.e. My computer keeps turning itself off randomly, and I’m too afraid to get it checked cause there might be something wrong with the computer that I can’t fix, and I’ll have to spend a lot of money to get it fixed, and it is reminding me that I need to go to the doctor which will cost even more money, and I need to go to the dentist, and when was the last time I took my car in, does it need a tune-up? what happens if something breaks in my car, too? I’ll have to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for repairs.
It makes me want to hide in a ball and just ignore it and hope it all goes away.”
20. It’s hard to reach the bare minimum.
“How fucking hard it is to reach the bare minimum.
My life goals were always (I thought) pretty reasonable. I wanted to work a job with a consistent schedule, buy a house and get a dog. That’s just what people do, and it couldn’t be that hard. Boy, was I wrong.
I am now 30 with two kids, neither of which live with me full time. I’ve been through a divorce (got married at 20, divorced at 23), dropped out of college because I had no idea what i was doing and had no one to turn to for support. I’ve been homeless on and off throughout my adult life, and I now live in subsidized housing. And it feels like a massive step up. This terrible shithole apartment that is way too small and gross that is full of absolutely crazy, trashy people is the biggest blessing in my life.
This is not where I saw myself when I was a kid. I know I’m not stuck here forever, but damn, it’s been a long road just to get here. I’m tired.”
21. A house needs CONSTANT cleaning.
“That a house needs CONSTANT cleaning. Like, you can’t just wait until it’s messy and do it all in an afternoon. You need to put in an hour or so every day, or just accept your fate and die under a pile of garbage.”
22. You’re working harder than your father for less comfort.
“That, at your 30s, you have a job that’s twice the pay grade of your father’s job at his 40s and yet you can’t afford half the comfort he could provide you when you were a teen.”
23. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Forever.
“When I was in my 20’s, the thing I really noticed was the repetitiveness. You do the dishes, cut the grass, wash the car, pay the bills … and no matter how well you did them, you’ll just need to do them all over again. And again.”
24. You will feel insignificant.
“Feeling insignificant. As an adult nobody has to monitor you, supervise you, lead you, guide you. You can get forgotten and disregarded.”
25. Life never stops.
“The fact that life never stops. There is always something to do. There is always something to worry about. Whether it’s needing an oil change, needing to call your insurance company, having to hang out with people you don’t really want to, oh now my car’s making a funny noise, my girlfriend’s grandma’s in the hospital, my tooth suddenly hurts. Deep breath, I’ll do this after work, I got the weekend to take care of this, things will settle down. Great, I got it all taken care of, right? Nope, now I gotta figure out how to file taxes, need a haircut, my relationship is suffering, and it’s been 3 months—my car needs an oil change.”
26. No more summer vacation.
“The loss of summer vacation.”
27. You will experience profoundly painful life events.
“You, and everyone you know will very likely directly experience or bear witness to one or more profoundly fucking painful life events which demarcates your life into before and after they happened. There won’t be a fix for it, it’ll just be a thing that you get to live with and try your best to make your peace with.
I’m not even 30 and here are some that apply to me or to very close friends:
- Death of a parent
- Death of both parents simultaneously
- Double suicide in a family (daughter and then grieving father)
- Fatal medical problems like late stage cancer in yourself or someone you care about
- Permanent incapacity due to injury or illness
- Someone in your life goes missing
- A family member is murdered
Basically when one of these shitstorms or something like it lands on your doorstep, you’ll know what feeling unprepared feels like.
The worst part is consulting with people older than you and reaching an understanding that basically nobody is ready for the kind of shit life throws at you.”