Adulthood is here and I'm really not all that happy about it. Sure, there are tons of perks, like being independent and not having to hear my mom nag me about how there are clothes on the floor in my room, but there are tons of things that make being an adult not that cool. I don't want to say the phrase, "Adulting is hard," because I really dislike when people use the word "adult" as a verb, but I'll be real for a second: adulting is very hard.
There are a lot of things that I wasn't expecting and they seemed to hit me all at once. I'm now thrown into working all the time without ever seeming to see the paychecks that I am supposed to receive. I now have to cook my own food and I even have a favorite grocery store, so I know that I can save as much as I can. Television and movies sure made being an adult seem like a lot of cool, fun things happen all the time, but I'm so tired most days — I can't even imagine doing anything besides sleep at the end of the day. Who are these people who are going on vacation once a month because I would love to be that person.
23 Such Financial Expertise
In the world today, it feels like as a young adult, there really is no way to save mone; what with all of the student debt that everyone starts out with, along with all the other debt that accrues from not being able to handle that original amount of debt. Just add in the fact that a bunch of young people are now employed as contract workers and don't get benefits, and it's pretty clear on why people just aren't able to save for retirement anymore. Even so, there are a bunch of older people who did not experience this kind of financial climate writing lengthy articles about how people should have half of their retirement already saved by the age of 35.
Sure, that might have worked years ago, but life isn't how it was back in the '80s. Sure, people may quit buying their avocado toasts and drinking their Starbucks drinks to save a little bit of money here and there, but it's not going to amount to anything worthwhile, like a retirement fund or the down payment of a house. It's a sad state of affairs, but most people are just happy to have a savings account with $25 in it. It might not pay for retirement, but it will pay for a nice brunch and that's all that really matters.
22 Need That Safe Place
I used to have this job that I really disliked, like I could not stand it so much that I would typically use my break time to go into the bathroom to give myself a good cry for 15 minutes until I inevitably had to go back to work and experience Hell itself.
One might ask why I couldn't just hold in my frustrated tears until I went home so I wouldn't be bothering anyone if my sobbing got too loud, and I just have to reply to that by saying that nobody understands how hard that is to do, when the job is just that bad. Sure, there's money that comes out of the suffering, but at what real cost?
It's also pretty common in most workplaces to have an unwritten rule that nobody is to actually use the office bathroom for its intended purposes. All of that kind of business should be done at home because it's just kind of embarrassing; and while nobody should judge anyone about their bathroom time, everyone is judging everyone else. That being said, the bathroom is the best place to cry, and that's pretty much what its intended purpose is. They just need to sound-proof the walls and it would be a perfect crying space.
21 The Pinterest Lifestyle Costs
One of my dreams after graduating college was getting a little apartment somewhere in the city where it was all decorated in a matching theme. Considering that I still live in my childhood bedroom at my parents' house and still sleep on a twin bed, that hasn't happened for me yet.
There are all those shows about people struggling to make it in the Big City while working part-time jobs, and they have cute and spacious apartments with nice interior decorating but that's just not possible (I'm looking at you, Friends).
With the price of throw pillows and paint, there's no way of getting that home aesthetic before you've even gotten a job.
The reality is for most young adults that their first places are going to be decorated to the brim with a mixture of stuff from Goodwill and stuff that was hidden in your aunt's basement for 20 years. You could try and cut the cost of nice decorations to try and do them yourself from all those tutorials you pinned on Pinterest, but that would take too much time. It's inevitable: nice interior decorating isn't going to happen for a while so you should probably accept that your place will look like an '80s home catalog for a while.
20 The Curse Of Baby-Faced Adults
As someone in their early 20's, I'd like to think that I look like an adult but recently a lot of people have been saying that I look 19 years old, which to me, is slander. I did my time as a teenager, and I would love to put all of that behind me and be treated as the adult that I am. What I mean to say is, I love it until the moment that I'm carded to go see Deadpool 2, which is ridiculous because it should be very apparent that I'm over seventeen years of age and do not need a parent to accompany me into this film.
The other weird thing about having a youthful face as a young adult is that, depending on everyone else's mood, your perceived age can fluctuate so much.
One moment you're still a child but in another moment you've suddenly aged 25 years and have the wisdom of an old widow. People's ages really do fluctuate sometimes — I know people I graduated with who look like dads with middle schoolers and they're actually younger than me. Once you become an adult, though, age is really just a number. How can age really define anyone when some people the same age have kids, others are living with their parents, and others are still going to school?
Congratulations! You've now graduated school and are officially an Adult. Being an adult seems pretty cool, but before you can really do any of the cool adult stuff, you're going to have to find a job to get enough money to move out of your parents' house and pay those bills. This seems easy enough, since college is supposed to have prepared you with some sort of expertise and knowledge to get a job in the working world, but that simply isn't the case.
Going through all of the job postings out there, you would think that there's something available for you that is decent paying, decent work, and that you're qualified for but that is definitely not going to happen.
Somehow, "entry-level" has turned into "lowest paid job that still requires an unreasonable amount of experience to do menial tasks."
Everyone's talking about jobs but how is anyone supposed to get a job if they're supposed to already have had work experience right out of finishing school? That's like expecting a baby to do math right after it popped out of its mom. And then when you do find something that will work for you, the application makes you put in all the info on your resume... while also asking for an attached resume.
18 I Will Never Do This
There are some things that I will accept as a part of growing up, but even if this statement is true, I will never partake in such heresy. There is something so comforting about having a bed against a wall, it's like I'm snuggled up in a corner every night all cozy with a wall protecting me from the floor monsters. If I have my bed placed in the middle of the wall, that means that both sides of me will be fully exposed during the night. Sure, with a big enough bed that won't be a problem, but for someone who is still sleeping in a twin bed this is bad news.
My mother recently had the audacity to rearrange the furniture in my room when I was living abroad, only for me to come back and be mortified by the arrangement. Not only was there less room thanks to a corner table (my room is laughably small), but my bed was almost—but not—by a wall.
Apparently I can't put my bed right against the wall in this new set-up because it will "cover up the vent" but I would rather have no air conditioning circulate into my room than have to deal with this new bed set-up. Ever since, I haven't been able to have a decent night's sleep and I blame it all on the bed placement.
17 Busy, Busy, Busy
There are some perks to having independence, like being able to eat ice cream at any hour of the day or watching TV in the living room with no pants on, but there are some things that are not so great, like appointments. Every time I have to call someone to figure anything out, I wish I was back at being 12 years old and having my mom do it for me. Any time that requires some sort of interaction between strangers to get business done, is time that I don't want to have. Even if I'm getting charged $100-thousand on my credit card for something I never purchased, I'm going to wait until the last absolute second I have to resolve that issue because it requires talking to someone on the phone.
People say that this is a uniquely Millennial thing but I don't agree. I'm pretty sure there is nobody on the planet that enjoys making phone calls, especially to strangers.
Sure, back in the day calling a landline was the only way anyone was able to talk to their crushes on the weekend, but that's a bit different. Nobody has ever said, "Boy, am I excited to call that customer service representative. What a great part of any day!"
16 Follow Your Dreams (But Don't Actually Do That)
It's very common to be told as a youth that you should follow your dreams and all that jazz, but unless your dreams include sitting in a cubicle in a job that traditionally makes consistent money, then people are going to shut you down hard. The model of success for young adults doesn't make a lot of sense. It feels like going into tens of thousands of dollars of debt before even having a guarantee of being employed somewhere doesn't seem like the best financial decision, but that's the norm now.
A lot of adulthood at the beginning is just realizing that a lot of the advice you were given by other adults—up to this point—was wrong.
I mean, it's not a totally bad idea to go and learn something interesting at college, but things aren't the same as they were 30 years ago, so the older adults just don't know what it's like anymore. That is a lot of debt that we're all putting on ourselves and for what? Office jobs? Everyone's just over-working themselves to follow their passions and keep that day job, and it's not a good look on anyone. If only being an English major was seen as profitable in this culture, but alas.
15 Working Is Hard
Now that I'm an adult, I've found that I really can't handle stress—or any inconvenience—even though I have to deal with more of them. Being an adult basically means that everything is inconvenient and you're just supposed to deal with it, adapt, and move on, but that is just too hard to do. It's much easier to just give up, like this dog, at even the slightest change to your normal routine.
Life is supposed to work for you at all times, and when it doesn't, there's just no point in going on.
I feel like every adult, no matter how much they seem to be put together, emotionally gives up at least three times a day.
Everyone is so tired and full of caffeine that tolerance levels are low and the ability to handle stressful (and even objectively not that stressful) things is nonexistent. As an adult, there's no empathy that others will feel for you because they're also having to deal with things that are extremely inconvenient. Adulthood is basically just this ruthless world where everyone is dealing with annoying things on a daily basis but everyone has to keep it to themselves as to not bother anyone else. Because of this, everyone's just giving up all the time.
14 They Must Still Be Important
Not to brag, but I'm over a decade short of being 35 years old, but I still have managed to get that box of random cables that I refuse to throw out. I'm pretty sure that none of them actually do anything, and that most of them are interchangeable, but there's still no way of knowing for sure if these cables are important or not. I haven't used my DVD player in over six years, but I can't throw out the DVD player or the three different sets of cords that may or may not go with it because what if I need to watch a DVD at some point?
Now that everything is powered by a USB, we should all just throw away that annoying box of random cables because any piece of technology that is worth anyone's time doesn't require any of those cables. Somewhere in the box is probably a phone charger that is completely useless nowadays, and there's probably another phone charger in there as well since all phones back in the day charged differently. Things have changed and they're so much easier now. One cable is compatible with pretty much everything, so just dump that box at your local secondhand shop and be free.
13 Driving Isn't Fun Anymore
Back in the teenage years, especially when you live in the suburbs or in the middle of nowhere, driving is pretty much the only pastime there is. As a reckless teen, you don't really think about all of the factors that driving entails (like paying for gas and doing repairs) and you just think that you now have your license, so you can do whatever you want. As an adult, though, you think about everything that could go wrong with your car at any time because it now costs money — your money to be exact.
Having to deal with potholes is a uniquely American thing. They're there in the road and sometimes you can't avoid them, but they're always going to be there. And if you hit one just right, it might just take the back axel off completely.
When I was teaching in France, I tried to explain what a pothole was, and nobody knew the word for it in French because over there, those things just don't exist. They have roads that are smooth and are made out of some kind of material that doesn't make them instantly crumble. For us over here, though, potholes are more of a daily encounter and a game of chance.
12 Perks Of Being Old
One way to find out a person's age is to look at their birthday on their ID, but another similarly effective way is to see what pop-culture references someone knows. It's weird to me to think this, but knowing the Fresh Prince theme song does kind of prove someone's age.
Growing up, it was always on television so everyone knew the words, but now I'm pretty sure most high schoolers don't know it, or don't even recognize Will Smith outside of being the apocalyptic dad in movies.
This tactic is also very useful for those adults who do have a valid ID, but still look too young to be adults, so they have to prove that they are truly of age in some way or another. It's a hard life, having a baby face when you're 25 or something. It's so weird once you get older because for me, there's no way that I can tell someone's age. They could either be 22 or 32 and there's really no way to tell for a lot of people. On the other hand, there are some people who look like they're 45 right out of college and that's just a little unfortunate. At least those people probably get carded less, though.
11 Tired Is A Lifestyle
One of the things I noticed about adulthood is that I am literally always tired. No matter how much sleep I get, it's never enough and as soon as I wake up, all I want to do is go back to sleep.
A big part of my morning routine is feeling like someone (my alarm clock) has pulled me out from my grave and then lying in bed in a half-sleep daze thinking about how foul having to wake up feels.
It's even worse when I have to wake up so early that it's still pitch-black outside. I feel like it should be illegal to make people wake up before the sun comes out. It's just too rude.
The next part of my morning is freaking out that I've wasted so much time contemplating my life in my bed and that I will be late for work if I don't hurry. Then I have to rush to get ready and I look like a mess walking out the door. All of this would be avoided if I got out of bed right away, or even better I would go to bed at a reasonable time the night before, but that just isn't going to happen. Instead, I'll just be tired all day until it gets to bedtime and then I will be very awake — and the cycle continues...
10 Don't Let That Be You
It's true, one day you're a young'n who doesn't care much about where they buy their food and will just hop on over to the closest store and order delivery every day, and then suddenly you're a responsible adult who goes out of their way to shop at Aldi.
My parents conditioned me to always go to Aldi at a young age, when most people couldn't care less about grocery stores, and it has helped me save money when I inevitably over-buy groceries. Not to bash other grocery stores, but if Aldi can have all that fresh produce at reasonable prices, so should everyone else.
Having a favorite grocery store may be a good indicator that you're getting old, and more responsible, but don't worry quite yet. You aren't actually a verified old person until you start planning out your coupon usage before you even get to the store. Once you start avidly couponing to save that five cents on a can of beans, you know that you've truly become an old person and the cashier will forever dislike you for making them take the time to load in those coupons. As long as you're not trying to argue over expired coupons, you should still be fine, though.
9 It's Going Down Ever So Slightly
Another facet of adulthood that nobody likes to think about is debt. You think that you can live a debt-free life, but you actually can't. Even if you're fiscally responsible in every aspect of your life you're still going to have to put yourself in a little debt so you can get enough credit that someone will trust you to take a car loan out.
I don't know why that's the system they've got in place, but that's how it is. Most people, especially in their 20's, are not super responsible with their money and a lot of them will end up with a lot of credit card debt. I understand why, of course.
While you're using the card, it feels like you've got unlimited money, but the bill at the end of the month shows a different story.
Once the debt gets high enough, it feels like all you're doing is putting money down to pay the balance off, but the balance never gets any lower. It really does feel like putting one bucket of water into a giant forest fire. Let's not even get into student loans, which is a ton of debt that you're pretty much encouraged to get just to be qualified to get a job in the first place. Life is hard sometimes.
8 Playing The Waiting Game
When my grandma was my age, she already had like, three or four children, so she had to be way more responsible than I am right now. I mean, she didn't even finish high school but that's another story. To be a good mom and to make sure that all of her children's white clothes didn't turn suspiciously pink in the wash, she probably did multiple loads of laundry for all the different colors on day one of her laundry career. Nowadays, I don't have to worry about anyone looking bad except myself, and I honestly don't care enough.
Also, laundry technology has advanced quite a bit and they even make sheets and detergents that are meant to handle many different colors all at once.
I wonder at what point in time will I take the time to separate my laundry like you're supposed to. I feel like at that point, I will truly become a peak adult and will be more responsible in other aspects of my life. I can't see that happening anytime soon because I've got no time and nobody to impress, but maybe one day I will finally do it. My clothes will probably turn out better in the wash than they do now, but maybe it will be exactly the same and just a waste of time.
7 Nothing Feels Like The Scholastic Book Fair
Being older means that I have access to so many more things than I did as a child, but even with everything in the world at my fingertips, nothing feels like the Scholastic Book Fair did as a child.
I remember going to the fair with my class, with $10 in hand, and I was able to pick one book out. It was the best feeling. Even the kids who didn't really like reading that much were still pumped for when the book fair came to town. It was like a whole new world of possibilities just opened in front of everyone's eyes.
Now as an adult, I've learned that $10 can barely get you one cocktail, so it takes a lot more effort to find anything that you can enjoy.
Even books, when you go to a bookstore, are usually more than $10. What used to be such an easy way to escape from the hardships of elementary school life is not as easy when you're a grown up. We're all chasing for the same happiness we felt back in those days, but to no avail. Too many things like bills and life obligations get in the way of feeling joy.
6 Interior Design Is My Passion
When I was younger, I didn't really understand why anyone would enjoy watching a House Hunters marathon, but as an adult I totally understand. Once you become a person with a place of your own, home decorating becomes an inherent passion. There's always something that you would like to change or improve on your place, if you rent or if you are a homeowner. The one caveat to all of that is that nice home improvement costs a lot of money, so while redecorating may not be possible in your life, you can at least enjoy some of it secondhand on television.
While before trying to get that escape into a different world was done by watching action or fantasy movies, now all you need is some HGTV. Someone who doesn't understand the appeal of the home and garden television channel would probably think that shows about houses would be boring, but it is just the opposite. My favorite part of watching these house shows is watching all of the drama between the couples as they decide how to fit two very contradicting tastes into one house.
It's really amazing what people with money fight about. I wish that was my life at some point, but for now I'm just proud that I've got one throw pillow on my used couch.
5 It's The Little Things
Washing the dishes is one of the worst things, especially when you're washing dishes after a whole bunch of people. Growing up, dishwashing was the chore that I was assigned to every night and it was awful because whoever was cooking would just be the messiest cook possible, with 7,000 different pots to clean, all stacked in the sink. Even now when I'm only really washing the dishes for myself, it's still a chore that I would rather not partake in.
What's worse than washing dishes, though, is washing dishes with a nasty sponge.
Sponges get gnarly pretty quick but there is this point in a sponge's life that is completely irredeemable. No matter how many times you try to clean it or nuke it in the microwave, a truly old sponge will still be slimy and gross. It's pointless to try and save a sponge like that, so it's time to bring out a new sponge.
There's no question: washing dishes with a new sponge after having to use an old one feels so good. It's almost like a spiritual experience. The dishes are actually being washed and it doesn't feel like you're holding onto a square of bacteria. It's only a matter of time until the new sponge goes bad, but there are a few moments of euphoria before that happens.
4 Sounds Dark
They used to say that high school was the best days of your life, but everyone called BS on that pretty quickly. Then they used to say that your twenties are the best years of your life, but that didn't seem quite right because everyone is living with their parents until 26, so it can't be that great. Now the new thing is to say that your thirties are really where it's happening, but how true can that be?
I am not 30 years old yet, but what I have heard is that your thirties is the time when your body really starts not being able to handle a life of fun.
What used to be a normal weekend back in the day now requires three days of recovery. Your knees start to ache even when you're not doing anything. Sure, people are settling down later and later, but the dating pool when you're 30 is significantly smaller than what you would like. Everyone's on a diet and have taken carbs out, which used to be one of the small joys you could always rely on. I haven't gotten there yet, but I'm getting there considering that I do listen to a lot of true crime podcasts: the pastime of people who are getting old.
3 If Only That Was My Story
I try to avoid being a jealous person, but when other people are tooting their horn about how great their lives are on social media while I'm sitting in my childhood bedroom, I can't help but get a little bit salty. Some people are lucky and get successful right away while the rest of us just kind of suffer in this gig economy. Sure, most people who brag about this kind of thing on social media are probably compensating for something else, but they at least have something to brag about.
What's even more alarming are all the posts I see on my social media that involve people I know getting engaged to each other and even having kids.
Like, I'm the same age as these people and I have been on like, one date in my entire life, but they're off getting married, buying houses, and having babies.
We've been living for the same amount of years and they're really pushing ahead while I'm doing the opposite of that. It's not to say that I would even want that life or anything, but it still is kind of surprising to know that people your age are hitting those life milestones real quick.
2 That Darn Spatula
I've been getting more into cooking, mostly out of necessity but it's been good for me. I know how to cook maybe five dishes without too much trouble, and at least two of them involve cooking eggs. Needless to say, I love the spatula as a utensil. It allows me to flip the grilled cheese sandwiches that I'm so good at making.
Without a spatula, I honestly don't know how I would be able to cook half the things that I want to. It's such a useful thing. The thing is, spatulas may be helpful when cooking but they will betray you one way or another.
For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to put all of my cooking tools into one drawer that's a little too full for comfort, and that includes putting my spatula in there. Because of the way that this thing is shaped, it always jams up the utensil drawer almost every time I try to open it. When this happens, I have to dig my hand in there and try and make it possible to open the drawer fully. It's such an ordeal and I don't know why I don't just take my spatulas and put them in solitary confinement somewhere else.
1 A Dream Come True
Back when I was younger and things were easier, I loved hanging out with people so much. On the weekends, I was always doing something with a group of people and I really disliked alone time. Having plans be canceled on me were a bummer and totally uncalled for, but I usually was able to find something else to do that night. Now that I'm old, working, and tired, I don't really mind if plans are canceled. Everyone's tired, after all, and we would all just be complaining about work stuff anyways. Having plans is just another burden on the burden plate that is adult life, after all.
It does get a little bit lonely as an adult, though. Since canceling plans is the norm, it sometimes feels like I haven't seen anyone in months (probably because I haven't seen anyone in months).
It's hard to keep in touch with people while life is going fast, but it's worth it (at least every once in a while).
Even a homebody like me needs to be forced out on the town every once in a while, but everyone's just trying their hardest to have a Netflix night in every Friday night. Adulthood is very calm but sometimes very boring. At least when you're watching TV all night you won't wake up feeling like death--or at least that's not supposed to happen.