Every generation seems to think they have it harder than others. We all also tend to reminisce about the best things of our youth, tutting at those who didn’t get to experience what we did. For the most part, though, each generation comes with its own set of setbacks and struggles. Here, people share what sucks about being in their age group.
At my age, I sort of feel one of those, "Before you know it, you'll be my age, boy" kind of things. I turn 29 this year and just realized a year or two ago, wow. Where has life gone? It feels like I should still be in my first year of college or just graduating. Whereas six years as a 12-year-old is like an eternity.
Once your friends start getting married and having children of their own, things can get very lonely for you. It doesn’t help when you move 3000 miles away from anyone and don't know people in your new town. Especially now since I can't even socialize with new people and I've made very few legitimate friends out here.
I’m in my mid-to-late 20s. I've kind of gotten a handle on feeling like I’m not accomplished enough by remembering my parents grew up in a very different world. My mom already had two kids by the time she was my age. I am nowhere near mentally prepared for that nonsense. You can only measure you today against you yesterday. Even a modicum of improvement is progress! There are certainly times when that progress is putting on pants and doing the laundry when you really don't want to.
The early 30s is that weird age where you're just old enough to be out of touch with what's cool, but not yet old enough to be fully progressed in your career. You’re also not really at a time where you’re able to sit on enough stacks to not care about anything in your life. Well, hey. At least I’m kind of getting there.
I'm not sure if this happens with all people my age, but I'm 18. People (specifically my parents and close family members) will use the, "You're 18, you're legally an adult you need to be doing these things on your own" whenever it will work in their favor. They then immediately go back to, "You're still just a teenager" whenever I try to be even the slightest bit independent.
I'm 29. Five couples from my friends’ circle are expecting a child or recently got married, a few others have built a solid foundation in their career and are buying houses. Meanwhile, I'm currently a student and broke. It feels like everyone's so far ahead in life that they'll always be a step further and I'll never catch up.
Being retired, there are two things that really suck. One is watching good friends pass away yearly. The second is having to push through the aches and pains of old age to do the things you enjoy. But I realize that I'm luckier than many of my friends who have had hip, knee or shoulder replacements or open-heart surgery.
The worst part is that your mid-20s feels like where you make it or break it. Some of my old friends are absolutely killing it, making six-figure salaries, have houses, nice cars, pets, all that. Meanwhile, here I am scraping by, feeling like a complete failure because I took way longer to take life seriously and get through school. Now I’m way behind on the corporate ladder and feeling like I really messed up somewhere.
No one has their stuff together. Literally no one. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just lying to you to save face. I'm married, can afford my living, and have my desired career. I still don't even have my stuff together. I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing with my life at this point. I've just been stupidly lucky.
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I'm 17 and legally own my own DJ business. The problem is that most people won't take me seriously because I'm not an adult. However, they’ll instantly get on me if I do anything wrong because it "wasn't responsible." Jesus, I pay actual business insurance and have a separate business bank account. Calm down.
I'm too old to take up most action sports. At this point, my body doesn't bounce back like it used to, which is definitely real. I’m also too young to retire and just do what I want all the time. That said, I’m still active. It's just that now for one day of activities, I need two or three days of recovery. That makes Saturdays great but Mondays suck.
When I was late teens to mid-20s, I used to make fun of my dad for not being able to read small print. He would ask me, "Steve. Read that for me, it's too blurry." I’d come out and say, “What's the matter? So old that your eyes can't make out small print?” His reply would always be, "You just wait. Get to be my age and you’ll have the same trouble."
Well 15 or so years later, I had some blueprints out on the table and had some details I couldn't make out. I then called my son over and asked him to tell me what it said. No word of a lie, my son's reply was, “You’re getting too old. You can't read that?" That moment took me right back to the conversation with my dad.
Being 21. I constantly feel the pressure to save money before I move out on my own (bills, rent, textbooks, tuition, etc.) I went to community college, paid tuition, and lived at home. I’m also still very hormonal despite not being a teen anymore. I’m aroused and depressed all the time. Hey, at least I can drink.
I’m 18 and it’s like you're too young to do things because everybody finds you to be a stupid child. Nobody pays attention to your opinion. You just exist, you don't live. That's terrible for a person like me because I want to do stuff. I want to work, to study the things I like, and talk with older people. But that's difficult.
I never understood the, “you don’t have any problems, you don’t pay taxes or have a job” mentality. No, I don’t have a job, but ever since I was in fourth grade I’ve been pressured to plan for one. Just when I was finding out my interests, school started taking up all my time with trigonometry and English papers. No, I don’t have financial burdens, but I know the value of a dollar. You’ve taught me how the world works, now teach me how my overly emotional, hyperactive, confused mind works.
I have a perfectly clean driving record and over six years of never missing an insurance payment, but the monthly insurance bill is more than my car payment. I've been to 15 different places. It all ranges from 200 to 350 a month and I’ll lose my license if I can’t afford it. I could lose my car, my job, and my apartment.
Nearly 60, and I forget things all the time. It’s easy to remember old things, but hard to remember new things. I once lost my card in an ATM twice in one month. All my passwords have to be written down somewhere, as do the birthdays of my kids. I constantly get fatter, even though I don’t eat anymore. I haven't had regular sleep patterns for 20 years. Every day, I'm a little more tired.
The panic is beginning to set in about what I'm going to do with my life. I also can't stop looking back on decisions I've made that drastically altered my life for the worse. I'm not old, but I'm at an age where I'm wondering what I'm going to do with the years I have left. Recently, I wrote out a 10-year plan for where I want to get to because my entire endgame is to end up with a smile on my face in the later years of my life.
Not a physical thing, but more of a psychological enlightenment. I’m in my 30s, just now realizing how hard being an adult is and everything my parents did for me to succeed. At my age, they already had two young kids running around. Meanwhile, I sometimes forget to buy dog food and don't know how to do my taxes.
I’m old enough to get drafted, go to an adult jail, take out loans, get a credit card, buy a house, buy a car, and also live on my own. Until the FDA updates the rules later this year, I’m also at an age where I can indulge in certain things. Yet, I can’t share a drink with my parents. The United States really does have some super weird laws.
I’m 35 years old. I don’t have any children of my own. I caught the baby fever in my late 20s, but mother nature was not on board. While I'm okay with the fact that I won't ever have biological children, being one of the only females my age without kids can feel kind of isolating at times. Not all the time, but often enough.
Being 14, you’re really confused. You'll move on to high school and there’s a sense of your childhood slipping away and all of it will disappear. I couldn’t even get a farewell to my friends and my graduation in middle school. You feel a sense of completeness when you graduate, but because of the crazy world, I didn’t even get that.
I’m extremely old, the kind of old that has extended well beyond the lifespans of my family and friends. I don’t understand the world quite like I used to, despite my best efforts to stay informed and use sites like Reddit. It’s just me in this old house, which has become a repository of useless antiques, outdated technology, and distant memories.
21 here. I think what sucks about being this age is that it can be easy to compare yourself to your friends' success. Some people my age own a home, are married or have kids. Others got a degree or own a successful business. A few barely work and stay at their parents’ house and play video games all day, or got addicted. So for being the same age, everyone I know is on such a wildly different stage of life and it's hard not to say, “I can do better.” Oh, and I can't rent a car.
I’m in my early 30s. I start to feel what other women before me have referred to as “becoming invisible” and I think it sucks. I’ve never been remotely hot, but I was able to get out without makeup or hair that was anything but brushed and still feel normal. I’ve had a couple of more stressful years and I can see I look significantly older now than I did four years ago. Now I realize that I make people more impatient, without myself acting differently than I was before. People are less friendly too. I noticed it's not the same when I put on makeup and try to look nice.
I don't totally understand what's going on, but that concept of middle-aged women becoming invisible makes more sense. You don't look young enough to be cute, you're not a mom with cute kids, and you're not a MILF or a friendly old lady. So, you're pretty much useless. I'm starting to get why some women get botox around my age!
I’m almost 35. The perfect first-person shooter will always be Goldeneye 007. I couldn’t care less about Fortnite and Call of Duty. I'm always going to be a Nintendo fanboy and most of the popular stuff on the radio sucks. I miss the ‘90s and some of the ‘80s. I have enjoyed showing my kids old school video games and the movies I grew up on. I feel young and old at the same time.
27 here. Honestly, it's a pretty good age. I've got a career I'm working on and just bought a house. I’m thinking about preparing for the future even though I wish I did earlier, but there's still plenty of time. The only bad thing is having to give myself the drive to achieve. It really does take a constant reminder and is so easy to ignore. I need to remind myself to lay bricks every day and work towards bettering and educating myself.
Being a teen is awful. You’re almost old enough to be independent and make your own decisions but not quite there yet. It’s especially hard when you have ADHD, anger issues, learning disabilities, social anxiety, PTSD, OCD, PPD, and mild schizophrenia. So nobody trusts me. Not my teachers, students, the general public, etc.
I experience constant bullying and people disregarding my mental health. Everyone looks at you and treats you like Quasimodo. Nobody has ever been physically attracted to me and it makes me feel so worthless and disgusting. My mom doesn’t believe me about most of my issues because I try to mask it when I’m around her. I hate my life and I wish I was never born.
You never really notice this until it's gone. As a younger man, I would get longer glances from women. They were the "check this guy out" looks you’d expect when a woman considers you eligible. Even if she decided to reject you, you still get that slightly longer glance. Now, I get the super short glances one expects when a woman is simply trying to avoid bumping into you. It's the same glance that inanimate objects get. Each time, I'm reminded that I'm no longer considered worth considering.
Late 20's here. Housing prices rose as I tried saving for a down payment to buy a house. I didn’t have enough savings or income when houses were cheaper. Now I'm debating when to pull the trigger to buy since I don’t know if my city's market will go up or down. We might go up if more people come here from NYC, California, etc. since a lot of companies have remote employees anyway.
I’m 32 and I've been out of college for a decade, working a boring IT job. None of my dreams of being a successful musician are going to come true and I'm rapidly approaching the "burnout" phase. Every day is the same boring routine and I'm not yet at peace with the fact that my generation has had its hay day. Now, a new batch of youngins gets to be deluded about how rich and successful they'll be.
I’m a teenager. In my opinion, people treat you like a person who’s fundamentally disrespectful towards others and therefore treat us like we're unimportant. Half the things we say or do are irrelevant. Stereotypes about us such as we're angry, moody, unappreciative and idiotic never fail to bother me. It just sucks because even the ones who have courtesy towards others are treated the same way.
I’m 32 and I’m too old to fit in with the younger crowds. It feels, and is, creepy anyway. But, I'm too young to fit in with the older crowds. They'll laugh me out of the room with gems like, "You think you're old? Just wait until you're my age." On top of that, I'm just plain bored of my mates. I don't like breweries or painting stupid still life while drinking, nor do I collect broken down dogs or go concerts or museums.
19, male, USA. I’m legally an adult under federal law. I can vote (both just state and national elections), but my home state doesn’t actually recognize me as an adult until 21. I can enlist in the military, but can’t drink. I can own a car, but I can’t rent one until I’m 25. I’m still technically a teenager, but I’m also an adult. I’m supposed to have my life together, but I’m also supposed to have no idea what I’m doing. Hooray for young adulthood.
I’m a 33-year-old woman with intense baby fever. I’m not sure when it happened, but it must just be a hormonal thing. Sometimes I just sit and look at adorable photos and picture what my future kids will be like. Other times, I’m perfectly content to pour another glass of wine while I do nothing for the next four hours.
I'm 19 and honestly I'll take early adulthood over my teenage years any day. It's hard to feel like I'm alone for the first time. I worked through high school and I have good financial skills, but I don't know everything there is to know and it's easy to make mistakes when you're young. I feel like I'm at an age where most of my friends don't have to work while they're in school and any new challenges that come with adulthood are made easier by the support of parents and family.
That hasn't necessarily been the case for me and it comes with a lot of frustration. My friends tell me to just take the semester off work, my parents just tell me to Google anything I don't understand because they don't want to help. I'm expected to hold myself up. With everything I’m dealing with on my own, it has been a very lonely process.
I'm at that transitioning stage of seeing my parents get the physical signs of being older. I see full grey roots on my mother, who used to constantly dye her hair. My father’s starting to have trouble walking from back pain. Seeing them finally become old, not just older, hurts. I still have no idea what I'm doing in life either.
Despite staying in shape, stuff starts breaking down at around 30. Things you used to do without a second thought now lead to stiffness and soreness. You go to sleep tired and wake up tired, stuff starts popping and cracking when you bend your joints, it goes on. The scariest thing is all the old heads who tell you it just gets worse… and worse… and worse. Too old to be young, but too young to be old.
I'm 30. Life is getting really serious, but simultaneously less fulfilling. I miss when buying a new video game filled me with excitement for at least one whole day, maybe longer. Now my partner and I are saving for a house and starting to plan our wedding. And I mean, yeah. They're both good things and I want to do them, but like... they aren't exciting.
For the first time in my life, I have enough disposable income to buy a new video game almost every week, but because I can afford it so easily, my standards are so much higher. I just can't get excited anymore. Getting older is just watching the world become gradually more safe and bland. Happiness is less about enormous peaks and unhappy valleys, it's about maintaining a steady, moderately high baseline. And it's boring.
At 41 years old, being married for 18 years with two kids, people still calling me a “young man” sometimes. It’s always from people in their 50s, who somehow think I'm still not an adult compared to them. And of course, the ever-present insults from anyone 20 something or younger: "Wow, you’re so old.” Okay, thank you.
I'm 65 and I've been very lucky. So, the main thing that sucks is that I've finally learned how fast time passes and how finite my supply is. It sucks that as I've gotten smart enough to see the abundant opportunities around me, I have to prioritize and decline so many fun possibilities and jobs because there's just not enough time left.
When you're trying to provide solid advice that you've learned the hard way over five decades of life and all you get is, "Okay, boomer." Also, all the ways you didn't take care of yourself over the years catch up with you. All that sassy, know-it-all nonsense you used to spew years ago when you thought you were so smart and nothing could hurt you knocks you in the dirt. When you're 20, even if you're highly intelligent, you're still going to be stupid in several ways.
High school freshman here. I would say the worst part about being that age is not being able to fit into your classes. Especially when you’re in advanced classes with upperclassmen. Also, the fact that you need to start acting more mature when in high school, which sucks. I guess the hormones and social standings within the school also suck.
I turn 28 next month and I got my first grey hairs here recently. I'm starting to feel just old enough to be out of touch with about half of pop culture, but young enough that the older people in my workplace still don't take me seriously. It sucks because I’ve been at my job for four and a half years and am a supervisor.
I’m 42 and making more money than I ever have before. I hold advanced degrees and have a high-powered job. I have two lovely daughters and an amazing son. I live in a nice house in a good neighborhood and spent my birthday evening with awesome friends. But, I feel too old to revisit the paths not taken and too young to regret them.
I’m 40 and starting to feel like I have a better grip on how to live my life. I’m not rich but I don’t panic about food or rent all the time. My son is headed to college. I’m saving up to buy a house. I eat a better diet and exercise regularly. But, my body is falling apart. My eyesight changed almost overnight, my hair is thinning and going gray. Everything hurts all the time.
I have to work too much and have no real free time. I finally don’t care so much about what my body looks like or that my chest point to the floor, but I don’t care about relations anymore. It’s really just not worth much anymore, I would rather get the sleep. I feel like the romantic stuff is for the youngsters. Mostly, I’m waiting patiently for grandkids because I would love to have a baby around but I don’t want to risk getting a messed up one.
I’m nearing 60 and I miss being able to run. Not walk, not jog, but really run like when I was a kid. I miss running to catch a flyball or play an intense game of pickup basketball. Sometimes I get sad because I can’t remember the last time I did either of those things. I know there was a last time but I didn’t realize it at the time. I would’ve savored it more.
I’m 27 years old right now. I’m married to the love of my life, bought a house last year and me and my husband are even trying for a baby. But when I look around, I see that every single one of my friends is still single and dating and partying. I like my life choices, but sometimes I do feel like I’m missing out.
I'll be 60 years old next month and I don't mind being this age for the most part. I have travelled some bumpy roads to get this far, but I'm still alive! I appreciate the simple things and all the fun I had getting here, too. The thing that sucks, though? I wish I had started saving for retirement earlier. That's about it.
Not being taken seriously or respected. I’m a 22-year-old mom to a six-month-old baby girl. I have the hardest time getting people to respect my rules and boundaries with her. It’s never the people my age I have to worry about, though. It’s the older generations. I understand that they did things differently and that those ways worked for them.
But if I choose to do something else, I expect that to be respected. It’s so frustrating to have to tell my parents not to give my six-month-old Dr. Pepper, sweets, etc. I’m not clueless. I appreciate the advice given to me, but I may not always use it. I just wish that my wishes as a parent were actually respected.
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