Who Is Rent? People Share The ‘Adult Problems’ No One Prepared Them For
When you were growing up, did you ever worry about being able to afford friendships? Did you value the power of a good nap? Did you ever fret over the fact that one day, no one would care about your hopes, dreams, and accomplishments? If you’re a normal human being, you probably didn’t do any of those things. Instead, you’ve likely been forced to navigate adulthood all on your own, blindly!
Sure, becoming an adult comes with a plethora of privileges that teenagers don’t have. However, it also comes with a ton of responsibilities that most people hardly prepare for. If you once had optimism for the future, you’re likely among the millions of grown-ups who spend every day wondering: does adulthood ever get any easier? Some of these overwhelmed adults shared their tales of woe over the grown-up issues that they never expected to deal with!
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#38 Family Recipes Are Everything
I wish my parents forced me to learn how to cook our family recipes. I definitely took my mom and dad’s cooking for granted. Now, as an adult, I feel like I’m just living off of Chinese takeout and simple meals from Tasty.
I should have taken more initiative to preserve our family recipes and learn how to make them so that my kids could experience the foods that I did growing up.
#37 A Degree Only Gets You So Far Nowadays
I wish I wasn’t raised on the belief that a university education guarantees a job. I know my parents meant well, but what may have been the case for them back then is definitely not the case now, for people in my generation. Because I grew up thinking a university education was all I needed to secure a future, I didn’t really plan out my academic path as well as I should have.
I ended up pursuing a degree in history, which is basically useless in today’s job market. If I had known better, I would have chosen a completely different program.
#36 Mom And Dad Won’t Be Around Forever
The importance of credit. Growing up, my parents literally took care of everything for me, financially. I didn’t have to work a part-time job or apply for my own credit cards because mommy and daddy were essentially my own personal bank.
It took a lot of growing up and maturing to get my life together after my parents were out of the picture. I love them, but I wish they prepared me better for that.
#35 Oh, The Steep Price Of Relationships
Making friends and connections without spending a fortune. As an adult, it always seems like I need to spend $60 for a monthly membership or $40 for a night out. It’s like a pay-to-play system.
#34 And This Is Why I Don’t Have Any Friends
Friendships are extremely fragile.
Doesn’t matter if you’ve been close for ten or more years. All it takes is a little bit of distance and maybe a change in occupation or schedule and boom. All of a sudden, you haven’t spoken in months.
Friendships require a lot more preventative maintenance when you’re an adult. If you want your friendships to last, you’re going to have to keep in touch and show that they mean something to you. Otherwise, they will fall apart sooner or later.
#33 Please, Don’t Ask Me About My Dreams
For me, it was reaching adulthood and still not having discovered my passion.
My peers and everyone else seem to have it all figured out. A lot of people are doing what they have known they needed to do all their lives. They’re writers, freelance actors, marketers, and teachers. They may be all over the spectrum, but they’ve all found the thing that gives their life meaning.
I feel like I’m in last place, still trying feverishly to unearth my “calling.” It’s a frustrating experience because time is passing in the blink of an eye, but I keep finding myself with no passion or ambition. Every day, I grow more fearful that I’ll live a meaningless life because nothing truly sparks me to feel alive.
They don’t tell you about the existential crises when you’re a kid…
#32 They Lied When They Said: “You Can Be Anything.”
Accepting that I can’t be whatever I want to be—I can’t be an athlete, I can’t be an astronaut, and I can’t be Spiderman. Honestly, the latter upsets me the most.
#31 I Guess Being Friendly Is Pointless
To be honest, loneliness.
When you walk down the street and say “Hi” to people, they just look at you like you’re a weirdo.
When you’re a child, people find it cute and endearing.
Nowadays, I get looked at like I just escaped from a mental asylum. It still doesn’t stop me though. I just get so much joy from it, and sometimes you can even meet some new friends.
#30 So College Degrees Aren’t A Golden Ticket To Work?
Exactly how hard it is to find a job.
When you’re a kid, jobs just seem kind of… inevitable. Like picking a character class in a video game or something. But man if it isn’t hard to get a bloody interview, nevermind an actual position.
#29 Don’t Worry; We’re All Way, Way Behind
“Adult things”. Even today (I’m almost 30), people my age know about permits for stuff and which institutions to go to for various problems. They know how to do bank things and understand what ‘value-added tax’ is or whatever it’s called in English, etc.
I always thought this was something you kind of pick up along the way, but I never did, and now it seems everyone else my age has all this knowledge stuff.
#28 Yeah, You’re Going To Screw Up A Lot
Failure. No one prepared me for failure as a former gifted student. I was so used to coasting on my intelligence and putting out minimal effort that the few times I’ve experienced failure or rejection, it has rocked me to my core.
#27 Please, Don’t Take Them For Granted
Realizing that your parents won’t be around forever. As a kid, you take it for granted that your parents will always be around.
It took me having a stroke to realize this. But now I spend as much time as I can with my parents because I know life is too short.
#26 Dang, How Much Does A Guy Gotta Make To Keep Friends?
Having to slowly cultivate your friend circle based on who you’re economically compatible with. There are friends I’ve lost because I can’t go on their out-of-country trips and expensive club outings, so they stopped inviting me, and there are friends I’ve had to stop seeing because they can never go anywhere or do anything. It’s a terrible situation, but I can’t seem to keep it from happening.
#25 What Is This, Middle School?
Bullying in the workplace and friend circles. When you think of bullying, you think of kids being bullies on the playground. You don’t really think it could happen in adulthood but it most certainly does, and it’s so much worse.
At least when you’re a kid, you (usually) have the option to go to an authority figure for help. But what happens when the authority figure is the bully or is aligned with them? It becomes so much harder to deal with.
#24 One Step Forward, So Many Steps Back
Every exciting milestone comes with a big adjustment and some unexpected setbacks. Buying a house? Be prepared to spend about double what you expected on furniture and repair projects. Getting married? Talk about an expensive way to find out all your family’s hidden hang-ups and issues (because they absolutely will emerge during your engagement period). Adopting a dog? Be prepared for hours of working with her to get into a comfortable routine.
Learning to roll with those unexpected setbacks and not let them ruin your excitement at achieving big milestones is tough to do.
#23 Yes, Money Becomes So Much More Complicated
Or maybe just money in general.
No one in my life properly prepared me to deal with money.
I made poor decisions in my 20s, and I’ve been paying for it ever since then.
I know what to do now, but I’m still in the process of crawling out from under the shadow of my past mistakes.
#22 A Woman’s Struggles Never End
How freaking impossible it is, for a woman, to find business-casual clothing that’s appropriate for an office setting but doesn’t make you look like you raided your grandma’s closet.
It’s especially tough when you need to also prepare for your office getting cold because you live in a climate that’s below freezing for half the year.
#21 Not Everyone Is Going To Mature With You
That your friends will grow up at a different pace from you. I have friends that are my age, but act anywhere between the range of “soccer mom” and “early college party kid.” Right now, I have no friends who I can truly, 100% relate to. Even the ones I grew up with. It’s bizarre!
#20 Oh Yeah, Children Complicate Life
Caring for a child.
We are incredibly happy to have him, but our social life has taken a hit. We went from going out at least two nights a week to max two nights a month.
There’s just so much stuff to do. Finding a babysitter is one thing, but you also have to pay her. Your nights out will always cost money, and it adds up.
But then you go to a petting zoo with him on a Sunday, and you see him laugh at the silly goats, and you know he is the most amazing thing ever!
#19 The Stress Never, Ever Ends
The stress of life. The stress of your job, the stress of not having a job. The stress of social gatherings, and the stress of not going. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to the point of making you roll up into a ball and hide from the world.
#18 You Think You’ve Got A Handle On Things? Think Twice
I’ve never really gotten my life together, but neither have a lot of other people.
Over the years, I’ve gotten to know several people in pretty high positions who you’d think have it all figured out. However, in reality, they’re struggling like heck to keep their head above water, just like me.
On the one hand, it’s comforting, and on the other, it’s disappointing.
#17 Man, What I’d Give For Some Motivation
Your youth is a very automatic stream of progress—you get older, you graduate classes, you eventually finish school, study something, learn a trade, etc. Once that’s over, many people (especially at my age) feel overwhelmed from the fact that auto-progression is over now.
I’m not even suggesting that this means you need to set your sights on advancing your career further and further (the most miserable people I know are the ones who focused heavily on their careers), but that you need to learn to deal with the fact that there will come the point when opportunities just won’t fall into place for you. You’re going to have to pick up the pieces and put them in place yourself.
#16 We All Know There’s Nothing Better Than This
My love for sleep is growing exponentially with age.
#15 It’s Worse Than You Could Imagine
Navigating the healthcare system.
When my wife was 26, she suffered a catastrophic neurovascular injury, and I became her primary caretaker. The biggest lesson I have learned is that you could go through life following all the rules and still have the worst of luck. No one is immune to misfortune.
#14 What? You Want A Gold Star?
Nobody is impressed with you anymore.
When you are a kid, you get praise for every little thing that you do right, even if it was something you were supposed to do anyway. I liked that. It was motivating.
When you are an adult, this is just expected of you.
#13 Yes, You Will Feel Plenty Of Envy
When you’re a kid, you never really seem that far behind your peers. You’re all in the same grade, and some have better test scores than others, but you still feel pretty equal. Then, before you know it, you’re 31 and you see all your peers miles and miles and miles ahead of you. You start to realize that you can’t catch up. You wasted too much of your life and can’t catch up at all anymore.
Even if you have a decent job, you see your peers with families of their own, and you just look at your sad life, alone in your dingy apartment. You just sort of feel like you accomplished nothing.
#12 Friendship Is Just A Whack Situation
True friendship doesn’t always feel like it did when you were young. It all felt effortless, and there was no real need to intentionally work to preserve relationships.
But now, I have friends I’m close to, and I value them. My BEST friends, though, are the ones who have kept in touch here and there but are always ready to go when I need someone. I offer that same readiness to them, and it makes me feel like I have a pretty good set of friends in my life even if we’re not socializing a lot.
#11 God, Being An Adult Can Be Lonely
The crippling loneliness, to be honest. Most of my friends are doing their own thing and don’t mind it because their significant others are essentially the only friends they want or need.
I, on the other hand, have never had a significant other and feel like I’m BARELY getting by. My depression gets the better of me, and everything starts to hurt.
#10 It’s Weird To Find Out Who Parents Really Are
Watching your parents age, and turning an age when you’re able to see the flaws in your parents you never saw as a child.
#9 Will You Ever Get A Break? Probably Not
The to-do list never freaking ends. There’s always laundry to do, dishes to clean, groceries to shop for, appointments to set, bills to pay, packages to pick up, prescriptions to refill, and invites to RSVP to.
Every week, I get everything done and then I have to start again the following week with the same stuff. There are always more dishes. The car will always need to be gassed up. And you have to see the dentist every six months. I feel exhausted just thinking about it. Oy.
#8 There’s Just Not Enough Hours In The Day
Time management. You quickly realize that time is your most valuable resource. You need it for everything, from work and sleeping to socializing and relaxing, and you must allocate it properly to ensure you don’t go insane or get depressed.
You need to set a schedule that says, ‘This is my working time, this is my free time, this is my time for home cleaning or doctors visits,” etc. Many adults struggle with this all their lives and it creates a lot of problems if you can’t manage your time properly.
#7 You’re Going To Miss Them When They’re Gone
Not appreciating your family while you have them.
It’s the little things. You remember their words or their faces, but the sound of their voices fade from your mind. I wish I had a recording of my mom talking to me, so that I could keep her voice in my mind.
Not being able to call up a parent and tell them you love them or miss them. Not being able to come over for dinner.
Planning a holiday where it’s just you and a few friends without family.
Not getting a card in the mail to remind you that “mom will always love you.”
Not being able to tell mom or dad about a promotion at work.
Not being able to hear the words “I am proud of you.”
Remembering all the times you told them you were busy, or you fought, or you sighed because they needed help. And not being able to say I am sorry.
Appreciate who’s in your life and show them that appreciation. You will hurt when they are gone… hurt for the loss, hurt for the missed opportunities, hurt for every angry word.
#6 …How Many Zeros Again?
Exactly how much freaking money you have to save to be prepared for retirement. It is mind-blowing.
57% of Americans don’t even have $1,000 in cash savings, so I can’t imagine they are maxing out 401k or IRA accounts.
I used to think if you ever worked your way to $1 million by retirement, you would be sitting pretty.
With inflation, having only $1 million in retirement savings by around 2050 is nothing. If you are retiring at 67, and you live to be 80, you are looking at maybe $65,000/year in retirement income from those savings after taxes (and that’s not adjusted for inflation—in purchasing power that’s much, much less than $65,000 in 2018 dollars).
Having $1 million saved for retirement 30 years from now is kind of terrible.
That still blows my mind. You can scrounge and save your whole life to become a millionaire and still just be a standard, middle-class schlub ’til you die.
#5 You’re Either Pregnant, Dying, Or Just Have A Cold
Weird medical stuff that might be minor, but might not be. Like, you bend over the wrong way, and your back hurts for several days. You don’t know if it’s just a minor thing or if you need back surgery now.
#4 I Didn’t Realize Life Cost So Darn Much
Buying a car, leasing an apartment, etc.
Filling out a job application and making a resume.
Vehicle and household maintenance.
I lived with my parents up until I was 22 or 23, and they just never taught me much of anything. Whenever I ran into a financial problem, my dad would just cover it for me. Reality hits you hard when daddy’s pocketbook is no longer available to you.
#3 I Could Be Productive…Or I Could Watch Catfish
Having no motivation to do the things I want to. I get home from work, cook dinner, do housework, put the kids to bed and finally settle on the sofa at 9 p.m. Instead of going on the PC, Facetiming family or doing something worthwhile, I end up watching stupid stuff like Catfish on TV and fall asleep by 9.30pm.
So many wasted nights.
#2 What The Heck Are All These Wires For?
My house is full of electrical wiring, which is dangerous and could start a fire.
I don’t know where the wires are.
I can’t afford an electrician.
#1 Wait…I’m Actually An Adult?
Having younger people ask for advice and realising that I’m actually the adult in the room. Scary.