When you're a kid and a teenager, the idea of adulthood can seem like a promise of a brand new world full of thrilling opportunities and all sorts of amazing things. You finally get your well-deserved freedom, there's absolutely nobody to tell you what to do, you can create and live your life however you want and, most importantly, you finally have the liberty to go to sleep whenever you'd like, right?
In reality, once the long-awaited adulthood finally visits, stuff tends to get a tiny bit more complicated, and this AskReddit thread with over 74k upvotes is the perfect proof of that. The thread was started by the user u/berkel-is-a-madlad who asked fellow community members "What is something that sucks about being an adult that most teenagers don’t realize?" With that being said, Bored Panda invites you to look at some of the best answers we managed to find. As always, feel free to answer the question yourself in the comment section.
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#1For me it's watching my parents get old.
As a teenager I thought they were all about keeping me restricted and controlled. Now I realize they're just two people who never had a kid before, did the best they knew how, and fu**ed up at times like all other humans on the planet.
I never realized how much I needed them emotionally until I saw my father through his open heart surgery, and saw Parkinson's take my mother's independence.
So here I am still feeling like a teenager on the inside, staring down the barrel of 50, wondering what the hell happened.
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#2Planning dinner every damn night.
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#3You don't fundamentally change, you are still you, even if you are older. It's the same you, you just need to survive in the adult world.
You don't gain adult powers, you just have to do adult things.
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#4You can do whatever you want, but most of the time you either have commitments that prevent it, or you can't afford it.
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#5One day your body will betray you.
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#6You are always cleaning the kitchen
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#7The repetition makes you lose time. Having the same job, workout regimen, schedule in general makes days blend into one another
Edit. Thanks for all the replies. I just want to point out I didn't mean life becomes boring. I was just talking about lack of those major separators we had as children like summer vacation, new school, your first kiss, etc. Due to those major separators missing I don't recall if I did something a year ago or 3 years ago. It's a little blurry if something happened 2 weeks ago or 4 months ago. This is because once you have a career and a home you're doing a lot of similar things most days(work, chores, cooking, hobbies, etc). This is why the days start to blend into one another, at least in your memory.
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#8When something goes wrong or something unexpected happens, there’s no one else to deal with it.
Plugged toilet? You gotta clear it.
Car outta gas? You gotta fill it.
Run out of clean undies? You gotta do laundry.
From small things to massive things, there’s no one to make it go away but you.
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#9That ordering food is actually expensive and your parents weren’t lying to you
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#10Being lonely. Making friends as an adult is difficult, sometimes verging on impossible. You don't see people in your age group who are doing the same things you are every day anymore.
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#11You come home from work and you're tired and if you don't feel like making dinner, then you're not eating dinner.
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#12There’s never enough time for all the things you need to do. Definitely not enough time for the things you want to do
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#13When all the cliches that used to piss you off start making sense and meaning something, but you can’t explain it to younger people because they haven’t lived that life experience yet.
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#14A $1000 pay check isn’t nearly as exciting as an adult
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#15People expect you to know what you're doing.
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#16That you had no idea what you were talking about when you were a teenager
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#17Life revolves around grocery shopping, preparing food, washing dishes, doing laundry, vacuuming and tidying up. It does not stop, don't let it pile up for the weekends or else you waste your weekends stuck indoors.
Alcohol is not your friend, it does not have the answers you are looking for, and usually gets you in even more trouble. Drink with friends to celebrate, don't drink alone in silence.
#18Each day is desperately short. Work consumes 75% of the time you’re awake. And the time you’re free is spent doing chores and being tired. Hobbies slowly cease to exist and you just start to look for quick escapes.
#19Dental care. It’s so damn expensive if you let your teeth degrade. Please floss my dudes.
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#20Forgetting your age is a real problem. The only people who remind me how old I am are my kids, and i often have to double check. I used to ask my parents how old they were and they always "cant remember" or said "21" and it confused me. I get it now.
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#21Even though February is the shortest month, the rent is still the same
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#22The adult part.
The moment you need to pay for everything and the realization that fresh food spoils faster than you ever noticed before was eye opening
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#23You know all those things you thought you would do when you were out on your own? They cost money, and you have to work for it...
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#24The pain. Bodies start breaking down.
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#25The importance and scarcity of time. Your "you time" gets seriously reduced as you get older and your other responsibilities mount up. I used to think that spending half an hour cleaning 3 times a week was the worst thing ever. Now I spend about an hour cleaning pretty much every day. Between work, maintaining a house, and raising kids, the amount of you time gets reduced to.minutes a day. Anything else you want to do means sacrificing sleep.
The other thing is how true "time=money" actually is. Simply existing and breathing costs money. Food, rent, bills, transport cost money. Often the difference between happiness and unhappiness for me was comfortably making it to my next paycheck.
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#26Metabolism does not go brrrrrrr
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#27Adult acne. It doesn’t magically go away when you turn 18
#28Forty eight here
Bills don't stop or go away. Ever.
Work sucks. That's why they pay you to do it because nobody's doing that bullsh*t for free. Think of it as a means to your life and avoid it becoming your identity.
The term "work life balance" is HR code for "We own you. You're at our disposal 24/7/365"
Nobody owes you a damn thing and ain't nobody gonna give you nothing for free. They're much more likely to try to take what you have.
If not married, we're pretty sexually promiscuous and don't always adhere to the strict rules that we put on you - except that we're generally better with birth control and usually more fastidious about STD status.
You can choose one of two paths - shi**y life now or shi**y life later. The one thing I'd change about everything is to choose the shi**y life early on. Living life all YOLO or whatever you kids say when I was in my twenties came with consequences that persisted for decades and will likely render me unable to ever retire.
Time accelerates. Forty is but a blink away. So seize the opportunity you have today because it'll be gone in an instant.
#29You're at a time in your life when you see your friends almost every day at school. That should be cherished, because it's vastly simpler than maintaining friendships as you enter adulthood and you don't have that constant contact.
Life as an adult is change, most of it outside of your control. People change, circumstances shift...all of that work you put into your adult friendships can vanish in an instant, and you just have to adapt and move on.
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#30You need to be mentally prepared for the "benchmarks" in your life to not happen or for them to not happen on the right schedule. The big events in your life up to now have been driven and put into place largely by governments and parents and teachers. This is by design - to slowly teach you the relationship between efforts and results. The accomplishments you have laid out as an adult in front of you are largely up to you, and your place in society has a lot more to do with luck than you'd probably like to think.
As a teenager you tend to think "I will get married at 28, have a kid at 30 and 33, but only after I've graduated from the elite engineering program of my choice." You may not achieve any of those things, and the obsession with delivering them on schedule will cause you deep frustration or even grief. You may not find a spouse, or have a child, or own a house, or even remain relatively healthy.
Learn to give yourself a break now before you spend years of your life grieving the future you believe you screwed yourself out of.
#31You will be held accountable. No excuses, no blaming.
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#32You can be homeless.
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#33Waking up and just aching for non discernible reason other than having slept ‘a bit funny’.
Oh, and the 3 day hangovers that make it barely worth drinking more than a couple glasses of wine
#34By the time you're 30 you are going to be lucky to see whatever close friends you have left more than a couple times a year. And it's considered normal.
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#35coming home from work and still work at home
#36Losing your identity and sense of purpose once you graduate and enter a job that sucks up all your time.
You have no energy to pursue the hobbies or interests you once had. You're also no longer able to be the Smart Kid or the Theatre Kid or the Jock or whatever -- you're just another depressed 20-something trying to survive, playing 1 hour of a video game you'll never finish per night just to feel something in between cooking, chores, and your depressingly early bedtime.
#37You can't just quit your job if you dont like it.
#38Discipline is very hard to maintain when you are lacking purpose.
When you are a teenager there’s so much you think you can achieve:
“I’ll get into that college.”
“I’ll get that degree.”
“I’ll land that cool job after.”
“I’ll date that person who will fulfill me.”
However, what happens when those things fail and you have to readjust? What if the idea of progress turns into an idea of just sustainment?
My advice to teenagers: The most important thing you need to work towards figuring out as you enter into early adulthood is your purpose. It can change over time of course, but never be without it.
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#39Money loses value QUICKLY as you get older. Give me $1000 at 15 and I would have been in heaven buying video games and gadgets candy and all sorts of stupid nonsense. Give me $1000 at 36 and it's going towards paying off the crushing debt that comes with adulthood and car repairs that I've put off way too long and all sorts of totally un-fun things.
#40Money adds up quick. You see something cheap that you want as a teen and think “It’s only $5.” Yes it is only $5, but when the end of the month comes, all those “only” purchases add up really fast.
#41Your "back up" is mostly gone. When you're a teen and screw up you can usually go to your parents to help you out of the hole you've put yourself in. As an adult that isn't there, whatever screw up is yours to dig yourself out of. Phone bill you can't pay? Ask mum for a loan (17 or 18) Phone bill you can't pay at 25 and it's an hour on the phone getting transferred to multiple people to ask for an extension which may be denied so instead of normal food you plan your meals to be plain rice or ramen for a week because an unpaid phone bill creates late fees and black spots on your credit. As an adult credit becomes more important than food for a week.
#42Everything you buy starts to own you.
Got a new car? You now have to make a monthly payment, buy insurance, fill with gas, get inspected, change the oil, apply for a street parking permit, ect.
Just bought a house? Well on top of your mortgage, insurance and property taxes you now have to: mow your lawn, clean the building, maintain all of your appliances, repair damages when they are small so you don’t have to spend as much, possibly follow HOA rules, ect.
I just wanna get drunk and play video games, but I can’t because my refrigerator broke 2 days ago, and there’s a shortage of fridges because of COVID. So I had to borrow my college aged cousins mini-fridge. So now I’m on back order for 3 weeks waiting for something I just spent $2500 on to arrive.
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#43Adult freedom and responsibilities are a double edge sword. You now can make pretty much all your own life choices, from the small to the large! You can set out and make your own destiny.
But you are also responsible for the outcome of all those choices - both good and bad. It's your life now, you don't have anyone to tell you what the right choice is. You can call friends and family for advice and there are lots of scammers out there who will tell you 110% they know the answer if you pay them.
But ultimately it is YOUR decision. You either make a choice or don't (and not choosing is still a choice) then have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.
Even as a teen, you are present with choices as you start to get some of your own freedom.
But as an adult - yep it's all up to you, both good and bad.
You will make mistakes. You will be scared into indecision. But you should face up to hose mistakes and move on. Eventually you will have to make a choice.
But with some fore thinking, planning, hard work and a bit of dumb luck - you can hopefully steer your life in a positive direction.
And it's never too late for a second chance or to try a different direction.
#44I make a lot of money. Far more than I did when I was a teen. Most of that money is lost in bills and taxes.
*some people are trying to poke at the phrase "a lot of money". Although, I do make a decent salary and have a great promotion potential...I'm not rich. The phrase "a lot of money" here is relative to what a teenager might make. For example, a teen making no more than $20K a year would be shocked by a $60K annual salary. It's not meant to brag.
#45You can count your friends on one hand and most of those have been grandfathered in.
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#46You can't really ever "relax"
If you are just chilling, its because you deliberately carved that time for yourself or you are ignoring some things. It is complelty possible to structure your life to have down time but it takes serious effort while when you're a teenager its just there naturally.
#47Beer and pizza catch up to you fast...
#48Life is long and complicated. You can never truly get a fresh start. Things wear you down over time.
And you just get so tired. Getting excited about things is hard, and when you’re an adult and you get excited about something, there’s usually another adult in line that is ready to tear you down for it. Just because they’re shi**y and the only thing they get excited about, these days, is shi**ing on others.
#49Always prepare for the worst.
Keep seeing more people that fought hard for their dream job. Now they’re miserable.
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