People Open Up About 40 Things About Becoming An Adult That Caught Them Completely Off Guard

For many of us, the adult world seemed different from our own while growing up. Most adults were knowledgeable and skilled, they were able to deal with any situation all while exhibiting unequaled levels of confidence. Their considerations were somewhat elevated to a more serious level even if it was about which color item to choose… Or at least it seemed so to us. We felt that even though there was no way we could exhibit such features at the moment, there will come a day when a magic reversal will come upon us and we will know exactly what to do. Needless to say, the world turned out to be more complex and not giving out its secrets for free at a certain designated age.

These people are sharing their experiences of being an adult that took them by surprise, answering one Redditor’s question, “What about becoming an adult caught you completely off guard?”

More info: Reddit


Where the f**k does all the dust come from?

Image credits: jhn96


Watching your parents becoming old and frail

Image credits: Mrbusybaconandeggs


How it just goes on endlessly.

When you're a kid, there's a summer break every year, and a new school to go to in a couple of years. Whatever part of your life you are in is clearly delimited and there is something new to look forward to after it.

Once you're an adult, it's just 5 days of work and 2 days of weekend over and over and over until you die.

Image credits: anon


I can do whatever the f**k I want.
But I don't really want to do anything...

Image credits: IcarusWax


How clueless other adults are. I really thought adults had their s**t in order while in reality most people are winging it.

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Just how tiring everything is. Tired when I wake up. Tired after work. Tired after cooking dinner. Tired catching up sleep on the weekends. Tired while doing something fun on the weekend. Almost always a bit tired.

Always feeling tired and just pushing through it.

Image credits: Dylan7675


High School level drama still exists in the workplace

Image credits: DanMahBoy


The constant anxiety of realising you're just getting older whilst still not knowing what the hell you're going to do with your life. It's especially stressful when everyone around you seems to be progressing and realising what they want out of life and you're just sitting here waiting for death.

Image credits: 2alchow


That the majority of adults are absolutely stupid. i was under the impression that as you got older you gained knowledge and wisdom... not so much.

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It’s hard to explain, but I always thought getting older would feel different in your soul, somehow. I don’t mean that in a religious or spiritual way necessarily, I’m more referencing the little version of you in your brain that pilots the ship. I always thought that, as I got older, he would feel older too.

I’m 33 now. I’ve had a lot of adventures and experiences, I’ve learned a lot and I’m definitely smarter than I was at say 20, but the little me piloting the ship doesn’t feel any different.

The little me in the ship still feels like it did when I was 15 or 16. I’m not complaining, I actually think it’s sorta nice and even helpful, I just find it strange.

Image credits: flannelfrankenstein


How little free time you have. You have to work, you have to prepare for work, drive to work, drive home from work. You also have to do household chores. You have to take care of kids if you have some. When do I get to enjoy my hobbies?

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Understanding how young my parents were while raising us now that I was (then surpassed) that age.

Gave me a lot of compassion, especially as new immigrants to the US where they didn’t know the language. I’m 32 and still trying to figure out they were 25 with two kids in a totally new country.

Bravo mom and pop.

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Feeling able-bodied to having a broken down body happened seemingly over night.

Image credits: HappyGilOHMYGOD


Not making any friends any more.

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How calm it is.

Through all of school years, adults kept yelling at us, that these are our best years of life, and when we grow up to be adults and get jobs, we will be much more stressed, and the responsibilities will be much more serious. I really believed that and thought my adult life will be hell on earth, and I felt guilty for hating school and being a kid so much.

But there is no bullying in my adulthood. There is no yelling at me. And when there is, I can yell back. And if I yell back and get into a fight, I'm probably going to end up bruised but that's it. There is no more yelling at me for getting into a fight. There is no yelling at me for yelling back at someone. Job is way more slow paced than school, I'm almost never in a hurry. And when I finish a work day, I just go home and play games, or do whatever I want to, without stressing about the other day or crying over the homework in my textbook. I can eat candy for breakfast if I want. I can still go out with friends to play football or ride bikes. I had no time for it in childhood, except winter and summer breaks. Also, I had no friends. I was throwing up in the bushes everyday and crying because my stomach hurt so bad from the stress, going to school. Now I'm walking to work singing along to the music in my headphones, feeling generally happy. Adult life is much better than I expected.

Image credits: -acidlean-


The mental labor involved in meal planning, let alone cooking.

Image credits: pizzajokesR2cheesy


Becoming more emotionally mature than the adults I used to look up to.

It's weird to watch my family talking behind each other's backs and being two faced and back stabby and throwing fits when they don't get their way. It's literally bizarre highschool drama or toddler level tantrums and I just sit there thinking "Was that really the most mature and productive way to handle that?" But you can't say anything without literally getting told "I'M the ADULT! I'm older and wiser so I know better!". Oh, is that why you threw a screaming fit over the laundry being moved? Because that's what adults do?

I don't know how I didn't see it when I was younger. I'm in my late 30s, so it's not like I'm some teenager who thinks I know better than the adults. I'm just an adult flabbergasted that they're still doing this petty drama at age 60.

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Cheese is so f*****g expensive!

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My to-do list is literally never finished.

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I think how people stop giving a s**t about you when you get older, in a general sense. I see homeless people, very poor people struggling and others struggling with mental health and people with low pay.

If you saw a small child on the street, crying, alone, our hearts would break at the innocence. We would console and help them. Adults were all somebody's little children at one point, we have the same basic needs as children. When you're older, if you aren't making society move money around, you become worthless in the eyes of the public.

Image credits: 1_art_please


How fast time moves. Feels like I graduated college, blinked and now I'm in my early 30s. I miss the optimism of having all the time in the world to save money, catch up on albums and shows, see friends, make new ones, travel, get married, have a family, etc. Now it feels like I haven't done any of that and I'm running out of time to do it.

Image credits: debtopramenschultz


How much the magic for things that you experience as a kid wears off.

Holidays, vacation destinations, stores and restaurants, etc. They are still cool, but not as amazing as they were when I was a kid.

Image credits: jos_piersdad


You have to be intentional about joy and wonder in education.

Also, even if things suck, even if you don’t want to give a f**k.

Keep being curious. Keep wondering about things.
Because it can get bitter real quick.

Image credits: Slurpydurpy711


That you are on your own. No one cares if you get injured. No one cares if you are homeless and hungry and if you were to die, life just goes on without you.

Image credits: Intelligent_Put_3594


The general cruelty of people. We're you're a kid you think we're all team humanity or team [your country] but it's not.

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God damn dishes!!!!!

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The fatigue and body pain as you get to your sixties. I still have 6 years until pension and I barely move after work. Forget going out or enjoying life, it’s a struggle just to look after me. Very fortunate to have amazing adult kids and grandkids who cook and care for me.

Image credits: RelationIll9965


How it’s ok to do your own thing.
You call the shots.
You don’t have to do all the “adult” things if you don’t want to.

Image credits: Slurpydurpy711


You start to pay attention to ages in movies and music and sometimes how much older you are compared to them. ?

Image credits: SoWhatFuture


The 'kids grow up so quickly these days' sensation.

You see a kid and think "ah wow they've grown huge! I saw them when they were two and now... Oh yeah... It's been ten years... F**k."

Image credits: Hot-Plane3889


Nothing comes with instructions. You transition straight from a life of guidelines and rules and orders and schedules to 'Figure it out, but f**k around and find out.' People can give you tips, but a lot of the time you're researching what you need to do. And there's no time constraints, you can stall on anything forever. Then you learn what happens when you do that.

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How expensive eating out is

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The first time someone referred to me as a “man” instead of a “boy” or “kid” was really jarring. I was around 24 at the time (33 now) and there was a little kid riding his scooter on the sidewalk, not paying attention and half blocking my way. His mom ran over and grabbed him and said “wait sweetie, let the man go by,” and it took me a second to realize she was talking about me. In my head I still look 16.


Just how f*****g long you have to be an adult for. Assuming you don’t stop being alive earlier than expected this adulting s**t can last up to 80 F*****G YEARS.


The part where I still don't know how to do adult stuff.

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I always knew taxes existed, but holy s**t

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How much I hate driving now. Seems to be I only drive anymore when I’m going somewhere I don’t want to be (grocery store, mechanic, work).

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The price of rugs.

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What surprised me is how like Game of Thrones business is like.

The amount of leverage plays and negotiation. Every day you are negotiating with your employer, your employees, your clients, and everyone is trying to pull a fast one over you. Employers trying to underpay you, Employees trying to get you to overpay them, customers trying to get cheap deals.

Everyone thinks they are the one getting f*cked, and not the one doing the f*cking. It's very stressful

Image credits: Naive_Illustrator


The lack of holidays (four weeks in Australia). It was hard only getting about a third of the time off, kids are always on holiday. Had to work 12 months to earn any holidays.