I know that zoomers are probably squirming right now because they find the word 'adulting' cringe, but most of you are still at school so you don't get a say in this, OK?

Of course, as Julie Beck pointed out in The Atlantic, if we think of the transition to adulthood as a collection of markers (getting a job, moving away from your parents, getting married, and having kids), we'll see that for most of history, except the 1950s and '60s, people did not become adults in any kind of predictable way. In fact, many took so long to acquire the concept (or even avoided it altogether), that you might even build a case that no one is really a grown-up.

To illustrate just how chaotic adult life is, we at Bored Panda have collected some of the most popular adulting memes on the internet. Take a look!

#1

Funny-Adulting-Memes

catsVsHumanity Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

Most of them ... OMG

View More Replies...
View more comments
#2

Funny-Adulting-Memes

adultproblem Report

Abhinc
Community Member
4 months ago

best definition ever !! i totally relate

View More Replies...
View more comments

Diana Divecha, Ph.D., who is a Berkeley-based developmental psychologist, focusing on the science of how children, teens, and families grow and develop, told Bored Panda that "developmental scientists consider adulthood to begin when the prefrontal cortex, the front-most region of the brain, finishes developing, at around 25 years of age."

"This area is most well-known for its 'executive function,' or being the 'manager' of oneself. It supports abilities like planning ahead, regulating emotions and impulsivity, complex thought and reasoning, problem-solving and decision-making, and managing one’s attentional focus," she explained.

#3

Funny-Adulting-Memes

GenSomeone Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

OMG that is so me. They do it on purpose so that we have to do through the whole store again and buy what we don't need or want.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#4

Funny-Adulting-Memes

adultproblem Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

That's me.

View More Replies...
View more comments

Dr. Divecha pointed out that in WEIRD societies (Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich, Democratic), the onramp to adulthood has become very long—a period of about 10 to 15 years. She thinks of 'entering adulthood' as having three phases:

"The first phase begins with puberty, when the sex hormones begin their real job, to remodel the brain in order to prepare for adulthood. This is a time when respect from the peer group takes on new importance as nature prepares young people to eventually leave the nest and form new social groups."

"But this can be a bumpy period at first, so it’s helpful for teens to stay open and optimistic, and to have a few different peer groups. It’s also easy to be impulsive in this phase, so cultivating discernment (wise decision-making and action), and taking a moment to think before acting can be helpful, and at times, even life-saving," Dr. Divecha said.

#5

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Kica333 Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
4 months ago

I should be sleeping / The early bird gets the worm / Lark Sparrow tomorrow

View More Replies...
View more comments
#6

Funny-Adulting-Memes

MartinPilgrim1 Report

Mari
Community Member
4 months ago

So true!

View more comments
#7

Funny-Adulting-Memes

heidijassinger Report

Elif Eren
Community Member
4 months ago

Can I join you ?

View More Replies...
View more comments

The second phase, according to the developmental psychologist, is identity exploration —a time when we start asking ourselves questions like: 'Who am I?' 'What's important to me?' And 'Where do I fit in?'

"This is a period of great creativity, so to the extent possible, it’s helpful to try new things and explore possible interests," Divecha explained. "Some will fit, others will not, but all will be helpful information about what matters to each individual. Learn how the world works: Get real-world work experience, learn how corporations and social media manipulate the public for profit, work on real-world problems, and find adult mentors—they offer crucial bridges to adulthood. And finally learn skills—practical skills like cooking, laundry, cleaning, and personal finance, as well as interpersonal communication and emotion-regulation skills."

The third phase is early adulthood and it's usually defined with first commitments to jobs/careers and relationships. "Learning from mentors and gaining emotional and interpersonal skills continue to be important. Flexibility and adaptability are key, too, as young adults frequently change jobs until they land one that feels like a good fit or they create their own independent/entrepreneurial path," Divecha said.

#8

Funny-Adulting-Memes

KevinFarzad Report

housea
Community Member
4 months ago

it’s a trap

View more comments
#9

Funny-Adulting-Memes

adultproblem Report

River Webb
Community Member
4 months ago

I don't like brand new ones cause they are a pain to bend and use

View More Replies...
View more comments
#10

Funny-Adulting-Memes

thedad Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

This one is hilarious.

View More Replies...
View more comments

Some scientists who study the brain and nervous system say the age at which you become an adult (which is different for everyone) might even be your 30s. 

One argument they use is that people around 18 years of age are still going through changes in the brain which can affect behavior and make them more likely to develop mental health disorders.

"What we're really saying is that to have a definition of when you move from childhood to adulthood looks increasingly absurd," Professor Peter Jones, from Cambridge University, told BBC News. "It's a much more nuanced transition that takes place over three decades."

#11

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Report

Daria B
Community Member
4 months ago

Either at night or in the morning, both is not really a good schedule.....

View more comments
#12

Funny-Adulting-Memes

DavidGabaocoe_ Report

Abhinc
Community Member
4 months ago

every single day !!!

View more comments
#13

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Karenashley12_ Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
4 months ago

Foshizzle!

View More Replies...
View more comments

Jones thinks that structures like the education system, the health system, and the legal system simply make it convenient for themselves by having definitions.

Strange isn't it? How many countries consider their citizens mature adults when they reach the age of 18 and allow them to vote, buy alcohol, and get a mortgage even though hitting that number doesn't automatically transform you into a reasonable human being?

However, Professor Jones believes experienced criminal judges recognize the difference between a 19-year-old defendant and a "hardened criminal" in their late 30s.

"I think the system is adapting to what's hiding in plain sight, that people don't like (the idea of) a caterpillar turning into a butterfly," he said. "There isn't a childhood and then adulthood. People are on a pathway, they're on a trajectory."

#14

Funny-Adulting-Memes

stockmarketpump Report

River Webb
Community Member
4 months ago

front left is my fave

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

Funny-Adulting-Memes

whoraviyadav_ Report

Leigh C.
Community Member
4 months ago

"You can be anything" was the biggest lie told to us.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#16

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Report

Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
4 months ago

100% that's how to do it.

View More Replies...
View more comments

Reaching adulthood does not mean we stop changing. "Some core aspects of personality, like sensitivity, reactivity, or easy-going-ness, tend to be pretty stable from early in life throughout the lifespan. But your ability to know yourself and learn to express and manage your personality in fulfilling ways can improve a lot over time," Divecha said. "You can learn when and how to modulate your personality to better fit a situation, or on the other hand, change your situation to better fit your personality." 

"And yet, outside events can still come along and radically change you. For example, if you had a rough start in life, a good relationship or therapy later in adulthood can transform the rest of your life for the better. Or, on the other hand, if your life has been going okay and you suddenly experience great adversity, that, too, can change you forever. The brain remains flexible throughout the lifespan but it is more easily adaptable early in life."

So continue scrolling through the pictures and who knows, maybe they will not only entertain you but teach something as well.

#17

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Talal_Doueihi Report

alwaysMispelled
Community Member
4 months ago

This is seriously amazing, tho!!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#18

Adulting Is Hard Sometimes...

ZachTF Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
4 months ago

Ha. Ha. Ha. Two weeks only? 😀 😀 😀

View More Replies...
View more comments
#19

Funny-Adulting-Memes

TLocV Report

Essex Eagle
Community Member
4 months ago

This is a FACT :-) I do it all the time .

View More Replies...
View more comments
#20

Funny-Adulting-Memes

ari__b_ Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

Skip the workout.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#21

Funny-Adulting-Memes

AllenaC Report

smugdruggler
Community Member
4 months ago

Iktf.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#22

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Craigadd Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
4 months ago

The pressure is ON!

View more comments
#23

Funny-Adulting-Memes

C0URTNEYC0 Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
4 months ago

She just needed to get out of those 👠!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#24

Funny-Adulting-Memes

citizenkawala Report

Tabitha Martel
Community Member
4 months ago

I will ask the entire comment section. Tell me your favorite dinosaur!? I'll go first, my favorite is a triceratops because Land Before Time. Your turn comment section!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#25

Funny-Adulting-Memes

primawesome Report

Giovanna
Community Member
4 months ago

This is not being an "adult adult", this is being a "they've just opened the cage" adult. Adult adults know what to eat because they can't afford to eat s**t anymore.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#26

Funny-Adulting-Memes

MrFilmkritik Report

Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
4 months ago

Me at 39: Damn, I wish I could afford that granite countertop.

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#27

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Report

Leigh C.
Community Member
4 months ago

LOL Telling my bf I'm going to bed and sleeping. One hour later, laying in bed curious about what's going on on FB knowing full well if I log on he'll see I'm awake.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#28

Funny-Adulting-Memes

WizardMacDonald Report

Premislaus de Colo
Community Member
4 months ago

Or you wait until you do all the chores so that you can sit with a book, but it's already 11 PM and you just fall asleep half through the page

View More Replies...
View more comments
#29

Funny-Adulting-Memes

astoldbyjayde Report

Samantha Power
Community Member
4 months ago

I feel your pain, I have always had a problem with noise. Right now I have workmen drilling outside my flat for a whole 3 weeks, driving me crazy.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#30

Funny-Adulting-Memes

JayNoir_ Report

Turtle42
Community Member
4 months ago

My bed. My kingdom. Go away!

View more comments
#31

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Report

Scagsy
Community Member
4 months ago

Except one has an ending.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#32

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Report

John Jeffrey Tordecilla
Community Member
4 months ago

hahaahahha lol

View more comments
#33

Funny-Adulting-Memes

itsBOMBARDIER Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

Oy, don't mess with my tupperware.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#34

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Report

housea
Community Member
4 months ago

It’s this thing called a CD burner. For real. They went extinct in 2003.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#35

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Report

Turtle42
Community Member
4 months ago

Yeah. That's been happening lately.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#36

Funny-Adulting-Memes

JBsoHood Report

Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
4 months ago

It is more like... Work till you drop dead.

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#37

Being Adult Sucks

zakuria44 Report

troufaki13
Community Member
4 months ago

Hey!! Who's watching me??

View More Replies...
View more comments
#38

Funny-Adulting-Memes

livingwithheartcommunity Report

Joy
Community Member
4 months ago

"Why are you kids looking for me to do something?? I want my mum too!!" 🥺

View More Replies...
View more comments
#39

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Kica333 Report

Samantha Power
Community Member
4 months ago

All of the above and more :)

View More Replies...
View more comments
#40

Funny-Adulting-Memes

AbbyHasIssues Report

Otter
Community Member
4 months ago

Oh gawd, I hurt myself sleeping last night!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#41

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Report

Otter
Community Member
4 months ago

No. Adulthood is better than childhood. Well, better than *my* childhood, anyway.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#42

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Report

Yoinks!
Community Member
4 months ago

Ah, that magic moment they stop "popping" and one of them just goes CRUNCH instead.

View more comments
#43

Funny-Adulting-Memes

archillect Report

Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
4 months ago

Spot on!

View more comments
#44

Funny-Adulting-Memes

KingSaash Report

Julie C Rose
Community Member
4 months ago

My parents went out of their way to avert this because I was really shy as a kid and they didn’t want me to be unable to advocate for myself. They’d be like “hey, wanna do this cool fun grown-up thing?” And then whichever employee my preteen self dealt with was way nicer than the bullies at my school so the experience taught me that calling and making appointments was good. (And when I became a customer service employee myself, you wouldn’t worry so much about what employees think of you if you knew how seldom I did.)

View more comments
#45

Funny-Adulting-Memes

mykidsbutler Report

teal&pink
Community Member
4 months ago

Hey I mean you nearly finished a whole pizza by yourself! Positivity!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#46

Funny-Adulting-Memes

marcformarc Report

Joy
Community Member
4 months ago

Don't grow up. It's a trap 😏

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#47

I'm A Responsible Adult I Swear

-Sableye- Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
4 months ago

This is a perfect description

View More Replies...
View more comments
#48

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Report

Joy
Community Member
4 months ago

Do I at least get a lollipop? Pleeeeeeeeease?!! I came here all by myself and crossed the road and everything!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#49

Funny-Adulting-Memes

Report

Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Feeling on top of the world! ... Then you get 10 more tasks because you just finished one.

View more comments
#50

Funny-Adulting-Memes

supervillain909 Report

Leigh C.
Community Member
4 months ago

It's a relief to pay the bills now. Get it paid and don't have to worry about it until next month. Now it's just worrying about being able to feed yourself until the next pay day and wondering what's wrong with forging for herbs on the side of the highway.

View More Replies...
View more comments

Note: this post originally had 102 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.