30 People Share Adult Problems They Didn’t See Coming Interview With Author
Adulting is hard and we sometimes (read: very often) wish we were cats. We wouldn’t have to worry about paying rent, breaking our backs at work, making dinner every night, the horrors of inflation, and the looming financial Apocalypse. Even if cathood is off the table, we’d love to be kids again and enjoy life without worrying about every tiny little thing. Unfortunately, you can’t turn back the clock to a simpler time in our lives.
Being responsible for yourself and for others can be overwhelming. And redditors opened up about the things they dislike the most about adult life in a very candid thread on r/AskReddit, started up by u/RowBowBooty.
From major financial pressures and never having enough time for leisure to something as simple as figuring out what to eat for every gosh-darned meal for the rest of your life, adults have it hard. Scroll down for the biggest adulthood challenges, as shared by these redditors. Once you’re done upvoting the posts that you agree with the most, drop by the comment section and tell us about what you absolutely loathe about being a grown-up, dear Pandas.
Bored Panda reached out to the author of the thread, redditor u/RowBowBooty, to get their perspective about adulthood and its challenges. He was kind enough to answer all of our questions. "It’s not always a bad thing to be an adult and responsible, but it’s just not what I imagined as a kid and wanted to know how others feel about adulthood. I wanted to commiserate with those who were somewhat frustrated with adulthood like I was." You'll find our full candid interview with the author of the thread below.
Figuring out what to make/eat for dinner every day of your life
Redditor u/RowBowBooty was very honest about the inspiration behind the question on r/AskReddit. "I asked the question because the older I get, the more I realize that adulthood is not what I imagined it would be. Sure, as an adult you have to work hard, but as a kid, I was always a hard worker. What I wasn’t prepared for was the heavy weight of responsibility for yourself and your family," he told Bored Panda.
"I’m only 24, but I’m married and we are planning a family. My wife has been having medical issues and can’t work. Now I’m responsible for my family’s well-being. I have to worry about getting good health insurance, paying bills and putting food on the table, even little things like doing our taxes right add to the pressure," the redditor explained that all of this responsibility can sometimes feel utterly overwhelming. And that was what prompted him to turn to Reddit to get other people's perspectives.
Having the knowledge, but not the time, energy or enthusiasm to learn all the cool stuff you always wanted to know how to do as a kid.
Chores… they take up so much time if you don’t want to live like your in a pig pen.
"As a kid, I had to work hard but at the end of the day getting food and housing and taking care of us weren’t my responsibility," the redditor explained that hard work as a kid and an adult are two vastly different things. However, the author of the thread doesn't believe that he'd give up adulthood to be a kid again.
"Even though adulthood is tough, I don’t think, given the choice, that I would ever choose to go back to being a kid again. The people I have met and now love and the sometimes painful lessons I have learned are not things I would ever want to give up," he said that he wouldn't want to let go of all the important connections and experiences.
Knowing the fact that one day, you won't have your parents to help you anymore, you could easily wind up broke and homeless and you're nearing closer and closer to your own death.
I think the toughest part is realising that Life can be absolutely f*cking brutal for no reason and out of nowhere. I think many of us were raised to believe that if we did things a certain way or achieved certain things that we’d have a level of protection against the worst life can throw. Like, working hard or getting a decent job or finding a good partner. And the next thing you know, boom, you’re in an accident and bed ridden for months. Or boom, someone you love gets a terrible addiction. Or boom, miscarriage. Boom, fire. And the older I get the more I see it happen to others too - no one is exempt. I was lucky my first “boom” happened fairly early so I’m a little more resilient now (though f*cking tired). My sister had her first big “boom” in her late 30s and it almost destroyed her. I think she thought she had life figured, and suddenly her world got flip turned upside down. It’s brutal and no one escapes, I don’t think. Maybe solitary Buddhist monks.
Dealing with other emotionally incompetent adults just pisses me off.. like seriously my kids are more mature than some of my colleagues..
"Sometimes, I wish I could say things to my past self, teach him things I wish I had known and tell him to do things I wish I had done, but I wouldn’t go back. Even though adulthood is tough sometimes, and responsibility and worry increase, it comes with a deeper understanding of life and, ideally, greater satisfaction. Sacrificing certain things is hard, but I think it also gives life more meaning."
Some of the biggest problems that come with being a grown-up include a lack of energy and time to pursue the things that make life worth living. No matter if you’re sitting in front of a computer screen in your tiny cubicle/open-plan office or lifting crates at a warehouse all day, you might come back home 50 different shades of exhausted.
According to financial expert and author Sam Dogen, the founder of Financial Samurai, it’s important to work smart, not just hard. He explained to Bored Panda during a previous interview that the people who tend to brag about working overtime tend to want validation.
“Working long after your colleagues are gone means nobody will see your hard work. Hence, you need to tell people about it because the results often take time to manifest. The irony is, if you have great results, there’s no need to tell anybody how hard you work,” Sam said.
Like…the kitchen is just always dirty. I clean and clean and I look up and the sink is full of dishes again. It never ends.
Money. Money sucks and I hate having to worry about it all the time.
Feeling pressured to have sex.
I’m a virgin, not because of any religious/moral beliefs but because I simply haven’t found the time and the right person to do it with. I don’t want to do something so intimate with someone if I can’t trust them and/or connect with them. Society’s way of talking about sex and including sex in media so often makes me (21 F) feel unnecessarily ashamed for not having done it yet. I have been shamed at by men for saying “No” to their offers, and their “small” gestures to lure me in don’t help either.
“In your 20s and 30s, you need to work BOTH smarter AND harder, especially if you are of average intelligence. The world is a brutally competitive place with some of the smartest people also working the hardest. So working long hours while you’re still young and learning is a matter of practicality,” the financial expert said that the world is a very tough, very competitive place.
“You can’t expect to go straight to the corner office without putting in your dues. At the same time, you can’t expect to outperform your peers simply through hard work. You have to be strategic by building a strong network of relationships internally and externally (clients) who will pull to get you promoted and help you get paid at your next job.”
Meanwhile, when it comes to fighting burnout, Sam suggested taking sick days and mentally recharging. “Don’t just think being ill is just a physical thing. There are plenty of mental illnesses. They are just not as visible. There is no better time than right now to take sick days due to the pandemic and the greater awareness of mental health issues. There is simply no shame in healing the mind!”
It's not adulthood that sucks. It's that "the future" as promised never came. Growing up in the '80s and '90s, we were told that we'd have flying cars and no one would work who didn't want to. Instead, we got economic stagnation and social backsliding, thanks to one of the literal worst generations of leadership in recorded history, if not the worst.
We were promised the Moon, literally. We were told we'd be able to go there someday. What we actually got was the free fall of an empire and third-world working conditions due to botched globalization.
The West's "winning" the Cold War was actually a disaster for both sides. It led to poverty all over Eastern Europe, which in turn led to the extreme militarism of Russia's ruling class today... but, at the same time, the "death of communism" meant that capitalism no longer needed to prove itself a morally acceptable system, which led to removal (starting in the 1980s and '90s, and accelerating after 9/11) of all the restraints that prevented it from becoming its worst possible self.
After awhile it all starts to blend together like the movie Groundhog's day.
I hate having to work. I’m not against the concept, I fully understand why you have to seek gainful employment. I just hate it.
Fitness expert and entrepreneur Jack Bly stressed to Bored Panda that it’s vital to prioritize our health and wellbeing. “To increase our work output, the #1 place I look at is health. Better health leads to more energy, more focus, and more productivity. To improve our health and ultimately our output, we need to make sure we’re doing things like sleeping 7-8 hours consistently, [having] good nutrition, [and maintaining] consistent exercise,” he told us earlier.
Eating well, getting enough sleep and movement, and taking care of the basics of what our bodies need make a “night and day difference in our output.” Jack said: “Prioritizing things like workouts actually gives us more energy rather than take energy.”
In the fitness expert’s opinion, the most important thing isn’t the number of hours that people work but the results that they get. In his view, people should focus on working smart.
“What truly matters is true output/results you can get. Person A: works 8 hours to get X work done; Person B: works 3 hours to get the same X work done. Which person would you rather be?”
It's frustrating how people expect you to have your sh*t together, even though we all know none of us truly have our sh*t together all the time
Giving up becomes more appealing every year I get older.
The unlearning of the lessons drilled into us as kids about fairness and equality
There's never enough time off, it's work, work, work almost the whole year with a couple of weeks where you can relax for a second and catch your breath.
People have abandoned their inner child and replaced it with sex, celebrity gossip, and judging others who live their truth.
Realizing the impermanence of everything you do.
That is, as a child, things seem truly permanent. But as you get older, everything you create has a shelf life to it, and will degrade. As a child, maybe you work with a parent to build a little treehouse fort, and from your perspective, it will last forever. As an adult, you pay 1-2 months' income to replace your furnace or your car's transmission or etc., and realize that you'll just have to do this again in 10-20 years, because everything wears out.
And this doesn't even touch the big impermanence issues - realizing that everything you do at work is a 2- or 4-year product/solution that will become garbage in the near future; or that no one will know a single thing about your life other than maybe your name in just a couple generations.
Cost of living and supporting myself on minimum wage. I just recently moved out 5 months ago and I haven’t graduated college yet. I make enough to survive but my meals are always a struggle. Whatever I can find that’s edible, I’m eating. I can’t buy in bulk and I only spend money when I absolutely have to. I just barely get by.
Filing taxes every year. Like, the gov knows how much I make. Why make me report it? It would be easier for all of us if they just sent a bill of how much we owe instead of doing a bunch of- sighh...stupid, corrupt modafu-
People/jobs expect you to not have a life outside of work.
My childhood sucked so I enjoy the freedom that comes with adult hood. I cant really think of anything I dislike tbh.
I really hate those moments where I get a reality check about my childhood/teenage years. Since becoming an adult, I’ve been noticing problems in my family I would have never been able to see with my childhood naivety. Also, a certain music scene used to be a big part of my life. I’ve been an adult for close to a decade now, and half of the people I admired turned out to be very sh*tty people — with some even convicted and stuff. Gives me a really bad feeling about what/who used to give me a feeling of belonging and comfort in my teenage years
How hard it is to relax
How much i would need to lie on the floor to make my back feel better
The next step seems so far away. There was always the next grade level, or next school (middle school, then high school, then college). The next graduation, the next step up. Suddenly, retirement is the next step, which is 40 years away.
Honestly, a big one is having to relearn a lot of things that I thought I’d never need in school when I was younger. Turns out, you do end up using a lot of it, just not in the ways you expected.