Difficult Truths about Adulthood That We All Have to Learn

Difficult Truths about Adulthood That We All Have to Learn

Draven Jackson
Blogger | Teacher

Bob Newhart once said, “I think you should be a child for as long as you can. I have been successful for 74 years in being able to do that. Don’t rush into adulthood, it isn’t all that much fun.” When we’re kids, we dream about being an adult – we want the freedom to choose what we eat, what we buy, and where we go. Being an adult seems like such a magical time when you’re still too young to really know what “being an adult” means.

For those of us who have already reached adulthood, “being an adult” seems way less fun than it did when we were six. Now, it’s less about eating candy for breakfast and more about making sure our bills are paid, our responsibilities are covered, and our loved ones are taken care of. We can’t really eat what we want because our metabolisms are slower and our stomachs are more sensitive, and we can’t buy what we want because all our money was budgeted to cover our living needs.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely a lot of wonderful things that happen once you reach adulthood. But here are some of the difficult (and honest) truths about being an adult that we all, unfortunately, have to learn.

Friendship is scheduled and no one has time

One of the most difficult parts of adulthood is making friends. When you’re in school, your friends are somewhat guaranteed based on the faces you see every single day. You have the same friends for years, and they’re with you through all the highs and lows of your life. But as an adult, making friends is so much harder. The places where you can meet people are more limited, and creating lasting friendships always seems to be just a little bit harder than it was when you were a kid.

Not to mention, once you do manage to make friends, everyone is living a separate, busy life that never seems to match up with yours. All social engagements have to be written down on a calendar or in your planner and booked out so you don’t accidentally forget or promise someone else that you’re free. After we finalize a plan, one of my friends always says, “Okay, make sure to write that down.” It’s a little frustrating at times to always feel like socializing with the people you love always has to come second to everything else, but it makes the moments where you can be together even sweeter.

Liking your job isn’t always the priority

Difficult Truths about Adulthood That We All Have to LearnAdulthood comes with a series of responsibilities for those of us living alone, and most of them are financial. You have to feed yourself, pay your bills, cover your daily needs, and make sure there’s enough to cover any medical expense that might come up. This doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room for not showing up to work and getting paid. At the end of the day, no matter how tired you might feel or how much you think you need some time off, your responsibilities always seem to take precedence over your personal needs.

When that happens, making money becomes the main priority. As much as we all want to work jobs we love, sometimes it’s more likely that we are working whatever job was available for us and paid the best. As great as it is to work a job you love, that’s not always a priority depending on your situation. However, finding a job that you enjoy more often than not can still be a fulfilling experience and will help you grow and evolve as a person in ways you may not have imagined.

Moving might be one of the most stressful experiences

As an adult in the phase of adulthood where I am moving homes again, I feel like moving is definitely one of the most stressful situations we experience. There are 10,000 things that need to get done, paperwork that needs to be sorted through and completed – and don’t even get me started on packing. As much fun as it can be to make a new space your own and design your new home to suit you, the physical act of moving is stressful for everyone.

And as we’ll talk about later, as wonderful as starting over can feel, ultimately change is really scary. We are filled with more questions than we have answers for – what if the new place isn’t as good as the old one, what if my roommates get on my nerves, what if, what if, what if. It can be terrifying to feel like you’re starting over again, but the hope of new beginnings should outweigh the fear of the unknown.

It can feel really isolating sometimes

Being an adult means having to take care of yourself, and trying to make it through adulthood feeling like you’re ultimately on your own can be really isolating at times. There are so many days where I wake up wishing I had my mom nearby to talk to, or for my dad to be in the next room so I can ask him for help when I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing. And despite the fact that I know in my mind that they’re only a phone call away, there’s still this feeling that I can’t rely on them for everything and need to learn how to do it on my own.

Not to mention, the busy schedules of all your friends coupled with living alone for the first time can make you feel completely alone more often than not. It’s never anyone’s fault – sometimes life just gives you a lot of time to sit inside your thoughts, and that isn’t always a good thing. It’s important not to dwell too long on those feelings of loneliness – the next time you feel isolated and alone, take a moment to reach out to someone important to you and remind yourself that just because you’re taking care of yourself now doesn’t mean you’re completely on your own.

Change is scary, but it’s also good

Adulthood is almost entirely about change, whether it’s lifestyle changes, relationships, and friendships, or work and occupation. We are always changing and constantly evolving, and that is honestly one of the most terrifying things about life. And while sometimes days may feel a bit repetitive and life can become stale with routine, that doesn’t mean little changes aren’t being made all the time.

As scary as it is, change is good. Change keeps us on our toes and inspires us to look at our life from a different perspective. It motivates us, encourages us, and keeps us moving forward. Change is the hope for a better tomorrow and the push we need to get through today. The good thing about adulthood is that we have way more control over our lives than we did when we were children – even if it doesn’t always feel that way all the time – and that means that if we don’t like where we’re going, there’s always room for us to change our direction and try something new.

There’s no instruction manual – we’re just learning as we go

At the end of the day, adulthood is all about maintaining a “learn as you go” mentality. Difficulties will arise and things will stress you out with each twist and turn, but each struggle and fall will build you to be a better, stronger person. Being an adult is hard and it’s not as magical as we thought it would be when we were kids, but there are still so many things we can love and enjoy as we get older. Life is a beautiful, changing, and mysterious thing, so we’re all just doing our best to ride the waves and figure it out as we go along.

Do you know of more difficult truths about adulthood that we all have to learn? Tell us in the comments!

Draven Jackson HeadshotAbout Draven Jackson

Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.

To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.


14 Comments on “Difficult Truths about Adulthood That We All Have to Learn”

  1. I was definitely one of those kids that wanted to be an adult too quickly. It is hard being an adult. I lost my Mom in my early 20’s and had to grow up quickly. I went through a big depression mode and made my life way more difficult than it should of been.

  2. Just told my Mom the other day I wanted to go back to being a child She has dementia and it is so hard being her care giver Life is hard enough these days without the added stress I love her so even this will pass and we will get through it

  3. Adulthood isn’t always easy especially since becoming a single mom almost two years ago, but it’s worth it

  4. This article is so true. I remember being a kid wishing I were an adult. But there were many times as an adult, I wished I were a child again. The challenges are hard, but learning from them is very important to me.

  5. Love this article, so hard to say in words sometimes and this article hit adulthood right on!

  6. It can be difficult when you are the one out of your group friends who has started a family and are being an adult. You can’t turn to them to talk, empathize or gain advice from.

  7. I remember growing I thought I would know everything as an adult. Now that I’m in my twilight years, I have more questions than ever before

  8. This article really hit home with me. So many changes in my life this past year with the sudden passing of my husband. And nothing prepares us for those adulthood changes. I am slowly growing after this loss & your article touched on so many changes we have to endure in adulthood. Some are easy & some are very difficult!

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