6 Things About Adulting that Nobody Warns You About

Most people associate adulthood with turning 18 years of age. However, becoming an adult is much more nuanced than that. Some become adults much later, after graduating college and moving out of their parent's home. What defines adulthood is independence and doing various activities on your own. While you're always dependent on your parents to some degree, adulthood requires you to care for yourself in various different ways. 

Unfortunately, there are a few things about adulting that no one warns you about. You don't learn these things in school or from your parents because you have to experience them on your own to truly understand them. Here are a few things no one warns you about adulting:


When you're young, you may understand that your parents pay taxes, but you don't know how much it affects them. Yes, taxes are taken out of your paycheck from your employer, but they must then be filed in April of every year. But what if you don't have an employer? Freelancers, contractors, and self-employed individuals have different taxes they have to pay. Unfortunately, this is something you're not taught in school and won't learn about from your parents unless they pay those taxes. 

Even if your taxes are simple, it can be shocking to see just how much of your paycheck goes to paying them. While you may make $5,000 per month from work, what actually goes into your pocket is much less because of taxes. This can be a total surprise when you get your first paycheck. 

On the other hand, you might need an accountant or tax preparer to help you file your taxes in April every year. Your financial professional will use tax software to help, but you don't have access to that software to determine how much you'll owe or get back. This becomes even more complicated for small business owners. There are plenty of tax tips for small businesses, freelancers, and contractors that we're simply not taught about, so you'll have to rely on individuals who went to school for it. 


Another thing no one tells you about adulthood is that you're constantly tired. You have a lot of responsibilities throughout the day, even after an eight-hour workday. Many adults don't get eight hours of sleep. Instead, they wake up, prepare their kids for the day, go to work, come home, cook dinner for their families, spend time with their children, put their children to bed, and so forth. You'll constantly feel busy and tired even if you don't have children. 

Unfortunately, the stress involved with adulthood can also make you feel exhausted. While adulthood in itself is not stressful, there are little issues you'll deal with on a daily basis. For instance, you might get sick and miss a deadline at work. These problems can also be major, such as job loss, which affects everything you do. 

Unfortunately, 24 hours a day isn't enough to do everything you want to do. Balancing work with life can be challenging at times, especially if you have additional responsibilities. While you can mitigate this by prioritizing your day, you'll never be able to do everything you want to do because everything takes time. 

Free Time Isn't Always Free

Unfortunately, your free time isn't always free, even on your days off from work. While there will be time to hang out with family and friends, most of your alone time will be spent running errands or doing chores. Your home will never feel clean because you're constantly making a mess. For instance, your kitchen is clean until you cook your next meal and have to clean it over again.

Since most adults work at least eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, you'll spend your free time focusing more on your home life during nights and weekends. For instance, you might save Sundays for laundry day and grocery shopping. Meanwhile, your nights might be spent preparing meals for the week. 

Your Parents Don't Know Everything

When we're young, we think our parents know everything about life. Unfortunately, they don't; no one does. As you get older, you'll learn more and may even eventually know more than your parents. It can be frustrating when you call your parents about a problem, and they can't provide you with answers. However, this is simply a part of life. Your parents don't know everything, and they might not always be able to help you. 

Food is Expensive

Groceries are expensive, and if you don't eat your food within a few weeks, it will expire. Food seems to expire much more quickly when you're the one buying it. You can go to the store to pick up a few things for the week and end up spending hundreds of dollars based on what you buy. If that food expires, it'll all be a waste of money. 

Keep in mind that even though your groceries are costly, going to restaurants and ordering delivery every night is much more expensive. 

You Must Work Hard

If you're like the average person, you'll need a full-time job to support yourself. Compared to your parents at your age, you're making more. However, you can afford less. When you're 30, you may not be able to afford a home because inflation and price increases don't correspond to salary increases. You'll need to work much harder to afford a home like your parents did at your age. 

Additionally, there is no perfect job. Even if you have your dream job, it won't be perfect. Instead, you may find yourself working long hours or dealing with bad bosses just to make a living. 

Becoming an Adult

When you become an adult, you won't feel like an adult. We bet your parents don't even feel like adults. Unfortunately, life is hard even if you don't have any major issues. You'll need to continue to work hard, prioritize every aspect of your life, and find time for the things you enjoy most. 

Ashley Nielsen

Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who loves to share knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music. 

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