There is a lot of crap that comes with being an adult. Most of it turns out to be life lessons and teachings from hard times. So, I decided to share some of the harsh truths about becoming an adult that I have learned so far.
We improve by learning from those who have come before us. Take the time to read these words and I hope that there is something helpful here for you.
No One Has All The Answers
One of the biggest things that adulthood has taught, is the realization that no one actually knows what they are doing. We are all are just doing our best to survive while searching for ways to thrive. It is a scary thought, but at the same time, kind of soothing to know that I am just as confused as the next person. It means I am not alone and neither are you.
Weight Is Easier To Gain
As we get older our metabolism peaks and begins to decrease. Sadly, we will spend most of our adult lives with a decreasing metabolism that peaked in our early twenties. What does that mean? Well, that means that it will be a lot easier to gain weight and probably harder to lose weight. So, as an adult, we should be vigilant of our lifestyles and what we put in our bodies.
Energy Is Less Plentiful
I remember when I could play outside for hours and still have enough energy to play some games and watch TV. Now, I am tired after a 30-minute workout and need a nap. Being an adult means that the endless supply of energy that we once had as a child is slowly being depleted. Worse yet, our 100% now is less than our 100% a year ago.
We go from being taken care of as children, to taking care of only ourselves as young adults, and then having our own dependents as older adults. Our responsibilities grow and it can be tough owning up to it all. And at the end of the day, we are responsible for handling our responsibilities no matter if it feels like it’s too much. Being a good adult means facing our growing responsibilities.
Time Management Grows Tougher
As we cannot control time, we must get better at controlling how we use our time. And as we grow older, how we spend our time becomes more and more important. Focusing too much in one direction risks losing touch with the other. How does one manage a budding career, a family, friends, and maintain their personal sanity? There is no one right answer, but I guarantee that proper time management is an essential part of the answer.
Time Stops For No One
As my mother used to say, “time stops for no man”. The world does not stop moving because your life has gone down the drain. It keeps going. People move on, they leave, they die, things change. Time continues on whether we want it to or not. As an adult, we must recognize that and do our best to make sure that we are doing what we can to have time on our side. Otherwise, we risk being left behind.
Proper Money Management is Foundational
How you manage your money as a young adult undoubtedly plays a part in your financial future. If you practice horrible money management now and never improve your financial literacy, chances are you will have money problems your whole life. Your money mistakes of today if left unchecked will severely harm future you. So, educate yourself on how to properly budget and seek opportunities to improve your financial literacy.
Good Credit Is Essential, But It Can Be Difficult To Build
Your credit can make or break your finances and ability to get the things you want, at least in the U.S.
I would argue that this is one of the most impactful harsh truths about becoming an adult.
Having bad credit hinders your ability to secure financing for a car, home, furniture, heck a phone at a reasonable rate. Bad credit is a giant sign saying “hey lend to me and you can charge me exorbitant interest and I’ll pay it! If I don’t, feel free to take the items back and keep the interest I paid and then some!”
Building good credit is essential. The harsh thing though is that some of the items that people would most often buy, don’t normally help you build your credit score. For example, if you are living in an apartment and pay rent, you aren’t actually building your credit score. But if you stopped paying rent, that would damage your credit score.
There are ways now where you can apply to get your rent payments to count towards your credit score but it is not the norm. The same goes for your phone bill. Most of us pay our phone bill monthly and consider it essential, but those payments do not normally help build your credit score.
Even more so, is that one of the biggest determiners of your credit score is your average age of credit. So, you need to have a long-term credit history but with few if not any mess-ups. That can be a tall order for some of us.
Friends/People Will Come And Go
Have you ever looked at the contacts on your phone and thought “Jeez I haven’t talked to this person in years”? People come into our lives and leave just the same. Only a handful really end up being long-termers. It is just how things are.
We no longer have the college campus to keep us in the same circles. Some of us have families while others don’t, so responsibility and priorities change. Get-togethers become less frequent and so we slowly begin to lose touch. It is the natural way of things. Most people are only in your life for a season.
You Will Eventually Fail Or Falter
Sooner or later you will fall flat on your face. It is not a matter of if, but when. Remember to embrace the failure, learn from it, and get back up.
Good Work Is Rewarded With More Work
Yes, this is one of the major harsh truths about becoming an adult.
Today, being a great employee is usually rewarded with more work. I have never heard someone say “Excellent work! You did so well on this, I am going to reward you with less work next time!”
In our early adult years that more work might be what we want, but as we get older it becomes more trouble than it is worth. Because more work means less time to do what you want – like spending time with family, focusing on yourself, or trying new things.
Very Few People Really Care About You
There are very few people in this world that will be there for you rain, shine, snow, tsunami, whatever. Those are the people whose relationships we should nurture. The other 99% of people are not all bad but they are not that 1%. So be aware. Others might be around just for their own benefit and sometimes at your expense. As my ma says, “You can count your real friends on one hand and still have plenty of fingers still leftover”. That’s kind of depressing, but it is true for many of us.
What are your thoughts? Any harsh truths about becoming an adult that you want to share? Tell us in the comments below!
Best of luck adulting!
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About The Author
Donald Williams, Jr.
Donald is an avid believer in helping young people prepare for adulthood. He spends his time working on Adulting Starts Here and helping new adults plan for the future. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and going to the beach.