I like to describe the process of adulting as a “rude awakening”. We spend so much time impatiently waiting to escape our childhood and teenage years just so we can boldly say that we are “adults”, only to find out that adulthood is not as luxe as we thought it would be.
Aside from the general freedom that comes with being an adult, there is so much more that goes into it that we are misinformed about. The reality of adulting and adulthood is not as glamorous as it has been depicted in our minds and in coming of age films. Adulting is not all bad, it is just very overhyped in comparison to the expectations we all had growing up. I am going to be sharing five lies we told ourselves about adulting that raised the bar and set our expectations only to be met with the reality of what becoming an adult is really like.
- All your problems as a teenager suddenly disappear: This is a lie that I personally told myself and believed with my whole heart. Imagine my shock when I stopped being a teenager and realized that those issues were not going anywhere until I confronted them. I played myself with this one. A lot of us go into adulthood thinking that it is an escape from the weird phase we call our teen years but honestly, you can not run from yourself. You can try, but understand that the longer you run the higher your chances of waking up to an existential crisis.
- Just because you are an adult means you stop being a kid: The irony of life. Looking back, the main reason I wanted to fast forward to my adult years was because I wanted to desperately stop feeling like a child. I would go to extremes like trying to be more reserved with my personality, dress in way I felt screamed maturity and curate my aesthetic to fit the “adult brand”, but nothing I did could ever seem to get rid of the kid in me and I finally made the discovery that ‘adults are just bigger kids’. Adulthood can suck the joy out of life if you let it. However, the secret to a more fulfilled adult life is to keep your inner child happy.
- Pursuing a career you love makes for a seamless journey: This one shocked me, I can not even lie. We believed growing up that the moment university or your job gets hard then it means it is not for you or you are not passionate about it enough. Truth is, success does not come by easy even if your career path is something that you are passionate about. You must be ready to put the work in and see it through the good and trying times. Just because you love your career and job description does not mean it is going to be an easy ride.
- You stop needing your family: I am sure we have all said something along the lines of “when I am older, I won’t need you or call you” to members of our family. Adulting has a way of humbling you, and the family that you once thought you would not need become your biggest and strongest support system. Their unconditional love, support, and advice will carry you through as you face the harsh realities of life.
- Everything you need to know about making money, budgeting, and spending wisely comes naturally to you: This is the biggest shock of all. I am sure we all thought the knowledge of personal finances would come as second nature to us once we reached the adult stage but alas, we still end up broke from time to time. Financial literacy is crucial while adulting, and it is something you go out of your way to learn. I just finished reading ‘The Smart Money Woman’ by Arese Ugwu and it is a must read for anyone looking to get their finances in check. How to manage your personal finances are not taught in schools and it certainly goes against the flenjor mindset we have when it comes to money, so it is important to seek knowledge in this area and begin to implement it into our lives.
Although adulting does have its cons, there certainly are some pros. Ultimately, growing up can be a fun learning experience if you are able to be a bit more open minded and realistic with your expectations. The young adult stage can be confusing and hard to navigate, but as my mother would say, ‘the only way to thrive is to always be one step ahead of the game’.