The Worst Things About Being An Adult (Thus Far)


Photo by Chaz Delgado None of us, as privileged college students, are even close to being a real adult yet, and adulthood STILL sucks. Many of our parents still pay our rent. We still don’t have full time jobs. But we have a lot to complain about when it comes to being unable to curl into the fetal position and avoid responsibility. Sure, there are lots of cool things about being an adult like porch drinking and having your own space that your parents can’t tell you to clean. But it’s mostly stressful. Here’s the worst shit that sucks about adulthood so far.

Living with your friends sounds amazing freshman year. But once you start living with them sophomore year, shit can get dicey. Meshing the ways you were raised to figure out how to live together now is no easy feat. From arguing about how to load the dishwasher to coordinating grocery shopping trips, there are a lot of ways that living with someone can actually fuck up your relationship. Now that we’re on the subject, let’s set the record straight: bowls go on the top rack in the dishwasher and you have to rinse your dish off before putting it in there! I simply can’t live another day on this planet if we don’t all agree on this.

While cleaning is certainly an issue, the real worst part about this is the nagging Jiminy Cricket in the back of your head telling you that you should clean. “Clean” isn’t a word in the freshman vocabulary, but as soon as you move into an apartment or a house, it’s pretty unavoidable. When you’re an average college student, it’s way easier to get sick and stressed out because of all the germs and clutter in your life. Being an adult means that even if you never clean, there’s a small voice telling you, “You’re failing as an adult.” And maybe a louder voice of your visiting friends and family who are sickened by the state in which you live

Semi-grown, pathetically dependent college students even hate cleaning their own clothes. Realizing you’ve gone a month without doing laundry and that you spilled red wine on your favorite going out shirt is a really low point in the adult experience. Saying fuck it, covering the stain with a jacket and the smell with perfume is a high point, though. Maybe.

As soon as anyone moves out of the dorm, they will inexplicably feel responsible for doing better with money. Before moving out of our parents’ house, money was fun. If we made a little extra at work one week, we could spend it on pretty much whatever we wanted.

Now, money is a much scarier beast. Crushing student loans and complicated bills are hard to understand and navigate. Paying for cable, Wi-Fi, electricity, water, cell phone and gas bills each month has really begun to suck the life out of the fun college lifestyle. YOLO doesn’t work as an excuse anymore. When the due dates all coincide, our bank account and our faces weep in unison.

Because we spend all of our money on bills and groceries, we actually have to budget our money, too. For some of us, that means spreadsheets, because having no personal money as a kid may be a bit of a bummer but having no money as an adult means a house without electricity or Internet connection. It’s still possible to have fun and spend money on a Jimmy John’s sub once in a while, but having to ration when and where you do is a sad adjustment that we’re just not used to yet.

Speaking of not being used to adulthood yet, making your own doctor’s appointments is the most annoying shit in the world. Everyone should hire a personal assistant just for this purpose. Calling in, dealing with rude receptionists, and keeping track of all your appointments is the worst. The same goes for anything to do with insurance or car maintenance. Who has time for these tedious tasks? Grocery shopping and cooking for yourself is time-consuming enough. How do our parents keep food in the fridge for everyone in the family all the time and cook meals on a regular basis?

Coming home from a long day at school and realizing all of your green beans are slimy and you didn’t thaw any chicken for dinner is a real day-ruiner. Because then you think, oh, that’s fine, I’ll just order in. OH WAIT, you can’t because you have to pay rent in a few days! Fucking lovely.

How do other adults do it??? If there’s anything I’ve learned as an adult, it’s that all of adulthood is just being confused at how other adults act like adults. But I have a sneaking suspicion that no one knows what they’re doing and we’re all just floating around in a big bubble of uncertainty.