The one thing I always dreamed of when I was a kid was to be a ‘grown-up’. It’s funny that now that I am a ‘grown-up’, all I want is to be a kid again. Being an adult is hard…really hard. It’s like that boring ride in an amusement park in which nothing special happens but you still pretend to enjoy it. I am not saying being everyone feels this way but most people that I have met or know feel more or less the same (Hmm, perhaps I need to find better people). So today, I present you a list of things or rather ‘truths’ that no one tells you about being an adult. (Apologies for the depressing stuff)
1. It’s difficult
Yeah, no shit. In other news – Water is wet. But seriously, between debt, bills, your job, maintaining a social life, taking care of your health AND doing the things that you actually like, it all gets too exhausting. And more often than not, the last thing takes the backseat along with being healthy is you. You stop caring about yourself. You don’t even get the time to take care of yourself. You just keep being a part of a group in which everyone pretends they’ve got it all figured out but most of them are just going with the flow.
2. Only a lucky few get to enjoy a healthy work-life balance
If you have a job that you love then congratulations, you’re among the lucky few. Most adults don’t like their jobs. They just do it because it pays the bills. In a country like India, ‘work-life’ balance is a joke. You can have to work 9-10 hours without the extra pay. Add to that the shitty leave policies by MNCs and other private companies, lack of sleep, regular traffic jams, pitiful paychecks and you get a corporate slave.
3. Social Media makes you more depressed
You’ll open your Facebook, scroll through your timeline and see all your peers, all your relatives, all your friends having the time of their lives while you have nothing even remotely good happening. The truth is – most of the time, they also don’t have anything good going on in their lives but getting ‘likes’ and comments’ from people in their friend list act as a validation tool for them. And the funny part is, you know this but still can’t help but get sad by looking at their statuses and ‘life achievements’.
4. You really really REALLY need to save
You’re in your 20s man, you should not worry about tomorrow! Yeah, sounds good and all but tomorrow will freaking come and if you don’t take sensible decisions, you will be broke. Saving a part of your salary shouldn’t be optional for you. There will be times when you’ll really need the money – got fired, had an accident, get evicted etc. And you should be prepared for all that. Setting aside a small part of your salary as soon as you get it is really gonna help you in the long run. Open a savings account or a fixed deposit or anything, but make an effort to save…every month.
5. You should start investing
Why let your money sit idle when it can grow? I know I sound like a mutual fund advertisement but hear me out. You control your finances and it’s your responsibility to make better decisions. While saving is great (and necessary), sound investing is unlocking a new level. And I am not talking about millions. Try to invest a small fraction of your salary into some sort of instrument that gives returns – Stocks, bonds, mutual funds – anything as long as they’re reasonably safe. Pick the one that’s best for you and make investing a habit.
6. Transportation is going to take a LOT of your time
Nobody talks about it and I don’t know why. People often ignore how much time they spend to and from work. With all the traffic, long queues for metro/local, failing to get a cab among lots of other things, a good chunk of your day goes into transportation. Try to minimise it as much as you can. If you can get an apartment close to work and it costs more or less the same as your cheaper apartment + daily travel, then do yourself a favour and stay there. Even if it costs a little extra, it will be a lot less exhausting.
7. You don’t have ‘best friends’ anymore
Part of growing up and becoming an adult is you start losing friends. Not to say that people don’t have friends or best friends after a certain age, it sure is a lot less common…and hard. Making friends as a grown-up is difficult. There’s too much thinking, too much judgment, too much ego. I still look kids in awe whenever they meet each other for the first time. Making friends is so easy for them. It’s almost effortless, On the other hand, you have to struggle to maintain contact with your old friends. Those college days are not going to come back. You’ll not meet each other in years. Slowly, they become just names in your contact list.
8. It all comes down on you suddenly
Adulthood came crashing down on me as soon as I left college. Jobs, bills, groceries, the whole package was suddenly in front of me. It was too much information to process. Because you’re still not done being a student and not completely this person (this grown up, Mr. Responsible that you’re supposed to be) yet. It all gets a little overwhelming.
9. Only you’re responsible for your life
Remember when you’re a little kid and didn’t want to take orders from anybody? Yeah, you’re gonna miss it too sometimes. It’s a great thing to be independent but sometimes you wish that you have this cushion to catch you if you slip and fall. Adulthood includes a lot of hits and misses and sometimes, those misses hurt. You don’t know that your current partner is the one or not. You don’t know if your friends are real or not. You don’t know if you’d like your job or not… There are just too many uncertainties that you only have to take care of. Right or wrong, the choice is yours to make….and the consequences too.
10. It gets a little lonely sometimes
Sure you have your family, your friends, your girlfriend/boyfriend with you. But sometimes, this feeling of loneliness takes all over your body – something thing that I never felt as a kid. You lose friends, partners, sometimes people closest to you – your family, your parents aren’t there to support you. There are moments when you feel completely lost, broken, defeated. And all you have is yourself no matter how much you need someone.
I know being an adult isn’t this bad at least not all the time. But those moments, when you feel all this and still keep on moving….that is what being an adult is really all about. And here comes the greatest truth of all time – Adulthood sucks….but not always.