11 Reasons Adulting Is So Much Harder Than I Thought It Would Be

I’m still new to this whole adulting thing, and man has it caught be by surprise. On paper it didn’t sound too difficult; all I had to do was work hard, pay my bills on time and then basically do whatever I want because I can. In reality, things are a whole lot more complicated than that. Here are 11 things I just wasn’t prepared for:

So Many Bills. I always factored in rent, insurance, and my car loan when I thought about the future bills I would have. On average, that’s about $1500 per month and thankfully totally doable on my current salary. The problem is that I forgot about utilities, gas, groceries, a social life, vet bills, my 401k, and all the little add-ons that pop up here and there. I just had to renew my car tags, so there went another couple hundred dollars down the drain. How in the hell am I supposed to pay for everything?!

Taxes. Every time I think I have the bills under control and have a nice budget laid out, I realize I need to deduct about 40% of my income because it’s all going to go to taxes. Considering I’m struggling to make ends meet on all of my day-to-day expenses, this seems pretty unfair.

Not having any free time. I miss all the free time I had in college. I played a collegiate sport, worked, went to school full time, and still had free time every day to just chill and do whatever I wanted. Now I eat, go to work, exercise, come home and realize I have about four hours until bed. It’s not that I dislike work, it’s just that I miss being able to do anything I wanted in the middle of the day sometimes. This adulting thing is overrated.

Not having anyone else to wake me up in the morning. Okay, this one is a little lame because I can (and do) just set an alarm, but I seriously miss having someone else in the house (parent, sibling, or roommate) that would help wake me up in the morning. If I press snooze now, I’m just plain screwed. I set 15 alarms and put my phone across the room just to make sure I wake up in time. Arriving late to work is a much bigger deal than being late to class ever was.

Doing household chores alone. That giant pile of dishes in the sink won’t wash itself. On the days that I successfully cook a delicious meal, I then turn around and realize the mountain of dishes is still there waiting for me to take care of because no one else is around to do it. Same with laundry, taking out the trash, and cleaning the bathroom (and the rest of my place). If anything is going to get done, I’m the one that has to do it. Ugh, these aren’t even real problems, but they sure feel like it.

Making so many appointments. Suddenly I have to keep track of going to the dentist, eye doctor, regular doctor, girl doctor, hair salon, and more. Not only do I have to make the appointments, I have to remember when they are and actually go. Then I have to pay money for it (refer back to point 1). This was a whole lot better when I was on my parents’ insurance and had their financial help.

The ridiculously high stress levels that are now a constant in my life. It doesn’t matter what I’m worrying about, but there’s always something — bills, boyfriends, friends, family, pets, the economy, you name it. It always hits at the worst time, too, like when I want a really good night’s sleep.

How much competition there is for good jobs. I went to a great university, graduated with honors, was an athlete, had a great GPA…. and yet here I sit, struggling to get an entry-level position that barely even relates to my degree. I’m ready to be a master at life and this is really stunting that growth.

How tough it is to make friends. This is way harder than I ever thought it would be. I have amazing friends from high school and college, but now I’m also expected to make work friends. While they’re all amazing people, they’re just not friends… yet. Maybe they will be eventually, but it’s a much slower process than it used to be.

Food. Everything about food. I still try to eat healthy, but ramen, peanut butter, and bread are some common foods you’ll find in my pantry. The fruits and veggies are still there, but in order to pay for those foods I have to balance it out with some .79 cent ramen. Delicious.

Trying to actually seem like an adult. It’s not exactly professional to walk into the work Christmas party, get hammered, and flirt with that cute coworker. Instead, it goes like this: formal dress? Check. Goody two-shoes smile? Check. List of small talk conversation starters? Check. Classy amount of alcohol drank? Check. It’s exhausting acting professional all the time, but I’ve gotten pretty good at it!

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