culture Adult Things No One Prepared You For  

Lauren Slocum
3.1k votes 348 voters 11.6k views 38 items

When you were little, you probably dreamed of adulthood. The phrase "When I grow up..." was probably tossed around with an air of whimsy and desire that made the progression of days seem more like a fairytale than a slow march towards death. And no matter how much you daydreamed about becoming self-sufficient and successful, there are plenty of adult things you never learned to do that leave you wondering, "WTF, Mom and Dad?" 

Ultimately, age doesn't matter; as long as you're physically capable, consider yourself age appropriate. But there are tons of things adults do that kids and teenagers never have to think about. Buying a house? Realizing you have back-fat rolls? Dealing with sexual harassment in the office? You may experience any or all of those examples during your career as an adult, and guess what? You won't have any clue what you're doing because no one prepared you for it. 

Many of the items on this list of things you learn when you grow up can't be taught. No one can really tell you what to expect when you have a baby, but why weren't we taught the best ways to grow our savings accounts? Or how to contribute to a 401k? There should be a class in high school similar to home economics that teaches you smart banking habits, how to file your taxes, and that lets you know one day, 70% of the friends you had will disappear into the murky abyss of social media. 

Do you ever wonder, "Why didn't anyone teach me that?" We all do! So if you're on board for creating a curriculum that actively scares the crap out of kids who are excited about being adults, you should contribute anything you wish you'd known going into adulthood! We can't promise it'll end up on a whiteboard or finals exam, but feel free to print out this list and hand it to your 10 year old. And - don't forget to vote up the items you think are the most critical to being an awesome adult.
list ordered by

1
131 14
The American Dream Is Expensiv... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added The American Dream Is Expensive

2
127 15
Even Your Dream Job Will Still... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Even Your Dream Job Will Still Be... a Job

3
128 16
How to Deal with A**holes... T... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Deal with A**holes... They're Everywhere!

4
113 18
Your Friend Circle Will Shrink is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Your Friend Circle Will Shrink

5
108 20
Your Body Will Fall Apart is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added Your Body Will Fall Apart

6
111 25
Your Metabolism WILL Change is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Your Metabolism WILL Change

7
90 16
You Will Still Think in Terms ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
You Will Still Think in Terms of, "When I Grow Up..."

8
94 18
Your Whole Life Will Be a Seri... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Your Whole Life Will Be a Series of "Fake It Til You Make It" Scenarios

9
84 15
Buying a Home is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Buying a Home

10
83 16
Standing Up for Yourself in Un... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Standing Up for Yourself in Uncomfortable Situations

11
97 25
Your Parents Become Real Peopl... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Your Parents Become Real People. And You Will Judge Them.

12
74 14
You Will Have to Try Really Ha... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
You Will Have to Try Really Hard to Keep Meaningful People in Your Life

13
85 22
How to Establish Credit is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Establish Credit

14
79 19
Your College Education Probabl... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Your College Education Probably Won't Apply to Your Job

Things Your Mother Told You... That She Was Right About

15
81 22
Fixing Home Repairs on Your Ow... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Fixing Home Repairs on Your Own

16
63 15
How to Handle Rejection, Both ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Handle Rejection, Both Personally and Professionally

17
66 17
Efficient Time Management Skil... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Efficient Time Management Skills

18
57 12
How to File Your Taxes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to File Your Taxes

19
55 12
You'll Probably Feel Like ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
You'll Probably Feel Like a Little Kid Forever

20
56 13
Unemployment is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added Unemployment

21
56 14
Falling in Love Is About Roman... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Falling in Love Is About Romance AND Practicality

How to Get a Girl to Like You

22
41 8
The Workplace is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added The Workplace

23
63 25
When Your Kids Grow Up, They M... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
When Your Kids Grow Up, They Might Not Like You

24
59 23
Your Arms Will Get Fat and You... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Your Arms Will Get Fat and You'll Kind of Care but Probably Won't Do Anything About It

25
49 16
How to Diagnose Car Problems is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Diagnose Car Problems

26
54 23
There Is Such a Thing as Falli... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
There Is Such a Thing as Falling Out of Love

27
36 10
How to Stay Composed When You ... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Stay Composed When You Get Pulled Over

28
39 13
Setting Up a 401K is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Setting Up a 401K

The Best Things About Fall

29
39 14
How to Manage Your Budget is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Manage Your Budget

30
37 13
You Really Will Get "a Cas... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
You Really Will Get "a Case of the Mondays" Every Now and Then (/Always)

31
38 16
Being "Smart" Doesn... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Being "Smart" Doesn't Really Matter... It's All About Motivation and Taking Action on Your Dreams

32
35 14
How to Grow Your Savings Accou... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Grow Your Savings Account

33
38 18
Appearance Matters is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added Appearance Matters

34
44 24
Becoming a Parent for the Firs... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Becoming a Parent for the First Time

35
41 23
Sex Is Very Normal and It'... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Sex Is Very Normal and It's Actually Really Enjoyable

36
29 16
Dealing with Sexual Harrasment is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Dealing with Sexual Harrasment

37
35 22
Private Parts Vary Drastically... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Private Parts Vary Drastically From Partner to Partner

38
10 5
Free Time is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Gabby Gellerman added Free Time you literally have none