Culture Adult Things No One Prepared You For  

Lauren Slocum
5.2k votes 512 voters 14.3k 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
208 30
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
208 31
How to Deal with A**holes... T... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Deal with A**holes... They're Everywhere!

3
197 29
Your Friend Circle Will Shrink is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Your Friend Circle Will Shrink

4
198 30
Even Your Dream Job Will Still... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Even Your Dream Job Will Still Be... a Job

5
174 24
Your Whole Life Will Be a Seri... is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
184 29
Your Body Will Fall Apart is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added Your Body Will Fall Apart

7
175 35
Your Metabolism WILL Change is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Your Metabolism WILL Change

8
161 30
You Will Still Think in Terms ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
You Will Still Think in Terms of, "When I Grow Up..."

9
142 28
Standing Up for Yourself in Un... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Standing Up for Yourself in Uncomfortable Situations

10
135 26
Buying a Home is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Buying a Home

11
127 25
You Will Have to Try Really Ha... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
You Will Have to Try Really Hard to Keep Meaningful People in Your Life

12
147 38
Your Parents Become Real Peopl... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Your Parents Become Real People. And You Will Judge Them.

13
106 19
You'll Probably Feel Like ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
You'll Probably Feel Like a Little Kid Forever

14
132 34
How to Establish Credit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Establish Credit

15
106 21
How to Handle Rejection, Both ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Handle Rejection, Both Personally and Professionally

16
99 19
Falling in Love Is About Roman... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Falling in Love Is About Romance AND Practicality

17
124 34
Fixing Home Repairs on Your Ow... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Fixing Home Repairs on Your Own

18
123 36
Your College Education Probabl... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Your College Education Probably Won't Apply to Your Job

19
99 24
How to File Your Taxes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to File Your Taxes

20
102 27
Efficient Time Management Skil... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Efficient Time Management Skills

21
75 13
The Workplace is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added

22
92 23
Unemployment is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added

23
88 25
How to Diagnose Car Problems is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Diagnose Car Problems

24
78 19
How to Manage Your Budget is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Manage Your Budget

25
81 22
Setting Up a 401K is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Setting Up a 401K

26
76 22
Being "Smart" Doesn... is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
89 31
Your Arms Will Get Fat and You... is listed (or ranked) 27 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

28
73 21
How to Grow Your Savings Accou... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Grow Your Savings Account

29
69 19
You Really Will Get "a Cas... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
You Really Will Get "a Case of the Mondays" Every Now and Then (/Always)

30
86 33
There Is Such a Thing as Falli... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
There Is Such a Thing as Falling Out of Love

31
86 36
When Your Kids Grow Up, They M... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
When Your Kids Grow Up, They Might Not Like You

32
70 28
Private Parts Vary Drastically... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Private Parts Vary Drastically From Partner to Partner

33
57 23
How to Stay Composed When You ... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Stay Composed When You Get Pulled Over

34
64 30
Appearance Matters is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added Appearance Matters

35
65 37
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
63 37
Becoming a Parent for the Firs... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Becoming a Parent for the First Time

37
30 12
Free Time is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Gabby Gellerman added Free Time

you literally have none

38
46 29
Dealing with Sexual Harrasment is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Dealing with Sexual Harrasment