Culture Adult Things No One Prepared You For  

Lauren Slocum
8.4k votes 773 voters 16.9k views 39 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
334 52
How to Deal with A**holes... T... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Deal with A**holes... They're Everywhere!

2
322 49
Your Body Will Fall Apart is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added Your Body Will Fall Apart

3
337 54
The American Dream Is Expensiv... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added The American Dream Is Expensive

4
335 55
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
290 45
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
303 50
Even Your Dream Job Will Still... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Even Your Dream Job Will Still Be... a Job

7
274 48
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
247 41
Standing Up for Yourself in Un... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Standing Up for Yourself in Uncomfortable Situations

9
278 57
Your Metabolism WILL Change is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Your Metabolism WILL Change

10
217 38
You Will Have to Try Really Ha... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
You Will Have to Try Really Hard to Keep Meaningful People in Your Life

11
211 44
Buying a Home is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Buying a Home

12
225 60
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
181 38
How to Handle Rejection, Both ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Handle Rejection, Both Personally and Professionally

14
199 50
How to Establish Credit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Establish Credit

15
175 38
You'll Probably Feel Like ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
You'll Probably Feel Like a Little Kid Forever

16
190 54
Your College Education Probabl... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Your College Education Probably Won't Apply to Your Job

17
157 38
Falling in Love Is About Roman... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Falling in Love Is About Romance AND Practicality

18
180 54
Fixing Home Repairs on Your Ow... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Fixing Home Repairs on Your Own

19
141 31
How to Manage Your Budget is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Manage Your Budget

20
156 42
How to File Your Taxes is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to File Your Taxes

21
125 26
The Workplace is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added

22
145 41
Efficient Time Management Skil... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Efficient Time Management Skills

23
140 38
Unemployment is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added

24
120 29
How to Grow Your Savings Accou... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Grow Your Savings Account

25
124 33
Setting Up a 401K is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Setting Up a 401K

26
123 38
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
133 46
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
123 40
How to Diagnose Car Problems is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
How to Diagnose Car Problems

29
106 30
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
123 44
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
116 49
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
102 40
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
86 35
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
101 48
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
96 48
Appearance Matters is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
looksharp added Appearance Matters

36
102 55
Sex Is Very Normal and It'... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Sex Is Very Normal and It's Actually Really Enjoyable

37
58 25
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
70 43
Dealing with Sexual Harrasment is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
Dealing with Sexual Harrasment

39
5 0
How to cook is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Adult Things No One Prepared You For
bkolek added