70 People Reveal Things They Did Not See Coming Before Becoming Adults

It’s no surprise that every stage in life comes with a different set of worries and challenges. What might come as a surprise, though, is what said set often entails.

Those who’ve already stepped into the third decade of their lives know that adulthood is no exception. Whether it’s finances, health, or other important matters that continuously remind people of themselves—often accompanied by a headache—there’s always something to worry about. If you’re wondering what that something is for different people, scroll down to find out what things netizens were not prepared for in adulthood.

Seeking to learn more about what worries people as adults and how best to deal with it all, Bored Panda turned to an expert in adult development psychology, based in the School of Human Sciences at the University of Greenwich, Dr. Oliver Robinson, who was kind enough to answer a few of our questions. Scroll down to find his thoughts in the text below.


Being virtually the only person left in your life who remembers anything about your childhood. It’s disorienting

Image credits: Emma Matthews


That I could afford all the video games but never have time to play them

Image credits: Jake Brudda


How much bras hurt your body by the end of the day, even if they're properly fitted.

Image credits: Charlene MacKenzie

“Adults have an infinite number of potential worries, so the key to adult life is how not to worry about any of them. Worry doesn’t help anything, so is best dispensed with completely,” Dr. Oliver Robinson told Bored Panda in a recent interview. While not worrying is easier said than done, it might be helpful to at least try and stay calm and collected in situations that adulthood throws at you.


Not knowing what to cook every day.

Image credits: Ervin Boer


That women are not allowed to get old. They are expected to stay young, thin and perky forever.

Image credits: Ivona Zelman

According to a recent Ipsos poll, now, in 2024, people tend to worry most about inflation, poverty and social inequality, and crime.

“As adults, we have to face a world where actual tragedies and potential threats are a daily occurrence, to ourselves, to those we know and to the wider world. Happiness is necessarily not a good fit with being aware of the facts of the world, and ironically, trying to be happy as an adult, while being aware of the suffering of others, can create anxiety,” Dr. Robinson pointed out.

“However, it is entirely reasonable, and indeed much recommended, to be calm and composed as an adult in the face of what we learn on the news, or issues and illnesses in our lives or the lives of those we know.

“The first step to staying calm and composed, and thus being of help to others in crisis, is not aiming to be happy. If happiness comes in quiet moments in your life, that is of course a good thing, but happiness genuinely manifests more reliably when you don’t aim for it. A calm and composed person thinks carefully through problems or issues, and does not need to worry.”


The entitlement of some people.

Image credits: Cathi Eyre Wagner


How expensive it is to just exist. Even after doing all the things I was told to be “successful” like getting good grades and going to college. Also the mental breakdowns, anxiety, and depression.

Image credits: Megan Marie


The older you get the more invisible you become.

Image credits: Sue Duca

Even though such things as your health or the well-being of your loved ones are relevant at pretty much any stage of one’s life, once they reach a certain age, the troubles people focus on the most seem to differ with each age group.

According to the expert in adult development psychology, the main worries for young adults, for instance, are focused most on the future, both their own future and the future of the planet. “They have the burden of trying to carve out a life in a challenging world, and each big decision can be a worry. Their life is full of decisions that change the future. The key issue here is anxiety and feelings of being marginalized.

“Middle-aged adults worry about getting old and the tiring combination of raising children, work and other societal commitments. The key issues here are burnout and tiredness,” he continued.

“Older adults’ main worries are loneliness, losing status and meaning, and losing a place in the world. The key issue here is loss of meaning and purpose.”


That life is just about winging it. You never know the answers to everything or have the solutions to everything.

Image credits: Mariah Sams


Getting up in a morning with more injuries than u went to bed with

Image credits: Wendy Donald Mitchelson


No matter how old I am I’d feel so young inside.

Image credits: Eliete Sousa

“One of the great pathologies in modern society is the belief that the meaning of life emerges through hard work and corresponding public success, and that if you work harder and harder, suddenly the meaning of life is solved,” Dr. Robinson said.

“But for most, it is actually love and relationships that bring meaning to life. This was brilliantly evidenced by research on terminally ill patients, where they were asked about their regrets. Two of the main regrets were working too much and not spending enough time with friends. When faced with the end of life, as these terminally ill patients were, the meaning of it becomes more clear.

“So slow down and make sure that your life is well balanced between relationships, family, exercise, leisure and work. For those who are not working, make sure to find activities that give social connection and purpose, such as social hobbies.”


Watching your parents age. Seeing them go from young parents to elderly grandparents is….both beautiful and painful.

Image credits: Amanda Jones


That you still can’t have as many horses/dogs/cats as you want - or live in a castle.

Image credits: Ali Singleton


Needing to sleep then not being able to.

Image credits: Cynthia Kremsner


The Development of allergies at almost 30 when u never had them


That after 40, you have to decide if you’re having indigestion, anxiety attack or heart attack when you have a slight pain


Adults seemed so grown up and mature when I was a child. As an adult... Boy was I wrong.


Getting to grips with the reality that nothing really matters and we are all going to die eventually sooner than we expected - we’ll be buried with our very big dreams, expectations and life ambitions that we slowly, every year, gave up on trying to attain. On the flip side, the realization that health and the small moments with loved ones is really all that goes with you to the grave.

Image credits: Rola Fattal


That you can have pimples and grey hair at the same time.

Image credits: Kelly Laughter


How much it will hurt when you lose your parents.

Image credits: Jessica MacKinnon Allen


Having to remember 20+ different passwords


How things that clean other things also need to be cleaned?!


When they rearrange the grocery store


That you don't realise when you're supposed to be an adult. All of the sudden you're just middle aged everything hurts and you still feel like you're waiting for this adult thing to happen

Image credits: Stephanie Schicker


Life itself? How hard it is to be an adult? Being lost and not knowing what to do ?

Image credits: Yas Mine


Body aches and pains. Chores, never ending chores. Bills, never ending bills to pay! Adulting is hard.

Image credits: Cat-White Zoey


How childish and petty bosses and other adults can be. Some even going out of their own way to ensure others are miserable.


Everything going up so much faster than my rate of pay.


That you may end up being the most “adult” person you know and other “adults” will look to you in “I need an adult” moments.


How boring it can be. You work, take care of other people, eat, sleep, then wake up and do the same thing the next day and the next. The monotony gets broken when something c****y pops up but you still have those regular obligations.


You need 20 years to learn stuff. That is outdated in 5


Realizing how many people youll have to deal with throughout life that are so incompetent.


Still worrying about my adult children's safety.


That apparently not all adults matured past high school


It’s harder to meet people and start relationships once your done with school


That safety and "being safe" were not the same. That parents, partners, friends, family...were just titles and that when you get older, there is no such thing as certainty.


No one told me becoming an old adult would hurt so much


How difficult it actually is to get pregnant


That there really are no more “special days”. When you get to be an “established” (over 30) adult, nobody really gives a crap if it’s your birthday, Mother’s Day etc. But you are still expected to make them special for other people.


Even when you treat others the way you want to be treated they could not return the favor


Having to work for a living, forever.


Credit scores!! How easy it is to lose points, how hard it is to get them back and how they control everything!!


That as an adult, you still don't know what you are doing. it's all a lie


That you are alone and you will never feel safe and secure . The constant worry about everything


How much u actually turn into ur parents...

I always said I wouldn't yell at my kids like my mom... then I yell and sound exactly like her.... same phrases and everything... I be about to blow my top and just walk away because y yall got me sounding like this... I was supposed to be a cool mom


I’d be able to provide for myself all by myself if I went to college. I’d never have to worry about money if I got a college degree


The idea of working hard, always trying to do what is right,that you win in the end. So very wrong. The good does not overcome all the evil. So hard for me to accept.


Paying bills


How difficult it is being your parents caretaker


The feeling you get when people around you are starting family’s and it feels like yesterday you were all kids lol like why are we all having “teenage (mid twenties) pregnancy’s “


Learning how to navigate childhood traumas


The lost ability to run. I so admire seniors who can run.


How everything snap crackles and pops and your in constant pain and everything irritates you.


How much effort it takes just to take care of yourself and stay alive


Mostly about boundaries, but that is not only adult, it's a human issue. And respecting yourself as well as others. Never allowing anyone to make you feel less worthy.


I wasn't warned about the fact that being an adult means having your back hurting all the time.


That you can have the time or the money but never both at the same time.


You gotta buy YOURSELF gifts

Or no one will


Your grown kids will still stress you out!


All the changes your body goes through as you get older. I wish someone would have told me so I could have been more prepared.


Having to unlearn all the toxic beliefs and behaviors that were forced on you growing up so you can start to heal from your childhood trauma and become a healthy, functioning adult. It's so much work. But so worth it. Been in therapy for 14 years now. I am a much more whole and self assured individual who has self love and sets clear boundaries.


That I would always feel like I am two steps behind, mentally exhausted and feeling like I am not good enough.


People depend on you all the time.

Family, friends, pets, work, neighbors, society.

It’s ok, but also quite daunting when you just feel like curling up in the corner with your blanket and a book and have quiet time.


Being an adult (and the expectations that go with it) and feeling like an adult are two totally different things.


The emotional intelligence and aptitude needed to get through this life and the fact that many of us don't even know the amount of work necessary to achieve it.


The mailbox only contains bills and junk mail. Now I know why my parents never seemed to care about getting the mail while my sister and I fought over who got to go get it


When you young you trust everyone but by the time your middle age you will not trust anyone.


If you do not agree with EVERYTHING other adults say they hate you.


You never become an adult, you're only cosplaying one. But no one tells you that as a kid becsuse they are busy cosplaying.


You will likely receive more love and support from strangers than you will from your own friends and family.