10 Ridiculous Ways We Misinterpreted Adulthood As Children

adulthood expectations vs reality

Unsplash/Rachel Nickerson

For most of us, childhood was a blur of half-memories and feeling either nervous about or completely desperate to become an adult. However, what we thought we’d handle out there in the real world is so different from we experience now. Here are 10 hilarious (and truly sad) ways that we misinterpreted adulthood and what really happens when it finally arrives.

1. We would work at our dream jobs for the rest of our lives.

Womp womp… Most of us aren’t even lucky enough to find our “dream job” right out of school. While our younger selves saw nothing but an upward slope of success, we adults know better. Not only could your dreams change over time, but you won’t always enjoy the work you’re doing. But believe it or not, going through these tough experiences changes us for the better and helps us really identify the passions we want to pursue.

2. A car and a house would be handed to us when we became true adults.


Pshhh, yeah right, kiddos. Nothing important in life comes easy, especially once you reach adulthood. What’s more likely is that we saved up for months — even years — just to achieve these milestones.

3. Our handwriting would suddenly get better.

Sorry to break it to all those kids with not-so-picture-perfect handwriting, but unless you take a calligraphy class or specifically focus on improving your scribbles, your handwriting won’t magically look amazing overnight. Our advice? Embrace your signature, no matter how messy!

4. Bills wouldn’t exist.

There was a reason our parents scolded us for forgetting to turn lights off in rooms we weren’t in or blasting the air conditioner all day and night. Bills are a thing, and while we probably overheard our parents’ stressful conversations about them, we could think of nothing more than simply having our own homes one day and just doing whatever we wanted. Hah, how little we knew.

5. We would effortlessly find our life partners… and quickly.


As it happens, dating is really hard. Some people get lucky and find their future spouses in high school or even college, but the rest are swiping right on dating apps and struggling through awful happy hours with people they realize they’re not compatible with. Le sigh.

6. Upon reaching adulthood, we’d replace our “fun” clothes with suits and only suits.

Even in movies, older people typically wear business-like attire, even after work. What were we supposed to think when we binged “Rugrats” or “Hey! Arnold” and saw that every adult looked like they came out of a corporate factory? While some of us chose career paths that include suits or business wear, not everyone has to. Yay for self-expression!

7. Taxes would be the most difficult thing on earth.

We’re not gonna lie — taxes can be scary and sometimes complicated. But the good news is that doing your taxes doesn’t have to be ridiculously painful. After you learn the basics, you’ll be good to go.

8. Once we’d make our own money, we’d go crazy at the grocery store and buy all the junk food.

Flickr/Ritchie Argue

We can’t say we haven’t done this in our golden college years. (Hey, sometimes a pizza at 4 a.m. just felt right!) But once we’re old enough to be in the “real world” with a job, we’re old enough to see our metabolism slowing down as well. We can’t down that six-pack of Natty’s like we used to and, actually, we don’t want to anymore. Also, we’re not all made of money (at least at first), so spending money on Fruit Roll-Ups instead of protein and grains starts to seem a little absurd.

9. Zits would stop at teenage-hood.

HAHAHAHAHA! That’s our faces laughing at us as they terrorize our T-zones at random. Sadly, acne follows some people through their entire lives. The good news? Instead of dousing our faces with three types of cakey foundation like in those fun middle school years, we know from experience to keep our faces clean, drink a green juice and maybe use a mask from time to time. Welcome to adult acne!

10. We’d keep our childhood friends forever.

Some of us are damn lucky and keep all our childhood friends close throughout our lives, but not everyone can maintain those friendships. People change, especially through those transformative years between teenage-hood and adulthood. So if you and your friends’ paths diverge, don’t fret. You’ll make new friends throughout your adulthood journey.


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