Myths About Adulthood (or: What I Learned on the Other Side)

Editor, Carnegie Communications

Who doesn’t naively assume they will have life figured out when they “grow up”? I am in my 20s, a time when I thought things would be so different, so defined, when imagining life from the safety of my beach-themed childhood bedroom.

I suppose I’m in that sweet spot, where autonomy is at its zenith. But I’m still learning what this whole being-an-adult thing is about—and how it differs from my youthful expectations. So whether you’re a young’un or just young at heart, here are some myths about adulthood I’d like to debunk.

Adults don’t procrastinate

I admit it. I procrastinate. We all do. Sure, I’m a responsible gal in general and I stay on top of my workload, but I always thought I would stop procrastinating when I “grew up,” because that’s something that grown ups just don’t do, right? Pshhh! Adulthood brings with it plenty of tedious tasks, like responding to your Great Aunt Edna’s written-in-all-caps e-mails. So you find ways to put that stuff off (like writing a blog post on the myths about adulthood . . . ). It’s just a matter of knowing how much procrastinating is acceptable and how much is blatantly shirking your responsibilities. Nobody likes a responsibility-shirker. But I take comfort in knowing that even the best procrastinate sometimes.

Adults are always civil

Fortunately, most are civil. But cattiness, gossipyness, bullying, and other assorted middle school ills still exist in the adult world. At least now, as a grown up, it’s easier to brush off the unpleasant encounter with that rude guy who stole your place in line at the deli. You can face the world with pride with your sweet apartment, your loving significant other, and your (mostly) pimple-free grown-up skin!

Adults aren’t silly

Frankly, I wouldn’t want to live in a world where being a grown up meant I couldn’t crab-walk across the beach to make my friends laugh. Just like when we were kids, all you really need is the right person (or people) to have a good time—there is nothing like a playdate with your besties.

Adults don’t have homework or chores

Remember when you were younger, so jealous of grown ups because they didn’t have five-paragraph expository essays to write or a bedroom to clean? Well, unless you don’t mind being behind in your professional life and living in squalor, you definitely have homework and chores as a grownup. 

Adults don’t get overwhelmed

Because they can handle anything, right? If only. (Maybe it’s from all that procrastinating?) But it’s okay, because you learn to power through, to do the hard work, and be better prepared for next time.

Adults know how to balance their shampoo to conditioner ratio

One always runs out before the other. I don’t understand. I do the numbers in my head, I weigh each container in my hands, I’m working on an algorithm and a spreadsheet, but I just thought by now, I would be able to better gauge proportions and finish them at the same time! Okay, maybe this one is just me . . .

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