The 20 Worst Things About Being a Grownup

6 minute read

By Christopher Brown

There are many benefits to being a grownup. You can eat whatever you want, sleep in if you want to, and enjoy your freedom. But, being a grownup isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Start a search today to explore the gracelessness of growing old.

Not everything about being a grownup fits into the fantasies you had as a kid. So grab your reading glasses, prep a glass of Ovaltine, and unfurl your ancestral shawl. Ready? Let’s dig into some grownup requirements!


There are a few words reserved for those that enjoy poring over their bills. Personally, I just call them boring. But it’s important!

Whether you’re tracking your expenses with spreadsheets, using an app, or just living within your means, budgeting is an essential part of growing up. And no, spending 50% of your household income on entertainment isn’t a real budget.

Aches and Pains

Wounds don’t heal like they used to, old college injuries ache more every day and your joints creak louder than the attic of your childhood home.

Staying in shape takes much more work as you age. So, until they find the fountain of youth, you should probably join a yoga studio.

Grocery Shopping

Meal planning, coupon clipping, avoiding small talk with strangers in the canned good aisle and don’t get me started on the parking lot! It’s a minefield littered with discarded bags and misplaced carts!

There’s nothing fun about your weekly trip to the supermarket. Unless of course you load your cart up with sweets and snacks. But you wouldn’t do that now, would you?

Pot Lucks

Parties used to be so much more fun! All you had to do was show up and take your loot bag home with you. Now though? Being a guest takes work!

You need to dress nice, you need to show up at a reasonable time and you need to bring something with you. Wine, hummus, fruit, cheese dip… it doesn’t really matter what you bring. But you will end up at the grocery store again.

Serious Relationships

Remember when you were in high school? You’d spend time with someone for a week or two, have fun, and then never speak to them again. Yeah… things aren’t as simple anymore.

Friendships, romantic relationships and even family bonds require a lot more maintenance when you’re an adult. And, putting an end to them requires more than just sitting somewhere else in the cafeteria, too.


Life as a youngster was the best! You got to play all day, eat good food, sleep in! What a life.

As a grownup, there are enough bills, social obligations, work and scary news stories to turn you gray and keep you up all night. As a grownup, you’re expected to face reality and reality can be stressful sometimes. That’s life, they say. The trick is finding something to help keep you balanced.


I still don’t know how to keep my white shirts from turning pink and my black sweaters from shrinking.

I’ve done a lot of reading online, but still. Pink shirts. Tiny sweaters. Oh yeah… and disappearing socks.

Staying In

Being a grownup means that you get to decide whether or not you’re going to stay in for a couch-locked evening or go out for a night on the town. It’s the classic Friday night conflict.

And though there’s nothing you’d rather do than binge watch 3 seasons of The Office, your phone won’t stop buzzing. The hardest part about staying in is having to justify the decision to friends who just don’t get it.

Going Out

So… you caved, dressed up and hailed a cab. But going out as a grownup is different.  I mean, the formula is the same: alcohol, music, dance floor and sweaty singles. But in practice, it’s much, much different.

You’ve spent enough time grinding up on strangers and taking shots of liquor that you can’t pronounce that it just isn’t much fun anymore. Plus, you’re older than everyone else in here. Probably should have just stayed home.


The charm of a messy apartment wears off after you leave college. Trust me. Nothing says deadbeat like a sink full of dishes, a floor full of discarded underwear and a bathtub full of gross bath tub gunk.

Nobody said that being a grownup was fun. Seriously. Turn on the tunes, put on the rubber gloves and get scrubbing.


One thing you’ll notice about getting older is the periodic reunion Facebook invites. Whether they’re for college, high-school, elementary school or even an old sports team, it’s safe to say you’ve been invited to a few over the years.

Spoiler alert: they aren’t a lot of fun. But you shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, there’s a reason that you haven’t seen these people in over 10 years.


Unless you’re one of those “live in my parent’s basement until I’m married,” people, it’s safe to say that you’re making rent or mortgage payments every month. I mean, is there anything nice to say about rent? I’m honestly struggling.

OK… let’s see if I can find something nice to say about rent. Umm… uhhhh… sorry. I’ve got nothing.

Social Obligations

I get it… it really sounds like I hate the outside world. Not true! I love the outside world! Me and the outside world are best buds. It’s just that… some of the things you’re expected to do as a grownup are so, so, so boring!

Here’s a list of things that you absolutely, 100% can’t miss without severely damaging a relationship or two:

See! I’m right and you know it.

Planning Things

Planning things has always been bad. But planning things as an adult is way more difficult. The most difficult part is picking a date that accommodates everyone. Then you have to agree on something that everyone wants to do.

Sound simple? Well, Becky can’t go bowling because she hurt her wrist, Jaz can’t do Saturday night, Ricky is out of town until next Tuesday and Steph doesn’t have any money for anything. Try planning around that.


Unless you’re one of those “do what you love” people, it’s safe to say that your job is the bane of your existence.

Waking up early, getting home late, packing your lunch, fighting exhaustion through endless boardroom meetings. I need a vacation just thinking about it.


The hardest part about being a grownup are living up to the world’s expectations of you. You need a career, a house, a marriage, kids, a car and pants. I mean, give me a break already!

I can do the house, marriage and car thing… but I’ll be damned if I’m putting on pants any time soon.

Getting Fat

And another thing! Staying thin takes a lot more work when you’re older. For starters, children are usually way more active. Also, your metabolism slows down substantially as you age.

You can’t spend your weekends stuffing your face with shawarmas and Sour Patch Kids anymore. Those days are over. Now, it’s all kale, green tea and whole grain oats. And, coming soon to a dinner plate near you… prunes.

Making Your Own Appointments

You can’t rely on Mom and Dad to schedule your dentist appointment anymore. Menial, cringe-inducing appointments are now your responsibility.

You can ignore them too, if you’d like. But neglecting dental check-ups, physicals and the like can come back to haunt you. I know it sucks, but just promise me you’ll do it, OK?


I grew up in an Italian home. I ate well. And I also didn’t have to do anything. My mom did all the hard work.

When I moved out, I was literally and figuratively on my own. And it was terrifying. Cooking is a chore, and most people are terrible at it.

Not Feeling Like a Grownup

By far, the worst thing about being a grownup is not feeling like a grownup. I mean, outside of the bills and the aches and pains and the terrible cooking, I still feel and act exactly the same. I still tuck my napkin in my shirt, I still eat candy at 10:30 in the morning and I still watch cartoons.

Now that I think about it… being a grownup is pretty darn great.

Christopher Brown