10 Things No One Told You About Being A Real Adult-Advice For Millennials

10 Things No One Told You About Being A Real Adult-Advice For Millennials

A few weeks ago, I reached out to some bloggers asking them to share something about adulting that no one told them. I was curious as to what advice people had wished they received in their 20s, but didn’t. I complied the top submissions about things no one told you about being a real adult. From career advice, to budgeting, and to self-development, these are all things we need to hear in our twenties, thirties, and beyond!

10 Things No One Told You About Being A Real Adult

1) “No one told me that “adulting” will move through different periods of evolution. It changes you as a person through each transition. They may be good changes or bad changes, but change is inevitable.” – Brittany, The Purple Truths

There is so much truth to this- being a bonafide adult is not something that happens overnight. It’s also not something that happens once and is done forever. “Adulting” is something that you have to figure out through trial and error. 

2) “No one old me to use every opportunity to network as early as freshman year of college. Carry those business cards and make loose connections”- Aitza, Petitely Packaged

Network, network, network! In many cases of job searching, it’s not what you know, but who you know. I know that for many teams at my company, current team members are encouraged to reach out to their current network and see if anyone they know would be a good fit for the role.

3) “No one told me the importance of planning ahead more than 1 or 2 years. It has become a major part of my adulting stage to act and react to things that can benefit me years to come and the generations after me. Adulting has taught me not to indulge in the TEMPORARY.”- Yolanda, http://mywalletskeeper.com/

On my blog, I’ve talked about the importance of not indulging in the temporary, like too many YOLO experiences. Being a “real” adult involves saving for the future! Saving isn’t always fun, but you’ll be glad you have those savings in the long run. 

4) “I wish somebody had told me how to live within my means. I spent most of my 20’s in a lot of debt!”- Michelle, Bujo Mama

I feel like this is something that isn’t talked about enough- I talk about the importance of living within your means in this post. With social media, it can be tough to not overspend sometimes- we all seem to have those friends who go on vacation all the time! 

5) “No one told me that even people in positions of authority could be as immature as a snotty high school kid. I’ve met professionals, ‘grown’ adults, that would bully/ridicule/patronize people their own age, as well as younger! I couldn’t believe it until I saw it with my own eyes.”- K.M., The No Boss Life

One thing I’ve definitely learned is growing older doesn’t always correlate with more maturity. Just remember to be polite-it’s free and in my opinion, being classy is never overrated. 

6) “No one told me that there would be days that I would want to go back to being 13!”- Tiffany, Blessed Millennial

We’ve all been there! There have been days when I’ve woken up and thought, “Nope, I don’t want to adult today.” The solution: I take a few deep breaths and I remind myself that I can do this. Then I usually drink a cup of coffee…or two or three cups if it’s a particularly rough day. 

7) “Nobody told me that cubicle city is where we go to grow old, stale and unimaginative. My first job out of college had me staring at three taupe walls. I taped pink glitter polka dots from Target to the walls to give them life, much to my co-workers’ dismay.”- Jennifer, An Elephant In The Sky

I’ve worked in corporate America my entire career and I can definitely relate to this. My philosophy is that if you’re going to spend a significant amount of your life at work, you might as well make your work area fun. I work on a team that’s mostly comprised of males and they’ve learned to deal with my Hello Kitty decor.  

8) “No one actually knows what they are doing. You have to figure things out most things on your own.”- Kailey, Rays Of Soul Shine

I’ve learned that Youtube can pretty much teach you anything. From Excel tricks to figuring out how to do basic car maintenance, Youtube is excellent for figuring out most “adulting” things. 

9) “You can always ask for help. Like you can walk into an appointment and say I’ve never done this before what am I supposed to do and they will help because everyone has been there. You don’t have to pretend like you know what you’re doing because people instinctively want to help. – Maggie, Maggie Jean Wince

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! In many scenarios, it’s WAY more efficient to swallow your pride and have someone show you how to do something rather than spend hours trying to figure it out on your own.

10)  “It’s ok to admit that you’ve made mistakes. So much of being an adult is learning through trial and error. As long as you learn from it, it’s ok!” – me! 

I spent a great deal of my early twenties trying my best to avoid the possibility of making mistakes. I always tried to play it safe because I thought that avoiding risk would help me be more successful. What I didn’t realize was that I was depriving myself of great learning opportunities. Even if you’re really risk-adverse like me, remind yourself that making mistakes can turn into some of your greatest successes.


Now it’s your turn. What are some things no one told you about being a real adult? Comment down below!



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  1. I love #9! I recently had to have my first eye exam on my own insurance (not my parent’s) and I literally said to the clerk, “Can you explain how my insurance works? I’m totally lost.” He was very nice and explained everything to me. As long as you’re polite, people will be happy to help you!

    1. Insurance is SO confusing- I didn’t realize for the longest time that you had to buy separate insurance for your eyes, haha. I’ve found that Costco has by FAR the cheapest glasses, even if you take the cost of membership into consideration. I also have a complicated prescription, so I’m sure that doesn’t help, haha

  2. I think 3 and 4 stick out for me. In my 20s I thought being in debt was just a normal habit every adult has especially with the national debt always going up. But figuring out that you don’t need to have that debt to hover over you for the majority of your life and just to spend within your means to get out of it and stand out of the masses.
    Also it would have been better to know that planning for the next couple of years instead of planning for the next couple days is beneficial for everyone. Have to prioritize your long term plans before your short term plans.

  3. I loved 5, 8, 9, and 10! I suffer from pretty bad work anxiety and always feel behind or like I don’t know what I should know. So much of your job, even when you’ve been working for a while, is about learning what you didn’t know before and that means it’s ok to ask yourself for help and forgive yourself when you mess up!

  4. A very useful compilation. I guess adulting never ends. in every phase of our lives we wish we had known better.

  5. This is such an amazing post idea. I continue learning lessons as an adult and I know I’ll look back at myself in 5 years and have learned about 100 more!

  6. I can relate to some of these feelings. I quickly learned that I wasn’t fond of sitting in a cubicle all day in my early 20’s. I was lucky that I got to pursue a different career that would allow me to be on my feet more, meet people, and still give me fulfillment.

  7. This is awesome and so, so true. Especially the quote about living within your means. I have so much trouble with that because I’m always tempted to shop online. 😛 But I’ve been putting in the extra effort to get better and better at my job to make up for some of the money and hopefully get back to steady savings.

  8. These are all so true! Especially the one where it says no one knows what they’re doing resonates with me. As a kid, I always thought that adults knew exactly what they were doing, but turns out…wrong! thanks for sharing:)

  9. As a boomer with three millennial kids I’d say those are pretty good. Adulting has always been an adventure, we just didn’t know what to call it back in the old days!

  10. I love this! You know what’s interesting about life? In *so* many of the chapters we experience, we actually experience many of the same struggles.

    A great example of this is finding friends. Whether you’re 18 or 68, the ways you find friends are surprisingly similar. (Hint: Get out, explore the world, discover new hobbies, and make connections with people!)

    Life happens in chapters, and what we learn from those chapters helps us navigate challenges in the future.

    Whatever struggle you’re going through right now is a page in your book of life, and it’s going to help make your next chapter look even better! 🙂

  11. These are all so true! I love #8! And I agree with the last one…it’s ok to make mistakes- accept that it’s gonna happen and learn from them!

  12. “Nobody told me that cubicle city is where we go to grow old, stale and unimaginative.”

    A good friend of mine refers to “cubicle cities” as “veal fattening pens”. XD

  13. Oh man, I’m not sure which one is my favorite… these are all great quotes! I really like #9 “don’t be afraid to ask for help”. After graduating college, I stayed in California, 2,000+ miles away from my family! I found people to advise me and help me out on the small or local matters, and it was kept to helping me get my feet on the ground as a “real adult”.
    Mrs. Adventure Rich recently posted…Why We Rolled Over a 403(b) to a Vanguard IRAMy Profile

    1. I love this! Though it’s hard to be away from family, the experience forces us to grow wings and learn to fly on our own. Connecting with people and asking for help is a great way to catch your footing and learn along the way. 🙂

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