An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Thoughts On Adulting

Monday, June 19, 2017

Thoughts On Adulting

It's en vogue to say "adulting is so hard!" But is it? And what does that mean about our culture?


I haven't written a soapbox post in a good long while, and I'm excited about this one! Let's have a little chat about adulting. It's not even a real word; it's a verb that's become in fashion to describe living an adult life, filled with work, chores, trials and tribulations, children, cleaning, and on and on. You've seen it in funny Facebook memes and you've seen it screen printed on witty tee shirt sayings. Everyone seems to think "adulting" is so hard. But I'm here to tell you it's not. And I'm also here to tell you what I think this "adulting is hard" crap says about our larger culture.

Ahhhh, millennials. I qualify as one officially by two years (1982 is the first birth year of this generation, and I'm an '84 baby). I learned to type on an actual type writer and remember the days before computers were in every classroom; I certainly remember the days before the internet and not-so-fondly remember the days of the AOL dial up connection and the absolute racket it would make. So while I am a millennial by birth year standards, there's a lot I don't identify with this generation.



Needless to say, the "adulting is hard" thought process is one of them.

Cool, we got the disclosures out of the way. Allow me to now jump into the heart of this post: Millennials, ADULTING IS NOT HARD. YOU MAKE IT HARD BECAUSE YOU'VE ONLY LED AN EASY LIFE.

Read that again for a minute, and let it sink in. I know you want to punch me in the face right now, are saying, "Nuh-uhhh!" and are rolling your eyes. Hear me out for a second. Yes, you're the one who's making your life difficult. How? With your horrible attitude. Now to be fair, this attitude was instilled in you from an early age...

Why does your attitude suck? Allow me to count the ways:

1) You were given participation trophies for all events you ever took part in. 
Even I remember track and field days, and how they didn't just hand out ribbons for 1st-3rd place; no, they went all the way to 5th place and then gave every event participant a green participation ribbon. While this is now funny, and this reference over-cited with fault, here's the thing about it: You never learned to fail at something. You think if you go on a job interview, you'll get it - or something - like that's part of the process. But it's not. There are winners and losers in life. Most the time, second place doesn't matter. Second runner up as the job candidate means you're still unemployed. It means you need to try harder next time. It doesn't mean that being an adult is hard.

2) You experienced grade inflation that never taught you the value of hard work.
I remember in my senior year of high school, my honors English teacher gave me a C+. It was the only C I ever got, ever. I asked my teacher why she gave it to me, and she told me she knew I just showed up without really working; that I was much smarter than that but sometimes, you just have to put in some effort. I remember in college, I dated a TA who talked a lot about grade inflation, and about how he wanted good reviews from his students so that he'd be more likely to land a professorship when he was done with his PhD. He didn't care if a student earned the A or not; he was pulling a cover-your-a$$ move for better reviews. Millennials, I hate to tell you this, but y'all never really learned how to work hard - because you didn't have to in school. You got by. But now, as an adult, you're shocked at the "amount of work it is." It's hard to land a job and it's hard to get promoted and it's hard to get into grad school and it's hard to have a relationship and it's even harder to be married. And yeah, that IS harder than coasting your way through school without ever really needing to work for that A. But it doesn't mean that being an adult is hard.

3) You believed that if you just went to college, you'd land a great job.
AAAAHHHHAHAHAHAHA. As it turns out, no employer cares about your educational theories. They care about demonstrated results. So if you went to school and never worked or held down an internship, you're not employable upon graduation. And yeah, that means you're going to be 22 or 23 and making $9 an hour as an intern somewhere. It does not mean that being an adult is hard - it means you should have worked harder before you were depending on yourself to earn an income. But it doesn't mean that being an adult is hard.

Look, we all have hard days. There are days that I wish I could just sleep in and then spend the day watching Netflix. But having one hard day doesn't make being an adult hard. Getting up, taking care of my children, running this blog, being married, owning a home with a yard and a dog - all of that is being an adult. And while there are good days and bad days, it is not hard. So please millennials, stop making everything so "hard" and start putting as much effort into your life as you do complaining about it. When you shift that focus, you'll be surprised at how much "easier" everything becomes!

10 comments:

  1. Like you, too, I'm a millennial by birth year standards and let me tell you - I hate being lumped into this group of people. I started typing on a typewriter too, hell, the internet was invented when I was like 12 or something like that? And I remember getting dial up - do you remember that slow crap?! Man, so many millennials haven't a clue what they've got and just how fortunate and SPOILED they are. It's what you make of it, life isn't always unicorns and rainbows, ya know? And here's my message to spoiled, entitled whiney millennials: stop thinking you're entitled to the world just because. You earn shit, that way you know it's worth and how much hard work was put into something to EARN it.

    Jeff and I have the same damn discussion about winners and losers. We're giving out consolation prizes for losers when, what the hell is that setting them up for down the road in life? You're setting them up for failure and a lifetime of disappointment. We don't always get out way, or what we want or get all of the things, that is LIFE. I'd much rather earn my way than to be given it on a silver platter and I know you're with me on that.

    You're SPOT ON : SHIFT YOUR FOCUS.

    Great post, Paige. :) xoxo

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  2. Sign we're officially old: telling the next generation they're spoiled and they should stop complaining and they have it easy, why back in the day when weeeee were kids ...

    I actually don't think it's anything particular to millenials. I think 18 to 20-somethings have just always been obnoxious to older people since the beginning of time, probably even more so to 30-somethings since our obnoxiousness was so recent. "Hey! I got over that! Why can't you? GET WITH THE PROGRAM."

    And they will, give 'em 10 years.

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    1. That said, didn't mean to troll your post: "start putting as much effort into your life as you do complaining about it" is solid advice to anyone, at any age. :)

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  3. Participation trophies still kill me. I remember getting them, and I'm the first year of the millennial generation.
    I think a lot has to do with how people parent as well. I always worked hard b/c it was instilled in me by my parents. So many parents give their kids everything, so they have no idea what it's like to actually have to work for something.

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  4. PREACH! I definitely think parenting has a big impact on this. Both of my parents worked and that required me to take on responsibilities. It wasn't an option and we didn't have one of those passive aggressive chores charts with star stickers. I think people are entitled for NO REASON. I also think millennials find adulating hard/overwhelming because they get all FOMO because they sit on social media ALL DAY. I shouldn't be talking, but whatevs.

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  5. Amen! So agree with this post and very much enjoyed your "soapbox" today!!! :)

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  6. I couldn't agree more; I cringe at the made up verb and what comes with it. I can hear my baby brother saying it right now - ughhghghghgh.

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  7. I kind of feel like people are mistaking Millenials for Gen Z...most of this shit doesn't apply to us and the vast majority of Millenials aren't teenagers with bad attitudes. And sometimes, adulting *is* hard, and it's not always because we grew up "entitled." I sure as shit didn't. But that's the thing about us, we can have differing opinions and neither of us is right, or wrong.

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  8. I totally agree with most of what you said here. Millennials are the generally the "give me!" generation. However, I do think that when ragging on Millennials in general it's important to remember the generation that raised us... We didn't do it to ourselves. 😬

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  9. I was born in 1990 and I feel more "mature" than many millennials. I was raised to work hard both with academics and actual work. I did chores every Saturday. I was shocked and amazed going to college that kids stayed up past midnight and didn't do their homework and slept through class and didn't know how to do laundry or load a dishwasher. I may not be super financially literate, but I was never a math-mind--thankfully, I married a husband who was. But I agree. And, I've been a teacher for three years and I feel it's just getting worse!

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