The Woes of ‘Adulting’

When you get to be somewhere around the 20-something region this very cumbersome reality hits you, adulthood, I call it cumbersome because as soon as it hits you that ‘yo’ you’re not a kid anymore’ a lot of un-asked for responsibilities come with this somewhat sobering realization.

You can never just be an adult and sleep all day (even though I’ve done this 1 too many times) or just chill all day you have to actually get off your bum at 7 or 8 in the morning and actually make something of your life. You have to get a driver’s license, find a befitting spouse, get yourself a career, pay bills, budget, will I spend here or will I not spend here, should I do more saving this month and bla bla bla, bla.

To anybody who is maybe a lot older than me this seems standard, but to me who about 8 years ago knew nothing about a debit card this transition into being an ‘established adult’ hasn’t been the simplest. I’ve had to learn it the hard way, be thankful for parents who help you in your 20s, it’s really needed because most of us in this age bracket don’t know what we’re doing. With all that being said let’s talk about some struggles or as it is termed in my title; some woes of adulting.

The Silent Competition

I can’t be the only one who feels that in this hustle and bustle of adulting there’s this subtle sense of competition in the air, when someone who is 21 years old has bought a house and you’re 27 living with your mum & dad it makes you think, wow, ‘I’m absolutely rubbish aren’t I?’ When your former school friends are on their second child and you barely have a girlfriend it screams, ‘YOU’RE LATE FOR THIS, AND YOU KNOW THAT!

We all have struggles and sometimes people post about their endeavors to paint a somewhat sunshiny picture of what’s going on in their lives.

We all know this but it doesn’t stop us from feeling bad about ourselves when we are at a certain age and still struggling in certain areas our peers aren’t struggling in.

The Dating Dilemma

This probably may vary culture to culture but there is a very real pressure to find someone when you reach a certain age. A lot of time it isn’t as simple as telling someone you’re interested rejection is real even among young adults, sometimes you wish you can drown out the voices of family and friends asking where your S.O is, but even if you don’t hear their voice you may hear the voice of your own heart saying don’t you think you should find a nice girl, and movies don’t help, being an introvert doesn’t help either, yet still this is a reality that everyone goes through in this quarter life crisis. Being single as a teenager and being single as an adult are two different things entirely. As a kid it’s not a big deal at all, as an adult it seems almost like a curse to be single.

Decisions, Decisions

Now, you’re basically on your own mate, and that can be scary.

Adulthood is filled with decisions decisions, relational decisions, career decisions, bro decisions on everything, if you’re bordering millennial, gen Z status like me a few odd years ago you probably didn’t have to think so much about decisions because it was probably made for you by a parent or guardian. Now, you’re basically on your own mate, and that can be scary. This essentially means disappointing people, stepping out into unknown territory, it’s really not an easy thing, no wonder this generation is at the brink of one of the worse mental health crises in the last 100 years. THERE’S WAY TOO MANY THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AS A YOUNG ADULT!

You are constantly thinking about should I relax, should I be productive? Whenever you decide to just relax a million videos on youtube will appear telling you that you’re a failure and need to be doing: A, B, OR C otherwise you won’t have six figures by the time you’re 29, so much convoluted hooha is out there in the name of self-help and I honestly feel that is worsening the mental health of young adults.

What I’ve Learnt

You are unique, and you are you, your journey, your story isn’t supposed to be everyone else’s it’s supposed to be yours. Follow God and what you feel is right and you will be ok, no you don’t need to have six figures at a certain age, that doesn’t make you a loser, no you don’t need to be super on the ball every single day. Give yourself grace even if you struggle, realize that life is more of a marathon not a sprint, great lessons are never learnt in a hurry. I wanna end with this scripture which I think everyone can relate with; Ecclesiastes 9:11 I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

Be patient with your process …


Raphael Tamakloe
Raphael Tamakloe
Raphael is a university graduate at both undergrad and post-grad level who’s currently working with Spiela and beauty & the beast. He is a young man with a passion for all things creativity, he is a wordsmith at heart with a short story collection and a children’s book. He simply loves to write and loves to see people enjoying his writing.

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  1. Raphael,

    Welcome to BIZCATALYST360! As I read your article and you covered the different areas, I was saying.silently, “Yes…true…” Then you totally got me with one of my favorite Scriptures – Ecc. 9:11.

    It’s easy to become caught up in the expectations, real or perceived, that others have of us and be swayed by a desire to live up to those expectations. Something tells me you’ll take the time to find your own truth and build the most important relationships, block by block.

  2. Raphael – Really strong essay. Like Ken, I was facing adult responsibilities in high school – then I joined the Marine Corps where I really grew. But I see my great-grandchildren struggling with the challenges you mention so I gentle try to reassure them and mentor them. Your essay should be required reading for high school seniors getting ready to face the world of adulthood. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hey, Raphael.
    Good stuff.
    We’re actually just tall children, captured by this myth that we’re suddenly – and forever after – supposed to take our selves seriously. Nonsense. Maybe it’s the Puritan corrosion. H. L. Mencken said “Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, is . . . happy.”

  4. I bcame an adult, with adult responsibilities at 14 due to family situations and events. Between going to school and working 60+ hours per week I didn’t have any time to ponder the issues you raise. As it turned out, I was probably lucky. I never went through the trials of realizing “okay, you are now an adult so what are you going to do?”. By age 17 I knew what I was going to do with my life and simply went about doing it. However, I do understand the trials, tribulations, and even fears and uncertainty that most go through as the realization of impending “adulthood” desends upon them.