Why Adulting Is Harder Than Ever Now

There's no question that growing up will always be hard.

woman adulting Getty Images via Canva

By Amanda Miller

As all 20-something-year-olds know, there’s this thing called adulting. And it’s something I’ll never get.

Still, I got older. And I’m getting older every day.

I guess adulting comes with new opportunities and obligations that we all have to face. And, personally, I’ve been doing my best to deal with this.

My incursions into the unknown, adult terrains started in the pre-social media era and included platforms like MSN Messenger. So, that was something that introduced me to adulting and became part of my growing process.


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Nowadays, adulting has become something else.

Young individuals, teenagers, and those in their early 20s, romanticize what it means to be an adult, teasing adult-like content and only ever truly growing up when it’s absolutely necessary and it all appears on their Instagram feed.


After all, if it’s not on social media, it’s not real. Right?

There’s always going to be some side eye regarding adulthood. Growing up and becoming an adult comes with many struggles.

In today’s day and age, we’re all dealing with the addictive nature of technology, social media, and the Internet as a whole. It adds a different layer of difficulty for new adults.

In addition, those growing up with parents with disposable income aren’t well-suited and ready to become adults. They grew up in an obstacle-free environment without realizing the consequences: adults are not ready to be adults in today’s world.

Millennials and Gen Z kids are reinventing what it means to be mature. It’s no longer defined by being able to do laundry, cook food, or do one’s taxes. Now, it’s completely different, which often becomes a problem.


Young individuals on their path to adulthood often don’t know how to perform common tasks without asking for help. While there’s nothing wrong with reaching for a helping hand, it shows that we’re dealing with a generation that’s not prepared to enter the real world

There’s no question that growing up will always be hard.

But being an individual — of any generation — is more difficult now than ever. Those who have learned basic life skills will surely not have too much trouble.

But others who didn’t might feel paralyzed trying to figure out adulthood and all that comes with it, including professional careers, relationships, and even parenthood.


Indeed, the coercion to grow into adulthood is severe. Our culture’s preoccupation with exemplary behavior and achieving goals within a specific time frame can be exhausting. So I don’t condemn today’s almost adults for feeling overwhelmed.

Young, low-income adults might experience severe struggles with their mental health. At the same time, though, they tend to ignore it and prioritize other things because they simply don’t have enough time or can’t afford it. This adds a lot more to the struggle of adulting.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve definitely been asked, “What are you so stressed about?”

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Well, we can all agree that finances will always be number one in today’s political and social climate. But other concerns include:

  • Indecision
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Relationships with relatives and friends
  • Job guarantee

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, typical symptoms of stress include a faster heart rate, insomnia, and poor appetite, among many others. What’s more, stress can exacerbate mental disorders, including depression and anxiety

It also doesn’t help that there are no guidelines for young adults on how to deal with these stress factors. For some individuals, creating adult friendships and connections has been easy But others find it nearly impossible and struggle with finding a paid job, even if they’ve received higher education.

Also, there is the feeling of being a perpetual outsider. This makes us all more stressed since finding companionship is incredibly important for stress-free adult life.


Yes, your twenties can be a making-an-effort period that can feel overwhelming. The push into adulthood is often sudden and terrifying. For many, it comes with realizing that you’re no longer in middle school. Now, you’re paying bills and eating ramen for breakfast. So, it can be incredibly challenging.

You’re ultimately expected to understand what you know, who you are, and what makes you excited. Hopefully, you can do this before you turn 30. Personally, I have two years left.

But if you don’t quite feel like your plan is working out, it’s OK.


Overall, adulting is an adventure that no storyteller or Disney film can ever truly portray. But as we mature, we all find our own ways of coping with it. And there’s always going to be more. Trust me.

So, breathe.

Adulting is an adventure. There’s no manual, so you have to pay attention to everything and figure out your own path to success. That’s when all your dreams will come true.

I’m still working on it. We all are. And that’s OK.

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Amanda Miller is an upcoming novelist and contributor writer to Femi Magazine, Sheen Magazine, and other digital platforms. She writes on topics of Black excellence, wellness, and entertainment.