After jumping from University to a full-time job in a very short period of time (1 week), there’s some things I realised about being a grown-up that I thought I would share with you.
You can find several definitions of grown up on urban dictionary – some more amusing than others. Personally, I feel like if you have to fork out money for some serious bills (I mean pay or you’ll be on the streets homeless type of bills) and you’re primarily your own source of income, then you’re basically a grown up. If your dad’s taking care of your phone bill, or someone else is funding your life, then you’re most likely a child or a full-time, stay at home mom.
From the above definition, we can agree that being a grown up requires you to have a job. When you enter into the working world, there are a few things you quickly realise.
- Not being broke feels good. From struggles of budgeting £5 for a night out, to actually affording a cocktail at a nice bar. Or maybe it’s those boots you wanted that you can now buy without waiting the sale, or even that holiday that you’ve been thirsting over for the longest time. Point is, it’s nice not to think about every penny you spend or have to beg your parents/guardian for.
- But then comes the tax man and those bills that you need to pay off. If you don’t watch your cash flow, you’re very likely to be back at point A – broke and waiting for next months pay check. That’s how the system gets you.
- Also, why do my days feel shorter? Because basically, I’ve gone from thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much time to myself to th’s much – because work now takes up 80% of my day, 5 days a week (7 days for the unlucky ones).
- You’re also almost always exhausted. You don’t want to socialise. You don’t want to work out. You don’t want to do anything productive. You just want to watch Power, or whatever brain-cell killing, shallow Netflix show you like to binge watch. Oh, and eat the Pizza that you can now afford while you’re at it (The Sainsbury’s £3.50, don’t get it twisted). Life is good.
- You are also very likely to frequently ponder on how much you miss your free time. When you’re neck deep in emails you need to reply to and your long to-do list keeps getting longer and you have to go to a meeting in a few minutes, but your phone won’t stop ringing, because your colleagues are off sick and you are covering the office phones and this is all eating into your lunch time, which you really need because you can’t eat at your desk, because mice.
- Sleep also becomes a priority. Because if you get an hour less sleep than you usually do, your going be grumpy and feel tired halfway through the day. And pull a face at your hubby in the morning even though he has done nothing wrong, JUST FINISH ALL OF YOUR SPECIAL COFFEE!
- In the UK at least, work socials always seem to involve alcohol. I think it’s the norm. No one ever says “let’s all grab a coffee and a croissant after work!”, it’s more like “Who’s down for the pub!?”. Well then, unless you’re a recovering alcoholic or your religion forbids it, maybe it’s time you learnt to enjoy drinking. If not, there’s still plenty of soft drinks you can get. Oh how I love pointless calories.
- The work commute. As a kid, I almost looked forward to it. It was a good time to catch up with your mates if you took the bus, or some nice chill time if you were lucky enough to be dropped off by the driver or your mom. Now, you’re crammed in the DLR, with a way-too-close-for-comfort bad breathed guy smelling out the train, and everyone trying to avoid eye contact like their lives depend on it. A great start to your day!
- On the bright side, if you have the luxury of your own home, you’re free to eat Oreo ice-cream and pot noodles for dinner, walk around the house with minimal clothing, all whilst thoroughly enjoying your privacy and freedom to watch whatever you want on free view. That is, until your your husband snatches the telly remote to watch Star Trek, and no matter how much you pull a face Star Trek always wins. Enjoy it before the kids come.
- Younger you on the weekend – I hate being home all the time, I just wanna have fun, enjoy the outdoors and turn up. Currently – If I have to leave the house one more freakin’ time this weekend, i’m gonna be pissed.
It’s these thoughts that have led me to the conclusion that being a grown up has its perks, but missing your childhood, high school and/or uni days is a real thing.
It’s important to remember that even though working and earning a living ultimately gives you financial freedom, it is not what is most important in life. I like being a grown up, but I don’t think it’s all that it’s hyped up to be. Make use of the free time you have to both relax, do the things you love and spend time with your family and friends.