If you are a person who lives in the world (so, all of you? I hope), you will know that there is a lot of hype surrounding the idea of being a teenager. The age is all but fetishized in popular culture, with practically every movie, TV show, and book using high school and its students as a common touchpoint.
But, perhaps, you are a teenager yourself, and you….can’t really wrap your head around what all the hype is about. Or maybe you do get all the hype, and being a teenager and doing teenager-y things feels like what you should be doing for the rest of your life–but, considering that “growing up” and “birthdays” are two inevitable consequences of being a human person, you will, one day, have to stop being a teen. Or, most likely, you switch your opinion on being a teenager daily, based on how much homework you have and how much you like your friends on any given day.
In any case, wherever you lie on the spectrum, you will probably benefit from an Ask Reddit thread I found recently, in which people discussed the things they love most about being an adult. Reading through it, you’ll realize that a lot of the issues that go along with being a teenager kind of stop mattering once you reach adulthood. In a good way! So, check out these things that you’ll be very happy to learn really don’t matter as much once you become an adult:
Never Getting Enough SleepGetting sufficient sleep is crucial during your teenage years. But, annoyingly, sleep is kind of impossible to get when you're a teenager--you're always waking up early for something, whether it's school, soccer practice, or SAT prep. This isn't true when you're a grown-up! Obviously, you'll have to wake up for, like, work and stuff, but your time won't be as dominated by random after and pre-school activities that suck away your sleep. Because of this, vilestrawberry said that their favorite part of being an adult is "Having money and spending it. Sleeping whenever I feel like it (which is pretty much all the time). Owning all the cats I want." (Obviously, cats and money are pretty good perks, too.) Image source: Getty
Not Being Able To Do Anything You Want To DoOne of the best things about being an adult is that you have so much more freedom. lilbebe50 said that they love having "100% absolute freedom. I'm single with no kids. I can go and do whatever I want whenever the hell I want without explanation to anyone. I can go on a random vacation whenever I want. Go out on dates whenever I want. Work out or not work out if I want to. My time is literally all mine. No parents or teachers or anyone restricting me. I can work as much overtime as I want to buy myself something nice and spoil myself whenever I want. I would never go back to childhood." Yes! People tend to portray adolescence as a time of limitless and carefree indulgence, but there are so many restrictions that go along with being a teenager--you know, school, parents, lack of funds--that make it hard. When you're an adult, this can become your reality. Image source: Getty
Eating What Your Parents Tell You to EatFor some people, it's the simple things. Amgov said that, for them, the best part of adulthood is "being able to eat dessert before dinner if I want to." You are the boss of you! And, if that means eating dessert whenever you feel like it, that's your decision. Julienbabylegs added to this, saying, "Came here for this also but more generally just having cake in my fridge. Just.....buying a cake. Then eating it at my leisure. That’s what I suffered through my teens for. Cake." Sounds delicious! Image source: Getty
Being More In Control Of Your Own DietOf course, being an adult doesn't mean that you have to constantly be eating dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact, you might just be excited about having the ability to be just a little healthier in your adulthood. Beatitbozo said, "For me, the biggest perk of adulthood has been the ability to change my diet for the better. My parents weren't healthy at all growing up, so it's actually been really nice to be able to add a few vegetables into my diet now that I'm taking care of myself." Image source: Getty
Not Having To Ask Your Parents For PetsYou know what's extra-cool about adulthood? You don't have to beg your parents for pets anymore. Eime8498 said, "If I want to get a dog, I don't have to convince both of my parents to go along with it anymore. I do understand now why having three dogs isn't something they wanted to do. I naively thought,'the more, the merrier!' But even my one dog is a lot of work....he is worth it though." Image source: Getty
Accepting Everything That Comes Your WayBeing a teenager can often feel as though you're constantly surrounded by options that you can't refuse--you know, like college, after-school activities, and social events. None of these are bad things, obviously, but they can be tiring. But when you reach adulthood? Hopefully, you won't have to do this anymore. Steph314 said that, for them, their favorite part of being a grown-up is "Knowing I don't have to say yes to everything." It's true! You are the captain of your fate and the master of your soul, so you are totally free to cancel as many plans as you want. Image source: Getty
Skipping SchoolYou know how sometimes (or maybe, like, always) you really don't want to go to school? You might not be sick, exactly, but you know that going to a loud, crowded school will absolutely not be in your best interest. Unfortunately, this excuse rarely works on parents and the school's administrative office. But, fortunately, it totally will when you're grown and have a job with sick leave. Pancakequeen13 said, "Being able to skip work if I really want without a lecture. I once got the nurses to call my mom to take me home from school for a headache and got reamed out for not being 'sick enough,' so it's nice knowing that I can take a day off and not fear being punished." Image source: Getty
Feeling PowerlessIf you feel powerless as a teenager, growing up should help with that a little bit. Silver_starfire said that, now that they're an adult, they like "feeling like I have real power to affect the world around me, help people in need and lead others." It's crazy how just a little spare cash and free time can help you regain some agency! Image source: Getty
Feeling ImmatureOne of the best parts of being an adult is a pretty obvious one--not being treated like a child anymore. Rstan25 said, "Being respected by and talking to my parents (and other adults) as an equal. I no longer feel out of place contributing to conversations." Of course, in some cases, you'll pretty much always feel like a kid, but it's important to remember that not everyone perceives you this way. Image source: Getty