Adulting lies we have been told

There are many adulting lies told in various ways to make sure the next generation conforms to what is expected and has happened in previous generations. Adults have been telling children and young adults many things that are simply not true. How you should go through life, what you should or shouldn’t do, expectations, rules etc. A lot of this happens subconsciously, through biases and expectations that have had the most exposure to over their lifetime thus far.

More recent generations are more clued up to this and have been able to go against the grain and do what makes them happy. However, not all individuals have felt able to so I wanted to debunk a few things just for you readers who may need to have a few things shaken up in your mind.


The most damaging of adulting lies and what most adverts also still try to implement onto us. There is no one perfect body shape, skin colour, eye colour, hair style, shoe size, nose shape, dress size, or anything else for that matter. You are gorgeous just as you are.

It is your choice how you style/colour your hair. Tattoos and piercings are your choice too. What you wear, how you dress, your perfume, jewellery, fashion statements, every aspect of your appearance in fact. That’s all you. You may be inspired by other people you see in the street, on screen, in magazines or elsewhere but you do not need to conform to anything.

There are no foods you need to ban yourself from having if you enjoy them. Listen to your body, be healthy and stay active but you do not need to restrict yourself (unless it is for health reasons i.e. IBS, IBD, celiac or if you chose to be vegetarian or vegan).

You are beautiful as you are and the clothes you chose should be comfortable enough to wear all day. There are no colours you shouldn’t wear and no styles you shouldn’t experiment with if it boosts your confidence. Being authentically you may help others to feel comfortable enough to be themselves too. Win-win.

Life path

One of the biggest adulting lies I have seen a lot is the life checklist approach. Life is not a set checklist you have to tick off as you go. You only get one chance at life so make sure you are living it not just surviving. Do things that make you happy, go on adventures that make you smile, spend time in nature in a way you want and achieve the milestones you want to achieve.

You get to choose the path you follow, what milestones you want/don’t want to take part in along the way. Unless you want to, you do not have to follow the ‘find your career, a partner, get engaged, get married, buy a house, get a dog and then have children’ route.

Adulting lies about success and money

So many people believe that success is directly corelated to how much money someone earns. I believe is another of the adulting lies that can do a lot of damage. Do some more inward thinking and work out what success means to you.

For some success is how many hours they work or how much money they have in the bank. Others believe that success is how much freedom they have or how happy they are. Some measure success by how much they impact the world in a positive way. Success can mean so many different things to different people.

Career options

You are allowed to change your ideal career.

There, I said it.

Having a career just to be able to afford your home is not something you should do long term, find something that makes you happy and work out how to fit your ideal lifestyle around that. It may take you a while to work out what it is you want to do but when you find it, you’ll know. Then you work your butt off until you make it happen so you can reap the rewards and know how hard you worked to get there. It took me over 5 years from when I realised I wanted to get into events/marketing to finally getting offered a job as a marketing executive but boy was it worth the wait.

If you have no idea what you want to do in your career or how you’d like to make money I would recommend looking at your hobbies. What is it you like to do? Could you earn money through that? Most hobbies can be monetised if you want them to be. Do you want to be your own boss or would you rather have someone as a boss?

There is no limit to the amount of different jobs/careers you can test out. Use each role as a learning experience until you figure out what you want to do, no matter how long that may take. There is also no age limit for making a career move or making big changes in your life. It is your life, do what makes you happy.

Education – adulting lies

There is no single set path. Find out what works for you. If you know the kind of job you want to do that can help you choose. Can you start an apprenticeship straight from GCSE’s? Do you need to go to college or to get A levels? Will you need to achieve a degree, masters or PHD level?

Once you figure that out, research into where you can go for it and make a plan. Again though, this is not something that has an age limit or a set number of attempts/subjects to explore. There seems to be a large amount of people still spreading the adulting lies that everyone should go to university. Not true.

A lot of learning can also be done independently, too I have taught myself many skills through online courses and YouTube videos. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it.

Adulting lies about relationships

How’s the love life? Another aspect of life that seemingly well-intentioned relatives will ask about constantly.

No one should need a partner to be happy. If you want companionship then by all means put yourself out there, go on dates, make connections. I hope you find someone you fall in love with, who treats you right, has the same relationship goals as you and wants to make plans with you then. That is an incredible feeling.

But PLEASE do not settle, and do not feel you have to be in a relationship.

Everyone deserves to have a partner (or multiple) who supports and cares for them if they want that. No ones deserves to be abused in ANY form; physical, sexual, financial, mental, verbal, emotional. Know what you want from a partner and find someone who is not just willing to cooperate, but happy to do so and who will communicate their wishes too.

Many people are happier staying single and that should not be something to scoff at. Having high standards is a great thing too, it means you can see who is more likely to be a perfect fit more easily. Do not let anyone tell you that you are not deserving or worthy of your perfect partner.

It may take a long time to find your partner but when you do it will be worth the wait. Settling for the wrong person can cause serious damage to you in many ways.


Not everyone wants children, not everyone can have children. Stop asking why someone doesn’t have a child. Do not assume people should have kids by a certain age or stage in their relationship. You have no idea if they are having trouble conceiving or if they just don’t want children and it is a very insensitive comment that seems to be something culture have normalised.

If you do not feel ready or if you know you never want any children, you do not have to have them, no matter how much pressure society puts on you.

You do not need to explain your choices to others.

If you want children but cannot do so naturally, please know you have so many options. IVF, donors, surrogates, fostering, adoption. Again research, ask for guidance from family planning professionals and know you are not alone in your struggles.


Do you want a pet? Do you know how to look after a pet? Are you doing it to follow a trend or because everyone else has one or is it something you genuinely want in your life? Firstly, research the pet you want to make sure you can look after it, train it and give it the best life that it deserves. Secondly, you don’t just have the options of cats and dogs, you could get rabbits, reptiles, arachnids, fish, hamsters, gerbils, rats, farm animals, horses, insects, hedgehogs etc etc etc. There are SO many options. Pick the most suitable depending on your budget, living space, life style, location and what you are wanting from the pet.


It is very rare that you will have the same friends in school as you do as an adult. Sadly through life you may lose a lot of your friends. This is something that happens naturally. However, knowing that does not make it any easier to lose someone. You may drift apart or move away. People change and this may cause friction. Just remember new people will enter your life as well as those leaving it.

I hear it a lot that we are all the culmination of the 5 people we spend the most time with so make sure you are happy with your five and that they are going to help you grow towards your goals, if not you may have to spend less time with some of them and spend more time with mentors or those who can help you. This may seem selfish but when it comes to creating your dream life, you kind of have to be. Just don’t be a dick about it.

What lies have you been told that you have proven wrong? How close to achieving your dreams are you since learning it was a lie?

I hope this post helped to encourage you to be your authentic self. You are the only one who can be you and that is a wonderful thing.

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Rachel Parker

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