What We Need to Unlearn About Adulting

August 25, 2018 in Articles, Motivational - 5 min read

Welcome to the last episode of this Unlearning Month. I must say, it has been a success, I generally just enjoy hearing thoughts from other people on any topic and this month I really did a lot of thinking and rethinking. Anyway, if you missed out on all the episodes, do check them out – Episode 1Episode 2 and Episode 3.

I decided to go solo on this post to share some of my thoughts on What We Need to Unlearn About Adulting. For some very odd reason, when we were young all we wanted to do is become an adult but now we all want to be young again because well it’s tough in the adult world. We grew up with ideas on what being an adult is all about and I bet you didn’t think it would be like this hey? I mean, sometimes it’s really cool knowing that now you are a grown person that can make their own decisions and be involved in family meetings but almost everything about being an adult has its pros and cons.

With me, I am responsible for making sure that we have tenants renting hence I actually have some money to do what I want but getting tenants in my area is hard and stressful and having tenants is also stressful – basically I am forever stressed (but happy at the same time). I was excited when I got my driver’s license a year ago and it’s great that I can drive myself anywhere now but woah having to wake up at 6.30am everyday to take my mother to work and getting stuck in traffic every afternoon on my way to fetch her is not fun at all. See? Pros and cons.

In all honesty, I feel like adulting can be mastered as long as you can just forget about most of the ideas you had about being an adult and as long as you know not to follow some of the standard ‘rules’ of being an adult, we are gonna be alright. So, here’s my take on this adulting world…

You don’t have to have life figured out by now

Listen, whoever taught us about being an adult surely missed out the part where they tell us that finding ourselves takes time. All we know is that after primary school we go to high/secondary school, after that we go to college and after that we work, get married, start a family and die. Omw! It’s not even like that. See the ‘college’ part? That’s where we get messed up because we are quite unsure of what we want to do and those of us who are sure are either judged or our parents just don’t support the idea – it gets a little trippy here. But you know things take time hey, so forget about who’s ‘making’ it and who’s running around in circles. If you still don’t know who you are and what you want to do, be patient with yourself, you’ll figure it out one day and you will realise that you have learnt a lot from not knowing.

Keeping a journal (or journals) can be quite helpful

I can already sense the face you just made after reading this point. You are probably thinking… a journal? Really? What are we – 12? Haha. Well, I don’t necessarily mean a “Dear Diary” type of journal – I have 7 journals (yeah now that I am mentioning it I just realized that is a looooot) and they all serve a different purpose. Journals can help you stay organised, they can help you clear your mind and you can even use them to note down a random idea hence you don’t forget it. So stop sleeping on journals and put yourself on!

There’s no need for alcohol and/or weed at a chill session with friends

Yeah, again, I can sense your facial expression but hear me out… there are people who cannot chill with their own friends without having drinks or getting high. Are y’all okay? Y’all can’t just chill and have some snacks perhaps? See this mentality is scary, please surprise your lungs and livers every now and then with some water. I am worried about people who use drinking and smoking as a coping mechanism, surely there’s something else we can do.

People are actually busy

You have probably seen quotes like, “if they don’t text back then they just don’t care or have time for you”, I mean to a certain extent that can be true but then again we are all busy – even those of us who are always sleeping, we are busy sleeping. Also, if you are interested in someone tell them or fight your feelings to stop liking them, instead of beating around the bush and hoping they catch on. With so much going on in the world and our lives, no one has time to be figuring out what you are trying to say – people are busy.

You are going to be insecure about everything

Your looks, what you are doing with your life, how you behave, how you are perceived – everything. You will be unsure about everything from time to time. Even a clear joke from a friend will send your mind thinking and overthinking what they just said about you. Some days you will feel like you look bomb AF and be proud of where you are in life and on that very same day you could be doubting everything all over again. It happens. We are growing up, things that didn’t matter back then matter now but it’s important to remember that we are actually doing the best we can do and we need to always remain kind to ourselves.

That’s it for now,

Thank you again to everyone who participated on this series. A friend of mine said to me recently, “You are changing the world one blog at a time,” although I thought that was a bit dramatic, it actually meant so much to me and hopefully I was able to make people learn and unlearn a lot this month. Thank you for reading. 


  • notthefatteacher October 7, 2018 at

    I’m late to responding but I feel the need to say this is an awesome post. My bestie and I were just saying this yesterday. I am true believer of unlearning what society has taught us about adulting.

    • Mbalenhle October 13, 2018 at

      We really need to unlearn a lot hey and it’s the only way we can actually grow and move forward in life💖🍃

  • Deshi Nenkinan Nehemiah September 8, 2018 at

    Haha I like the advise on alcohol and weed. Like can we just chill out in this generation? I doubt we’re producing enough doctors to handle the lung and liver diseases of our time

  • Chepkemei 🌸 September 6, 2018 at

    I think this is my favourite post. The part about time, like I just had to take a screenshot. I actually have a lot to say but I’ll find you on instagram. Go gurl! I absolutely love your content.💯

    • Mbalenhle September 6, 2018 at

      Sure thing sis🤗. Thank you so much for stopping by💕

  • ameliacdowling August 29, 2018 at

    I’m soooooo happy you included the alcohol/ weed one in there! Like yes as teens experimentation and pushing boundaries can be fun but in adulthood when you can’t socialise without that or even don’t want to socialise without it, that’s actually problematic! Love this post 🙂

  • Jess August 28, 2018 at

    OMG. So relatable 💯

  • Jess T. August 27, 2018 at

    Love this. Sometimes I think, I wish I had a social blog instead of a science one so I could write about fun topics like this one. Your point about journaling really resonates with me. Journaling is something I used to do but lost the patience for and I hope to get back into it soon. Sometimes the blank pages can be intimidating but just today at the bookstore I saw beautiful journals with colored pages and even writing prompts like, “what’s one random kind thing you did today?” They’re more expensive than typical ones but I think that would really inspire me. Thanks for this post 🙂

    • Mbalenhle September 6, 2018 at

      Oh sis, journals are life😄! Don’t sweat it, my next post will be mainly about journals and how to fill in those blank pages 🤗! As we grow older l think we seem to feel like there are certain things that we should stop doing and journaling is just one of those things not so many people do anymore. But it actually helps a lot to own one. Haha. Thanks for stopping by💕

  • Infinite Living August 26, 2018 at

    You say it all so perfectly!

  • Just Brittany Moments August 26, 2018 at

    I enjoyed this post! I’m an adult and I’m still trying to unlearn what I thought it was to be an adult. I have these expectations and timelines that I came up with before I reached adulthood and it would drive me crazy because I wasn’t hitting my goals in the timeframe that I wanted. But I realized that even as an adult you won’t have everything all together. Even our parents’ generation are probably still figuring things out lol. So I’ve learned to just enjoy life and go with the flow. I’m much happier that way lol. Thanks for sharing! 😊

    • Mbalenhle September 6, 2018 at

      Haha. I used to set goals based on my age back then – as in, I would set a goal to have a car at the age of 20 and all. But as time went by l realised that life really isn’t kind to you when you are an adult. Reality hits you way too hard when you least expect it. I think being an adult is just an ongoing never-ending cycle of us thinking we have shit figured out then realising that we don’t 😄

  • Nicculent August 25, 2018 at

    im not even an adult yet(literally chilling in my early teens) but I can already relate to so much of this-like the one about weed and smoke, insecurities, being busy, all that stuff.Great post, I think this is my favourite one out of your entire series!

    • Mbalenhle September 6, 2018 at

      Thank you so much sis🤗💕! Yeah being an adulting can really be draining and the worst part of it all is that we have to be this for the rest of our lives now😓. Haha. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this series💖💖

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    About Me

    Hi and welcome! My name is Mbalenhle K but everyone calls me Mbali for short (say: mm-bah-lee). I am a freelance copywriter who loves all things art, experiences and aesthetics (big time Pinterest gworl 🧚🏽)! I am the founder of Budding Regardless where I talk about mindfulness, self-development and self-nurturing for creatives. Read More

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