Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Like it or not, life will deal you a bad hand from time to time. A mark of adulthood is being able to successfully deal with the problems that arise as you make your way through society. But what if no one ever taught you how to stick to a budget and track your credit score? What do you do if you've never been taught how to shop smart and eat balanced meals? How do you forge rewarding relationships when you've never learned how to stand up for yourself and establish boundaries? And how do you get by when you feel your countrymen have failed you?

After Redditor omfghewontkndle asked the online community, "What's a problem absolutely no one prepared you for?" people weighed in with their observations. Some are more sobering than others.

"Your teeth suddenly going bad..."

Your teeth suddenly going bad after age 30 when you've never had a cavity or any other dental issues in your life up to that point. Getting them fixed is expensive as hell, even with insurance.


"Everything in the media made it seem..."

Being in an abusive relationship as a male.

Everything in the media made it seem like it was only a female problem, which obviously sounds absurd, but it was never something I expected to happen to me. Any time you see a man getting getting abused in a movie or a TV show it is shown as physical comedy or as some kind of catharsis.


"Death is an abstract concept..."

Burying a parent changes you irrevocably. Parents die three deaths in my opinion: your perception of them as a remnant of your childhood as an invincible, indomitable mother or father, your present perception of them as your friend and resilient adult parent, and their final physical death where their vulnerability and fallibility is made almost callously apparent. The subsequent grief is so palpable, it emanates from your very being. Grief requires no announcements, we all feel it.

It's difficult to articulate the density of the desolation when your mother or father dies. Estranged parents and children, or children who resent their parents maybe cannot empathise but you'll still feel the elegiac loneliness.

Death is an abstract concept to people who've never lost anyone; it's refied through the death of a loved one.


"You hear about it as a kid..."

Worsening mental illness. You hear about it as a kid and think "sucks for those people."

Yeah, it sucks pretty bad.


"That's a new level of horror."

Being bullied by complete strangers.

Look, when you are in school, you have to deal with bullying by students in your class/grade. It's horrible, but it's something you got to deal with it (although I don't like the idea of "ignoring" bullying and having them eventually getting bored with you. Doesn't work. And your bullies are in control of your life).

But when complete strangers are harassing you? By kids who aren't even in your class/grade? Who are calling you by your name, so you know this is a personal attack, not a "that guy looks weird, let's f*** with him" scenario? That's a new level of horror.


"I was watching some neighbor kids..."

Not being able to feel things as strongly as when I was a kid.

I was watching some neighbor kids having a water fight earlier in the summer, and I swear the range of emotions they went through in a 5 minute period was more intense than what I've felt in the last year.


"Because they know you'll quit eventually..."

Employment. Work hard and do well and you'll be rewarded was the story I got. Turns out I should have been told to learn how to work okayish, be good at blaming others, and be awesome at sucking up to bosses. Only do well enough that it passes, and sell it like it's better than sex. That way, when you get promoted, you can leave behind a mess and ensure your successor won't catch up to you, while you work out the game for the next level.

Since I'm not an amoral authoritarian, I'm never gonna get promoted. And never have. It is a race thing as well, sure, but it doesn't help that I find the game repulsive as well. And those of us who work hard and do a good job? We just get burnt out being used by the guys cheating the system.

Thus, for the past two decades I just work only hard enough. Only good enough. To not be fired. I give it my okayest try and I save my energy so I can enjoy my life outside of work.

The business field doesn't want us workers to get anything more than they have to give. So do not give them any more than you have to. Why do you think they demand 110%!!! and hype up effort and more more more more numbers!!!! eh? Because they know you'll quit eventually cause you aren't gonna get anything.


"Being taught growing up..."

Being taught growing up that your country is a paragon of human rights & democracy, and that it is utterly infallible. And to now only to feel utterly and completely helpless as I watch it fall to the ideologies of hate.


"I remember I couldn't wait..."

How alone you'd feel the first nights on your own.

I remember i couldn't wait to get out on my own, i tried moving to edmonton, with no plan really, we were sleeping in our truck trying to find a place, and i remember laying there, thinking about my lil brother, my ma and dad, how i was just in high school, a kid, and now im here alone. I wasn't prepared for how hard that'd hit.


"Meanwhile, you have to compete..."

Getting a job. Turns out that doing well in college isn't enough, you need tons of experience to even get entry-level jobs. Meanwhile, you have to compete with tons of people with good grades in college and even more experience than you to get said entry-level jobs.


"Our education system does not allow students..."

Your career path or path in general. Everyone just tells you to go to college if you don't want to be broke and that's what "normal" people do. Our education system does not allow students to think critically and independently. All you need to do in school is to do your assignment and pass your exam. Teachers never tell you there're thousands of possibilities in life other than going to college and have a desk job. I think almost everyone is the victim of this education system. That's why so many people nowadays have quarter/mid-life crisis and other mental issues.


"Not being able..."

Not being able to get a good job because no one will give me experience even though I worked hard to get a degree. My parents have no friends with white collar jobs, and I don't know anyone either so I can even start networking.


"The realization..."

The realization that an aunt I was once very close to is a racist in clear denial.

I'm a white man engaged to a black woman, and this aunt has said some very problematic things both to my fiancé in the past and in public conversations with a blatantly racist man on Facebook recently.


"I'm a lot more prepared these days..."

Packing my bag and walking out the door with nowhere to go.

I was going through a divorce at the time, despite it being an amicable split we were not getting along and she asked me to leave. Our marriage had alienated me from my family and my friends were not in a position to offer me a place to sleep.

I'm a lot more prepared these days. I know where local Shelters are, I know my rights as a tenant and I have my own savings account which I am very diligent about. The memory of how I felt on that first day though, that occasionally keeps me up at night.


"At least I can say..."

Sexual assault. You never think it's going to happen to you until it does. It's very tough to navigate on your own. Who do you call? Who do you tell? Where's the line? How do you deal with the anger and frustration when the police are no help? At least I can say I learned first hand how f***** up the justice system is.


"Living in one of the most privileged..."

Living in one of the most privileged, wealthy countries in the world but having 180,000 people die of a known virus inside of 6 months because the reality TV star president doesn't believe in science.


"You hear people talk about..."

Addiction and depression. You hear people talk about that sort of stuff, but it's all hypothetical and rather distant, especially when they tell you during your younger years. Then once those issues hit, it's like everything that you remember and were told is just BS, since the real experience varies so differently from what people who have never had depression or never been an addict told you.


"Coming to realize..."

Coming to realize how much was hidden from you by your parents. And having to accept a diagnosis passed down by genetics.


"End the cycle!"

So much shame. The root of all these things we weren't taught comes down to shame. End the cycle! Teach your kids about sex and mental health and failure and relationship and f***** up people and periods and self love! Honesty for the sake of growth and peace and fulfilling lives!


"It wasn't until I was older..."

Willfully ignorant people. I was raised with the opinion that people are smart in different ways. Like skillsets versus general intelligence. It was a nice way to say everybody has something to offer.

It wasn't until I was older where I watched people actively avoid knowledge to maintain an incorrect viewpoint.


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