31 People Share the Moment They Realized They Weren’t Kids Anymore

Can you recall the moment when you realized that you were now an adult and you definitely were NOT a kid anymore?

I think mine was probably was first week away from home during my Freshman year of college. It finally sunk in…I’d better do well and not mess around or else I’d probably be in pretty bad shape.

I was now A MAN…well, kind of…

Here’s what AskReddit users had to say about the moments they realized they weren’t kids anymore.

1. Rough days.

“When I was 18 and found out my first child was on the way. The impact of poor decisions was going to alter the life of someone beyond myself at that point. Since that day, I’ve never been unemployed.

I’ve never not had a roof over my head for my child to call home. I’ve never spent frivolously and not been able to provide her with meals, clothing, etc.

It was rough early on. We were poor. Lived in some sketchy neighborhoods in shitholes to start out. I started my own business when she was about age 6, by the time she was 8 years old we moved into our first home.

I ended up with custody a few years later after a divorce. Things became even more important to me to always make the right decision financially to ensure her stability. Unfortunately, the financial aspect was all I focused on and wasn’t always a good father.

End result, today we have a shit relationship and this is my fault.”

2. Used to be easy.

“Having to settle my Dad’s Estate after he died. Life had always seemed pretty easy until this point. I was suddenly buried with endless tasks, responsibilities, and decisions.

Also a lot of paperwork that I couldn’t even comprehend. It fucking sucked.”

3. People my age…

“Many people my age are starting to have/already have had children, and people aren’t acting like it’s a big deal

People my age are getting married

People my age are starting their careers

Many people my age have moved out of their parents’ house already

I will be starting my last year of college in August.”

4. It’s over now!

“When my best friend and I browsed through the furniture and house decor aisles of Target for fun.”

5. I’m in charge now.

“Stepping into a classroom full of students, having them all look up at me, and realizing I was the one in charge for the next 45 minutes.

Then realizing that after they left, roughly 25 more would cycle in and that this process would repeat several more times during the day for 180 more days for the next several decades.”

6. Making moves.

“I drove from Lexington, KY to Atlanta, GA, from college to my first job. It was in an old station wagon packed to the ceiling.

Spent the night in a Red Roof Inn realizing I knew no one with my entire life in that car. That night I was no longer a kid.”

7. This happens to a lot of people.

“When my parents were talking about politics, and I realized I knew more about what they were talking about than they did.”

8. Evicted.

“When my family got evicted from our house.

My friend and I had been paying rent to my father for 6 months and we lived ‘on our own’ in the basement suite. One morning a bailiff showed up, told us to grab our winter coats (it was -20 C in January), and that we’d been receiving eviction notices for months.

Turns out my friend was friend’s with the bailiff’s daughter through work and explained our predicament. He told us they would start out on the upper level, so she drove me over to a truck rental place and I rented a moving truck for the first time.

Luckily we managed to empty out the basement quickly and brought the truck to her parents’ house until we figure out what to do.

We wound up renting a suite in a house across the street from the evicted place 3 weeks later. My cat that had run off in all the chaos showed up one day at the new suite.

Not long after all that my father showed up at my doorstep wanting to stay with us – turning him away was the most ‘adult’ thing I did in the situation.

We were nineteen.”

9. A very serious one.

“When I found out I had to choose between being dropping out of college and homeless, or going back to live with my abusive family. It really hit me hard that I didn’t know what to do, but knew I had to do something.

At the time, those weren’t the only realistic options. But I was a kid and didn’t know that. It took a lot of learning and making mistakes over and over for me to really understand that adulthood meant making it up as I went.

I did end up dropping out of college initially to work full time and get an apartment. And now, 8 years later, I am in a way better place than the scared kid I was before.”

10. Liberating and scary.

“Just turned 19 and my mother passed earlier this January. No father figure to rely on.

The transition from, “I’m going to school with friends!” to “I’m working all the time just to not be homeless!” is a sharp one. The freedom is liberating and incredibly scary at the same time.”

11. A lot of those moments.

“When I was 19, I made I made a reference to one of my favorite shows from when I was 8-12, and a couple of 13 year olds listening had no idea what I was talking about.

I’m learning that those moments never stop happening.”

12. Better get busy!

“I was 23, no high school diploma, and a security guard doing access control at an ice cream plant.

I realized that if I didn’t get out of there and do something, I would be 50 in a flash, and not seen or done anything worthwhile.

My life would have peaked at 20 and the rest of my time amounting to little more than waiting to die.”

13. Sad.

“The morning after my parent’s divorce when I was 10. My father was an ultra helicopter/tiger parent. My mother was a neglectful abuser. We ended up with my mother.

My siblings and I stood in front of the garage door for an hour before realizing our mother wasn’t going to take us to school/daycare. I ended up carrying my siblings to their respective locations before making it to my own school by lunchtime.

I picked up bus signup slips that afternoon and was forced to forge my mother’s signature for the first time to try and get transportation. Later that week I also was forced to forge free lunch slips for us all because no one was going to make us food anymore.”

14. No more fun and games.

“When I flunked out of undergrad, and I got a job in a factory building electrical machinery.

I’d see my reflection of myself in overalls with my toolbox, and it hit me hard that all the fun and games from HS were over, and I was not “Joe cool” anymore.”

15. A weird feeling.

“I visited my old high school a year or so after graduation to say hi to the teachers, see the theater again, and..it hit me all of the sudden that I didn’t belong there.

That was weird.”

16. Time to call Mom.

“Getting asked questions at the dentist that my mom normally answered.

Just stood there like an idiot and said, “let me call my mother real quick”.

I’m only 18 but I’m feeling it already.”

17. But…you’re an adult…

“I told my niece she needed adult supervision to do something and she looked me like I was dumber than a block of cheese and asked why I couldn’t watch her.”

18. That’s a weird feeling.

“When some doctors or teachers are younger than me.

The last time I was at the ER I slowly realized that all the medical personnel treating me were younger than me.”

19. They’re depending on you…

“When my actions started to change a lot people’s life.

“If I don’t do shopping today I cannot cook for my wife and she would not have any food to take in the other day and in the next day I will be working so no one will buy food”.

20. Oh, I’M the man…

“At work one day when I was 19, I heard a little girl ask her mom “what’s that man doing?”

I turned to look at what man she was talking about and what the man was doing, only to discover she was pointing at me.”

21. Inner dialogue.

“Having the “we have food at home” talk with myself.

I realized it when my thought process went from ”What do I feel like having for dinner?” to “What do I have to eat before it spoils and I wind up wasting the money I spent on it?”.”

22. Wait, what?

“In high school a friend of mine worked at a laser tag place. He got a bunch of us in for free one day. In the waiting room we had a friendly trash talking match with some 12 year olds about the upcoming game.

One of them came back with “You’re on! Kids vs adults!””

23. I feel this one.

“When I saw a forecast for snow and I was annoyed instead of happy.

Kids see potential snow day and imagine all the fun a snowy day brings. Adults see shoveling it out of the driveway just so you can sit thru a shitty drive to work.”

24. The speech.

“I used to be able to take days off work whenever i wanted and now i find myself having to have the “if you take that many days off you wont be able to pay your mortgage so suck it up and go to work” speech with myself at least once a week.


25. No more relaxing.

“When I realized I could never be fully relaxed because there’s always some responsibility looming over me.”

26. Not cool.

“I recently turned 21 and I’ve already had at least 3 kids call me “Boomer”.”

27. Back in my day…

“I was driving my sister around and I pointed out to her a building that used to be a Blockbuster where my dad would take us to when I was a kid.

Then I was crying inside at the fact that I said “when I was a kid”.”

28. It’s not automatic.

“When I lost my job (this was pre-Corona).

I realized that I’d treated my career like it was school, as if I would keep moving up automatically.

It was a juvenile way to approach success, and I realized that if I wanted more from my life and career I couldn’t just expect it to happen.”

29. Game changer.

“When they said, “some people will meet the person they are going to marry here” at my university welcome speech.

That shit fucked me up real good.”

30. Everyone is pretty much clueless.

“Realizing that nobody knows what the hell they are doing, everyone is just winging it.

Asked a mate (one of the most well put together guys I know) if he had any adulting tips. Just came back with “if you ever find out, please tell me.”

31. That’s scary.

“My first year of teaching.

When we told the kids to get an adult if there’s an emergency and I realized I was the adult they would be getting.”

That’s always an interesting moment, isn’t it?

How about you?

Do you remember the moment when you realized you weren’t a kid anymore?

If so, please share your story with us in the comments.