+
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.
GOOD PEOPLE Book
upworthy

adulthood

Family

Man lists 8 not fun, but very important things you need to start doing as an adult.

"Welcome to being an adult. Maybe you weren't told this by your parents, but this is through my trial and error."

@johnfluenzer/TikTok

8 things you should be doing as an adult. Spoiler alert—none of them are fun.

Who among us hasn’t come into full adulthood wishing they had known certain things that could have made life so so so much easier in the long run? Choices that, if made, ultimately would have been much better for our well-being…not to mention our wallets.

But then again that is all part of growing older and (hopefully) wiser. However there is something to be said about getting advice from those who’ve been there, rather than learning the hard way every single time.

Thankfully, a man who goes by @johnfluenzer on TikTok has a great list of things young people should start doing once they become adults. Are any of his suggestions fun, cool or trendy? Not at all. But they are most definitely accurate. Just ask any 30+-year-olds who wished they had done at least four of these things.

John started off by saying, “welcome to being an adult. Maybe you weren't told this by your parents, but this is through my trial and error."

Listed below are the eight vital things to maintaining a healthy adulthood, that most of us have no idea about until well into adulthood.

1. Getting an annual doctor visit.

annual checkup

young woman visiting her doctor

Canva

This is the bare minimum amount of visits one should be making, according to John. He recommended more if you “have more medical concerns.”

2. Dental visits. For a yearly cleaning at the very least.

dentist near me

Woman at the dentist

Canva

"Keep in mind that a $300 cavity can turn into a $1,500 root canal, which can then turn into a $2,000 crown on top of the $1,500 you just paid, so it's better to just pay the $300 or whatever it is for a cavity, and just get it sorted,” he explained.

As someone with this exact experience (ignored a cavity because she didn't want to pay $300, only to pay $1500 years later, even with insurance) I can ruefully confirm.

…as can others, judging by the comments sections to John’s video.

“I didn’t go to the dentist for 8 years and now I need a root canal. Learn from my mistakes people,” one person wrote.

Seriously, no amount of flossing and avoiding sugar can make up for a professional cleaning and checkup, folks.

Last note on this subject—John mentioned that if you couldn’t afford to go to a dentist, to check for nearby dental schools that can often perform necessary procedures at a fraction of the cost.

Though he specifically mentioned dental schools in Canada, that is also an option in America. Things I wish I had known as a 20-year-old…

3. Next up, John suggested that if you are sexually active, to get checked for STDs/STIs.

std check, std clinic

an image of STD tests

Canva

“If you're uncomfortable with your GP, or you don't have a GP, go to a sexual health clinic…. Just go get tested — it's better to know,” he said.

4. Get vaccines. “Be up on your vaccines, not just your flu shot."

vaccine near me

A man having just got a vaccine.

Canva

"We're talking Hep A/Hep B, and also if you're under 25, get your Gardasil 9. It's three shots. It prevents the cancer-causing HPV,” he explained.

And while he mostly discussed the free health care options found in Canada, HPV vaccines are covered by most insurances in the US. Plus there are other potentially free/low cost resources, such as the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program for those under 19.

5. Then get a PEP, aka Post-exposure prophylaxis, if you had a “risky sexual encounter” and are worried about having contracted HIV.

pep near me

Image of pills

Canva

For this one, time really is of the essence. The sooner a PEP is taken, the more effective it is at preventing HIV, and must be taken within 72 hours of possible exposure to HIV.

Gotta say…list time 3-5 seem particularly important, as many young people are not given thorough sex education.

6. Rent. Everyone’s favorite.

rent prices, apartment near me

Image of a piggy back with a reminder to pay rent.

Canva

John explains that especially in a housing crisis, “your rent should be the first thing you take care of every month."

"It comes before everything. Now maybe if you have kids and they need to eat, of course, that's important," he added. "But a roof over their head is way more important and you do not want to give landlords any excuse to have you evicted. Pay your rent and pay it on time."

7. Hold onto that cellphone as long as possible.

cheap cellphone, lowering cellphone bill

Woman holding a cellphone

Canva

“I know we all want the new cell phones.Keep your phone as long as possible, OK?" he said. "I don't care if it's any iPhone 10, iPhone 8, keep it for as long as possible. Especially if you're under no contract—you have so much freedom.”

Instead of getting a new phone, John suggested switching providers every month to get special deals and save “$40–50 bucks a month,” which, as we all know, really adds up.

8. Only have one streaming subscription a month.

netflix, hbo, showtime, hulu

There's not need to have more than one streaming service at a time.

Canva

This one was admittedly “controversial,” John shared, but in his point of view, it’s a no brainer.

“You don't need Netflix, Disney, Hulu, whatever... you don't need them all the same month. January do Netflix, cancel. February do Hulu... All of these different apps, they let you save watchlists, right, like 'My List.' And if you cancel your subscription and you restart it two months later, your list is still there. So just save stuff, only pay for it once a month, and try to save some money,” he suggested.

What a wake up call, right? But other hardened adults couldn’t help but agree with John.

“This is very good advice, can confirm (unfortunately) as a fellow adult lol,” one person wrote.

Others appreciated how he took the time to share this list to help younger people avoid some pretty disheartening setbacks.

“I love people like you so much, just her to help others in life. People like you are so important because you didn’t have to make this video but you did.”

You can’t always trust what you hear on TikTok, but John’s advice is sound. What most life hacks seem to have in common, other than a healthy blend of common sense and 20/20 hindsight, is that it puts some form of security at the forefront—not necessarily instant gratification. Fun is so important, but as anyone with experience will tell you, peace of mind is priceless.

Watch the full video below:

@johnfluenzer #greenscreen Here is my list if things you jeed to start doing once you’re an adult! I know its not fun bit I wish someone had told me when I was younger. #genz #genalpha #adultingishard ♬ original sound - John

This article originally appeared on 12.10.23

Sarah Thorne knew her dad had only wanted one thing for the past eight years: a pair of light-up sneakers.

You know, the kind that blink every time you take a step? You may remember them from the hallways of your elementary school.

GIF from Famous Footwear


The only thing stopping her dad from getting a pair of his own was his assumption that light-up shoes were designed exclusively for kids.

So when Thorne found a pair of adult-sized light up sneakers, she had the camera rolling to capture her dad's reaction when he opened them on his birthday.

GIFs via Storyful/YouTube.

After a brief moment of confusion, he squeezed the heel and those bad boys lit right up and...

...her dad leapt out of his seat with surprise and delight.

When's the last time you felt this level of pure, childlike happiness?  

Most of us are barely out of high school when the world starts slapping us in the face with adultness. Our favorite childhood foods start to taste bland, our favorite bands from fifth grade sound like whiney strangers with guitars, the shows and movies we once found inspiring start to lose their shine in the hindsight of adulthood and real life experiences.

We have to deal with things like paying taxes, and getting jobs, and being adults who have bills and responsibilities. We have to deal with "the Mondays" and people who say "the Mondays."

In short, sometimes it can feel like adulthood means smiling less; we start to take little joys for granted.

Moments like the one Sarah Thorne captured with her dad are proof that pure joy has no age.

You're never too old to be delighted by something small and silly. In fact, those small, silly things can sometimes be the most important — because they can brighten your day when you need it most.

Plus, light-up sneakers are awesome. Always.

Watch the full video here:

More

Science found 4 categories of independence in young adults. Where do you belong?

More young people than ever are living with their families. But does that make them less independent?

For about four months last year, I needed to live with my family.

A month after I turned 26, my housing plans fell apart. Suddenly, I found myself living in Seattle with few resources and nowhere to go.


Couch-surfing might not seem so bad at first, but talk to me again after a week, mister. Photo from iStock.

I tried couch-surfing for about a month. I'd stay for a week at one friend's house, then for a few days at another.

But it soon became apparent that I needed a long-term solution. So I asked a nearby family member, my aunt, if I could stay with her.

Don't get me wrong — I love my family. But the whole experience kind of messed with my head.

What did living with my family say about me? I had recently earned a master's degree, and people kept calling me successful — but I didn't feel successful. Could I call myself an independent adult if I wasn't living on my own?

Also, where did this beanie and scarf come from? Photo from iStock.

That's how I fell into a rut of looking at independence as a "yes" or "no" thing.

I felt like living on my own was independent, and living with my family was not. But the truth is that it's not a yes or no thing at all.

In fact, a recent study showed that for most young people today, independence has become a lot more nuanced than it was in the past.

North Carolina State University sociology professor Anna Manzoni analyzed data about the lives of more than 14,000 Americans age 18-25.

She measured the idea of independence in a few different ways: by whether the subject had their own living space, by asking them to record their earnings and whether they got financial support from their parents, and by considering their own perceptions of independence and adulthood.

Most young people can be roughly split into four different, nearly evenly split groups of independence.

Only about 28% of the people she surveyed were classified as fully independent — people who lived by themselves, didn't receive support from their families, and personally felt independent.

On the other extreme, only 23% were more or less dependent. They lived with their parents, received financial support, and thought of themselves as dependent.

In between those two, however, were two more groups, making up about half of the population:

About 24% were a category I'll call free range. They live apart from family and have their own finances but still feel connected in an emotional way to their parent's home.

And another 25% were what I'd call housemates. They're financially independent, and thought of themselves as mostly independent, but lived with their parents.

What does this tell us? In real life, people's relationships with their families are a lot more nuanced than just "independent" or "dependent."

Everyone's situation is different, and independence today is definitely on a spectrum.

In many families, older siblings help raise younger ones. Photo from iStock.

Maybe a young person is staying at home while going to school so they can save money while living under mountains of student debt.

Or maybe that young person is one of the many folks who stay with their family in order to take care of an ailing loved one, to help raise younger siblings, or to help provide financially.

Or maybe they come from one of the many cultures around the world that encourage kids to stay with their families for years.

As today's millennials come into adulthood, their independence is likely to fall onto more of a spectrum than in years past.

This research could hopefully help inform future research and policies for the public, too.

"The fact that we have this diverse range of groups across the spectrum of independence, and that each of these groups is so well-represented in the population, means we need to stop thinking of independence as a binary concept: either dependent or independent," Manzoni said in a press release.

"It's more complicated than that. Our research and policies — on everything from education to housing — need to reflect these nuances, because they are important."

Today, I have my own place again. But now I'll think differently about what it means to be independent.

Like so many things in life, it comes down to what's best for each of us.

Most Shared

This former child actor's Instagram post about growing up is on point.

Dylan Sprouse is teaching us all a thing or two about growing up.

\n\nIf you were a child of the '90s, the Sprouse twins might be pretty familiar faces.

The Sprouse twins were household names during the early 2000s. Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images.

Now, Dylan and Cole Sprouse are all grown up. As proud alumni of New York University, the twins have gone their separate ways, with Cole pursuing other acting endeavors, and Dylan doing, well, whatever he wants for the time being.  


Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Katsuya.

But Dylan says he gets asked what he's doing all the time, to the point of exhaustion. And this week, he took to Instagram to address the question.

Sprouse called out the hypocrisy of a society that expects him to keep up a career he indulged in as a child. 

Screenshot courtesy of the writer.

Screenshot courtesy of the writer

He also called out that it's OK to be doing nothing and to work on figuring out what his next steps might be.

"I'm enjoying myself by relaxing, traveling, consuming media, and continuing to learn" but the truth is is that unless I'm doing something bigger and better than what I've previously done, people deem it regressive." 

It’s no secret that many child stars struggle to transition into adulthood. Drugs, alcohol, and unemployment tend to find even the most successful of child stars, ultimately setting the stage for a less than desirable adulthood.

\n\n

The pressures of Hollywood can be daunting, and for a kid working in the industry since they were practically in diapers, it makes a lot of sense that they may want to take their time in deciding what's next. The Sprouse twins have emerged pretty smoothly, though, and that's impressive.

The Sprouse twins enjoyed growing up out of the spotlight. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Plus, these guys are only 23 years old! The same age that Tina Fey was working at a YMCA. The age that Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche had recently finished writing her first play and was getting ready to pursue other projects. The age when Oprah was fired from her first journalism job. The age that Ralph Lauren was still serving in the army

Whether you're a recent college graduate or a former child star, you don't always know what you want, and that's totally normal! As Dylan admits in his post, while Cole is pursuing acting, that may not be what he wants to stick with — a concept that's totally OK in your 20s. 

So Dylan, as a former 10-year-old fan of your hilarious show, I have three words for you: You do you.