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Adulting in Nigeria

We spoke to a bunch of young Nigerians in their early 20’s who just started adulting about the hardest, easiest and weirdest parts of being an “adult” in Nigeria. Check out what they had to say!

Let’s get right to it! For you, what’s the hardest part of being an adult in Nigeria?

Man it’s the responsibilities. It never ends. It’s like you inhaled in a breath and you never get to exhale. Work has you scared to pick up your phone whenever you see that notification light come on.
Eze, 23

There’s just so much pressure. Financial pressure, pressure to achieve things quickly, pressure from yourself, on your mental health, from your parents, society. Adulting is just pressure.
Mustapha, 24

This is easy. The bills and responsibilities that come with being an adult. You don’t realize how difficult it is as a kid, even the tiniest thing is a lot.
Dami, 24

It is the fact that ‘independence’ doesn’t really come. In terms of my age and on paper I am an adult but I am not viewed as one. A close second is having to balancing my personal and work life.
Zainab

Honestly, the hardest part about being a young Nigerian adult is not being adequately prepared for it. Speaking for myself but most of us don’t know how to plan financially. It’s not taught in uni or in secondary school. It’s like most Nigerian kids were pampered till they got to that stage where they have to fend for themselves.
Chidi

But it can’t be all bad. What’s the easiest part of being an adult in Nigeria?

I guess. Some of us are fortunate, we get to live at home with our folks and don’t have to worry about food and all that. In some countries, that’s not regular.
Eze

(Laughs) It’s like that tweet said, you can now take as much milk as you want in your tea. But for real, it’s not easy but you have a little more sovereignty. Although that depends on how dependent you are.
Mustapha

Omo is there any easy part? The freedom sha. You don’t need to beg or need permission to do certain things.
Dami

I don’t think there’s any easy part to be honest
Zainab

Easiest part is finally being responsible for your own actions and mistakes. No one imposing on your life anymore.
Chidi

What’s the weirdest/strangest part of being an adult in Nigeria?

My biggest revelation is everyone is just winging it. Most people don’t have shit figured out. It’s just day to day. All that confidence I had in my parents as a kid just evaporated one day. They’re not superheroes. They’re just people.
Eze

The weirdest part for me circles around relationships and friendships. It’s very funny, on some days things are good and you have all your friends together and on some other days, you feel so alone, fighting your own battles alone. I never had that when I was younger.
Mustapha

The realization of how there’s no break. The things you have to deal with is so constant. I think that our parents made it look easy even when they were going through hell. At my age, my parents already had children!
Dami

It’s almost as though people pick and choose when to see you as an adult. You’re “independent” and can handle your financial responsibility but when you want to make decisions about your life, you’re not old enough or experienced enough to take those decisions yourself.
Zainab

Every single person telling you what you should do. Friends, family, anyone who feels they have “experience” imposing their own reality on you without even finding out what you want for your life.
Chidi

What’s the most expensive part of being an adult in Nigeria?

Tbh is there any part of it that’s not expensive. I help out a lot around my house so I’m always broke. I have a tradition now that every time I get paid, I do one thing, just one thing for myself. Because I know the rest of it is just going to be paying bills.
Eze

Being a young Nigerian adult is “See finish.” Essentially you need money for everything yeah but I think the most “expensive” thing isn’t just money. The price you have to pay is the insults and the disrespect you’ll get as a young adult. All the crap you’ll have to accommodate from your folks and people older than you because it’s expensive to be independent.
Mustapha

Food! Data! Transport! The holy trinity of bills. Other things like rent and other expenses pile up but those are the killers.
Dami

Most of my big needs are still taken care of my parents so I don’t think I can speak to this.
Zainab

It has to be transport especially in Lagos. A substantial portion of your salary goes on transport and most jobs don’t pay well and when you have a meagre salary everything you do is expensive, no matter how minute.
Chidi

The part of “adulting” are you’re looking forward to the most?

Oddly I’m not looking forward to wife and kids and all that because that just feels like low-key more responsibility. I am looking forward to living alone. No roommates. Nothing. Just me. Basking in my own space.
Eze

The stability. When you look at much older people, it seems like their life goals, their career goals, finances, relationships, everything is balanced. As a young adult, you’re making a lot of choices and just uncertain in life.
Mustapha

Omo, I don’t think there’s anything I am looking forward to. I want to go back to being a child. Maybe just sex? But I’m a child of God so I don’t do such. Tbh the only thing I’m looking forward to is being a RICH ADULT.
Dami

Family life. I pray I have an amazing husband and a family of my own. Looking forward to having a home of my own.
Zainab

Spending my money!
Chidi

What part of “adulting” are you’re looking forward to the least?

Honestly, the idea of working indefinitely till I die tbh. Fingers crossed I marry rich!
Eze

The pressure for marriage. I don’t really care for intimate relationships that demand commitment 24/7. The thought itself is terrifying. So I’m not looking for when people that matter start demanding. Mustapha

Everything! The societal expectations like marriage and children. All the nonsense wahala that comes with that.
Dami

A friend of mine told me once that we’re coming to that point in our life where we’ve had so many milestones together. Birthdays, graduations etc. and eventually we’ll start attending funerals. Yeah people my age have started dying and it’s hard. Dealing with that doesn’t excite me.
Zainab

I’m not looking forward to learning from my mistakes. We all want a smooth life but mistakes are inevitable and I’m not looking forward to learning the hard way.
Chidi

Conclusion
Do you have even crazier experiences as a young adult in Nigeria? Share them on social media and use the tag #SociaLigaNaijaLife! We can’t wait to see them!

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