Growing up in the '90s, we had plenty of media to influence our perceptions of adulthood: Movies, TV shows, music videos, and books all sent us messages of what our lives would be when we grew up. Of course, as adults, we've found that our '90s dreams of adulthood have all been cruelly shattered in pretty much every single way. Even if you imagined yourself as having a high-power career you loved, for example, you probably only had a vague idea of what having a job actually entailed, right? Too bad we weren't at all prepared for what the daily grind actually is. That's not to say that adulthood isn't awesome, of course — just that it's generally nowhere near as easy or comfortable as we imagined it would be.
Still, it can be fun to revisit the dreams we had about adulthood, if only to laugh at ourselves and give our parents some belated pity. It can also be enriching to think back on how our goals and desires have changed over the years, as well as fun to inspire ourselves to think about what we do want now and what we can do to make those changes happen for our actual adult selves.
These '90s dreams that are crushingly far away today are sure to remind you of your younger self — and just maybe motivate you to rethink what dreams you have for yourself today.
1Being Able To Afford A Huge Apartment In NYC
I feel like this one was the most cruel of them all: Being able to afford a huge apartment in the city of your choice, where of course you lived either with or near all of your friends.
2Graduating College Without Going To Class
This '90s daydream went in one of two directions: Going to college was basically like starting your career as a power-woman, or going to college was a breeze you slept through and still graduated on time. With honors.
3Running Into Your Friends All The Time
Of course you all lived and worked in the same exact area, so of course you'd run into your friends without prior scheduling or planning all the time. Chill, right?
4Being "Broke" But Still Doing Cool Stuff
Being "broke" as an adult always seemed weirdly glamorous to us as kids, especially if you fancied yourself a struggling artist. Such naivety.
5Going On Vacations Every Holiday
How much money did the dad in Home Alone make to be able to take everyone to Paris every Christmas? This is just one of many questions we wonder about now, but definitely didn't in the '90s.
6Staying BFFs With Your Middle School Friends
While many of us do keep in touch with the people we grew up with, I think a lot of '90s kids assumed we'd stay super close with our middle school cliques for all time — which, for better or worse, is rarely the case.
7Shopping Sprees For Each Big Event In Life
New job? Shopping. New date? Shopping. Moving to a new city and changing your identity? Obviously, tons of shopping.
8Always Free Tables At The Hip Cafe
Not only would you have friends who were always free for brunch, but there would never be a wait at the hippest place in town.
9Having An Extremely Chic Wardrobe
The ultimate 90s dream: A closet full of clothes and the budget to buy a new outfit whenever you felt like it anyway.
10Easily Cooking Your Own Meals
Making dinner looked so easy when your parents did it, right?
11Earning A High Salary Right Away
Ah, to be back in the days when we assumed we would always make a ton of money, no matter what our career was or how often we actually went to work.
12Always Knowing What You Want
Remember how everyone was certain of what they wanted to be when they grew up? Somehow, actual adulthood comes with a lot more uncertainty.
13Partying All The Time
Going to the bar, club, concert or so on is fun and all, but it's also expensive. And exhausting!