It’s pretty interesting how our fears and worries change over the course of our lives.

When you’re young and you think you’re invincible, all the scary stuff out there just seems to roll off your back. And then you get a little bit older and you get a little more worried about, well…everything.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Folks on AskReddit talked about the things that scare them as adults that didn’t bother them much when they were young. Let’s take a look.

1. Time flies by.

“The reality of how fleeting life is.

And I don’t mean in the cliché “live life to the fullest!”

I mean in the way that life really does pass quickly. I’m 3 years into college and I still feel like I graduated high school last year. Every now and then someone will mention the new class graduating and I have no idea who they are. Or when people I graduated with come into my work and it hits me: I haven’t seen them in three years.

When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to grow up, to live on my own, travel, see the world, have a bunch of friends, have a real job.

Now life is real. And it’s passing quick. And realities are starting to set in that in order to do all the things I want to do while I’m young, I better have an excellent paying job. Because time is passing and it isn’t waiting for me.”

2. Very true.

“The older I get the more I realize that very few people have a clue of how to actually do their job, raise a family, or simply being a good member of society.

I’m in my mid twenties, almost done with medical school, and I don’t think I will be mentally or finanically ready to raise kids until I’m in my thirties. My parents had us when they just turned 20. Like wtf, they had no idea how to raise kids, they probably just winged that sh*t and I’m just thankful they didn’t irreversibly f*ck me up.

Or the George Carlin quote about thinking how stupid the average person is. And then realizing that half of the population is even dumber than that. How it’s baffling that our unemployment rate is <5% and that somehow almost all of those people have jobs and that someone somewhere thought “yeah, I’ll hire this person, they seem like they’re more qualified than everyone else.”

The implication being that more than half of the workforce isn’t as good at their job as they could be, and that a huge portion of the world is ran by complete idiots.

Not to mention how uneducated the average person is when it comes to civic duties like voting. Compared to the average joe, I think I probably read way more news articles, history books, and discuss things with my best friend who is a US politics professor; and I still feel like I’m uneducated when it comes to voting for the right candidate.”

3. Frayed nerves.

“Performance anxiety!

I was in theatre as a kid/teen, was in sports tournaments, enjoyed class presentations, and even did some public speaking, and never had any issue getting up in front of people. Even when I would mess up occasionally in front of an audience it didn’t bother me.

Then in college a switch flipped. I did a handful of variety shows in college, and used to perform the national anthem in college at our university sports games. I still remember the first time I ever experienced performance anxiety–I was about 21, and going to perform the national anthem at a volleyball game and I felt it, but it didn’t impact my performance.

Later that year, I was singing a solo tune in a variety show and my music cut out and it flipped me out so bad that I had to stop the performance, which was a gamechanger–I’d never had an issue adhering to “the show must go on” even when things go wrong.

And for the first time in my life, my final presentation of university racked my nerves so bad that it impacted my ability to speak and concentrate so bad that I thought I’d fail the presentation, especially because that professor had seen successful presentations from me before.

Nowadays I get flipped out even giving casual presentations in front of my (small) company. I’d do variety show performance again though!”

4. Bad drivers everywhere.


Each time I go out onto the road I get more and more scared to go back. I’m only 19. How is 90% of this species so reckless that they can manage to scare a 19 year old off the road?

The reason I pay so much extra for insurance is because I’m supposed to be the one doing that, but all middle aged-senior citizens that think they own every inch of the road are beating me to it.”

5. Losing it.

“Losing my mind.

My grandfather had dementia and my grandmother had Alzheimers, they both went through their respective illnesses at the exact same time and to watch them slowly lose themselves was so depressing.

I’m not too worried about what happens to my body, I just dont want to lose my mind, I dont want to forget.”

6. Way up high.


When I was a kid I could run along the edges of tall wharfs and the sides of cliffs without a second thought. Even when I was in my early twenties my friends and I used to hang out on the roof of a 30 story building and pretend push each other off for laughs.

Now even thinking about it gives me anxiety. Even worse thinking that my kid might do the same.”

7. Twisters.


I got stuck driving in a tornadic storm in 1996 (I think it was later determined to be a… down draft maybe it’s called?) in New Hampshire of all places.

Started a thunderstorm phobia that was getting better until I was 22 and ran into (in a car again) what was called the Worst Thunderstorm in New Brunswick History. 2 am outside a closed gas station on an open highway, in a small ford escort which rumbled and shook as lightning was striking right beside us.”

8. A scary thought.

“Home invasions.

It’s my worst nightmare… as a Brit I respect all you Americans who don’t f*ck about when it comes to protecting your families if anyone dares step foot in your house.”

9. No more bills!


As a kid it was always pleasant, a comic, a letter from grandma, you get the idea.

Now everything in the mail is either a bill or taxes.”

10. You’re not alone on that one.


They’re my absolute worst fear and I didn’t used to be scared of them, but when I got to be a teenager suddenly I was TERRIFIED of them.

It’s so bad sometimes that I physically cannot go places if I know a clown will be there.”

11. Beware of the deep.

“The ocean!

I LOVED swimming in the beach, jumping off big boats into the unknown and just water overall but now that I know what could be lurking in the water I’m terrified!”

12. Old bones.

“I miss feeling like a human rubber band when I do active things.

I’m still pretty athletic and I stay in good shape, but after one or two sports knee injuries in high school I could no longer fall on my body any way I wanted.”

13. What’s gonna go wrong today?

“Owning a home.

I am only slightly exaggerating when I say that I wake up every day fully expecting some new and expensive catastrophe to unfold.”

14. The deep.

“Deep water.

Now for some reason, if I’m in water and it reaches my chest I’m struck by an absolute rising sense of dread, my breathing gets shallow and I feel so uneasy and upset I have to get into shallower water to be calm again.”

15. Not as much fun anymore.

“Signs of aging.

When you’re a kid, getting older means new and exciting changes.

When you’re in your 30s and older, it means far less fun things.”

16. Life is hard.

“Needing help or advice. I’m a grown adult now, 34, and my mom and dad have since passed on.

When I run into a problem with an appliance or a home repair or need help with a recipe, it always takes me a minute to remember they aren’t here anymore.

Really sucks having no one to lean on when things get hard. My mom used to just give me $100 without question when I’d be hard up for money. No more bank-of-mom. if I run out of money now I’m just f*cked until payday.”

17. Slow down!

“Traveling in a car, especially if I’m not the one driving.

7 year old me: Man it’s amazing how many adults are smart enough to run hundreds of cars around the city going super fast and not hit each other!

Adult me: uhhhhhhh….”

18. Be careful.

“Jumping down from a height greater than a few feet.

As a kid I could jump off a roof and roll with it, nowadays if I land funny I fear I’ll be paralyzed for life.”

19. Oh God, no!

“A tooth falling out. As a kid it was gross, funny and painful all at once. As an adult, horrifying.

My dentist said that a couple of my teeth are “a little mobile.” Then he said it’s nothing to really worry about, as if hearing “teeth” and “mobile” in the same sentence is ever good.”

20. A fact of life.

“When you are a child, you see for parents mortality as something so far away and that eventually you will be prepared

But it’s never the case, recently my grandmother died after a long disease and what it strike me the most was the reaction from my mom, she said “no somos nada”, “we are nothing”, she was devastated and then it comes to my mind, one day I would be the one on her shoes and she will be on the coffin.

The hard part is that, that is the best result, that you bury your parents not the other way around.”

21. Protect your noggin.

“Head injuries.

As a kid, I thought broken bones were the big thing to worry about, because I could visualize what that was; I had no sense for the severity of brain injuries.

As an adult, protecting my noggin is my number one injury concern, because the human machine don’t work with a damaged processor.”

22. Time is precious.

“Lack of time.

As a kid, felt like I had all the time in the world.

As an adult, I feel like I have no time to do anything other than work.”


“I bought a house a couple years ago. Literally everything scares me now.

It’s raining? Probably gonna flood the basement.

Windy? Tree’s gonna fall on the house.

Weird smell? Probably an electrical fire.

Leave the house for literally 5 minutes? Obviously going to explode due to a gas leak.”

24. Not a thrillseeker anymore.

“Roller coasters.

I used to ride them all summer long because I had a six flags summer pass. I went a few years ago with my younger sister. It wasn’t fun anymore. I just kept feeling like I was going to die.

I ended up holding purses, and keeping my feet on the ground. I never understood why my mom would just wait for me, but I get it now.”

25. Yeah, pretty scary.

“I had no fear of U-Hauls until I rented a U-Haul.

I filled out all of my information online and they gave me the keys to a 27 foot box truck. No training. No anything. They’ll just let anyone take these massive vehicles and drive them off the lot.

Give them a wide berth.”

26. Aging.

“Honestly, just getting older. I’m only 36 but I just don’t want to be an “old person.” I fear my daughter is already starting to see me that way, but I do everything I can to fight it.

One disc in my back is permanently injured from a car wreck 12 years ago, one knee is bad from playing with a nephew 14 years ago.

I want to be the strong hero my daughter needs as she grows up but I fear these will really catch up to me in the coming years.”

27. Under the knife.


As a kid, I was led to believe that it was something magical that happened to you when you got your tonsils out, and then afterwards, you could eat all the ice cream you wanted!

Now that I’ve had it as an adult and know that there’s always a possibility it could go horribly wrong, I get really antsy and scared just thinking about it.”

28. Avoid it if possible.

“Anything related to going to the hospital.

When I was a kid, I was always in the emergency room with a deep cut or broken bone. Now that I realize it isn’t as “free” as I thought it was when I was a kid, I’ll make any excuse to not go to the hospital.

Case in point, my wife (before we were married) went to the ER with severe abdominal pains and found out she had an infection in her gallbladder. So they removed it.

Her hospital bill, because she went “out of network” and had an ER visit, was over $80,000. Meanwhile, I probably would have just died because I would have crunched down a hundred Immodium before visiting the hospital.”

Now it’s your turn.

In the comments, tell us what scares you as an adult that didn’t scare you as a youngster.

We can’t wait to hear your stories. Thanks!