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Things You Thought Would Be a Bigger THING, Growing Up

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As a kid, I was given several impressions that didn’t quite pan out as an adult.

When you’re growing up, your head is soaking up everything like a good little sponge. Or maybe a lollipop that fell under the couch. It can come from rotting your brains on cartoons, shows, commercials and movies, or from straight up book learnin’, or all the things you’re repeatedly told by your parents and other big people.

I grew up in the late ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s. Hey! So it took me a while, don’t judge. Maybe you’ve got more gray hair than me, and you grew up thinking you’d be frequently “ducking and covering” from nuclear attacks. Or maybe you have purple hair and thought, I dunno, that you’d be on tons of reality TV shows or something.

We’ve all got different birthdays, but we’ve all got things we grew up with that we thought would be a bigger THING than it turned out to be.



Comedian, John Mulaney, kicks this post off perfectly. I’m not saying I thought it was possible to go to the beach and get gobbled up, but I’m also not NOT saying that. You may laugh, but quicksand phobia for my generation isn’t a huge surprise when you look at this inforgraphic someone made of the appearance of the deadly sucking sand in movies.

Police Commandeering Cars


Totally thought this would happen to me at some point, once I started driving. Especially since I live in Los Angeles, the high-speed police chase capital of the world. In film and in reality, probably.

Catching Fire

It’s really good that the flammability of our bodies isn’t quite what I thought it was, because as many times as I heard the message “stop, drop and roll,” I’d probably do other very non stoppy, droppy and rolly things. Probably just mindlessly-run-around-screamy things.

Catching Cold

My own mom wasn’t too much of an illness helicopter, but the number of times kid-me heard the expression,”you’ll catch a cold” or even “your death” were in the range of bazillions of times. I probably thought lower temperatures were a highly contagious virus you could contract standing in front of an open fridge.


Now that I’m a parent, the idea of child abduction scares the ever lovin’ crap out of me, so I’m not saying this isn’t a terrifying concern. I’m just saying that I grew up thinking I’d be abducted like at least 12 times before I hit puberty.

Untied Shoelace Accidents

You get the idea that you’ll experience a fatal accident if you even so much as trot lazily with untied shoelaces. Even as adults, we’re like, “FREEZE! Don’t move a muscle. Your shoe is untied.” Mostly to ping people in the nose when they look down, sure. In any case, strangely I’ve never experienced a single trip, to the ground or the Emergency Room) as a result of untied shoelaces. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.



I know this one will sound stupid because, well… it is kinda stupid. I seriously thought ninjas would be a more prominent part of life (real ones, not internet jokes). Hey! We’re nothing if not stupid when we’re kids, right? Preciously impressionable and imagination addicted morons. Plus, NINJAS ARE COOL!


Ironically, I could fill books with the stuff I was taught that didn’t turn out to be of everyday relevance. I’ll tell ya, there is no brighter spotlight you can shine on this than when you help your kid with their homework. Oh, parallelograms, you little devils you! Here’s another, much cuter, example.

Dinosaur Relevance

This genius was created by Sheldon Comics. So true! Also, as a really little kid, farm animals seem like they’d be a seriously important part of adult life. The cow goes moooooo!

About Yury Zvyagolskiy

Yury Zvyagolskiy
In almost all American movies there is a bad guy who is usually Russian and his name is Yury. If the bad guy is not from Russia, his last name usually starts with Z. So here I am - Yury Z. My specialty is personal effectiveness. I am an expert in goal achievement, personal effectiveness, relationships and effective thinking.

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