First World Problems

If you’ve used the internet in the last three months you’ve probably heard about the hilarious/thought-provoking/reality-checking phenomena that is First World Problems.I would like to say that I’m the sort of girl who can view her problems through the bigger-picture-lens and that I don’t ever shout “IHATEEVERYTHING!” to an empty house when I can’t format a photo correctly.  But I am not nearly that zen.

You would think that teaching English to refugees and even spending time in a Nepali refugee camp would help me chill the eff out?  Well, you’d be wrong.   Sure, for a few weeks after leaving the Timai camp in eastern Nepal, I counted my blessings.

Blessings like:
* I have access to hot water 24 hours a day
* I have electricity 24 hours a day
* I don’t have to sleep on the porch when I have my period
* If I get married, I’ll be my husband’s only wife (um, hopefully)
* I’m not part of a caste system

But once I got to luxurious, modern Thailand I was concerned about wifi signals and my fine, blond eyelashes all over again.

I had to remind myself that if the whole world put their problems in a pile, I’d be so happy to take mine back.

So!  In the name of a bit of reality-checking and self-mockery, let’s share our first world problems.

Here are mine:

* Two months ago, I switched from hard contacts to soft.  But I don’t think I really like them and I’m too vain to wear my glasses in public.

* I do 90% of my writing on a tiny netbook.  I think I’m starting to mess up my wrists and hands on that wee keyboard.

* I like writing in coffee shops but very few cafes in New Zealand have wifi.

* The flatmates and I are dissatisfied with our coffee table.  The legs are a bit too baroque for our tastes and the top has two water stains.

* Winter’s coming to New Zealand and I don’t have enough layering gear.

* I found a really cute picture of a tiny turtle on a tiny skateboard that I want to use as a screensaver, but it’s not high res so now my screensaver is cute but vaguely pixalated.

A bit ridiculous, eh?  How lucky am I that these are my ‘problems’?!

Now you!  What are your first world problems?

P.S.  Have you heard this song?  The chorus is “these problems are the good ones to have.”


Sue @ SimonsSistaSaw

My main first world problem right now is that I need new hiking boots and I want leather ones but I don't want brown leather ones. Black, gray or blue ones are seemingly hard to find. Oh, and I only have 1 saturday morning to get some before my next hiking trip in a months time because I'm away on holidays the rest of the time. Pretty first world.


My rent is unaffordable at my current lifestyle choice which involves doing as little work as possible but getting excellent quality sleep, me time and time with friends. Also I play with cats a lot.

I get stoned too easily.

I cant afford to eat the healthy, organic, home cooked fresh food I eat everyday, but I do it anyway which is why Im behind on my rent.

I hate living in a shared house on a noisy street between two hostels in a tourist town entering summertime.

I have to sell my brand new iPad 2 someone gave me because I need the money to pay rent.

Id love to buy a van I can live in so I can save up to travel, but I dont have the money


Zit on my forehead

Should I get a Kindle or iPad?Although iPad would be better for blogging if I do go to Italy can I afford both my plane ticket and an iPad.

I don't need any more clothes but at the same time I can't bring myself to throw out some – I'm "dieting" because I'm 10kg overweight ish so those trousers I used to fit in but don't know are like my target pants lol.

Argh feel like such a whinge bag lol. There are people starving and I'm whinging


while i do think this is an interesting project, i also think that it shows that people in the west have a monolithic view of the "third world". not everyone there lives in such conditions, and it is also worth noting that many people in the "first world" also suffer from poverty and other such things. and then there is also the issue of even calling it the "third" world…

i'm not saying that such things don't happen in the third world (they do! i am from there!), but you should just keep the above in mind.

Secret Squirrel

I really don't like the blonde streaks I had put in my hair (!)

I know.

Vanessa Kennedy

thanks for sharing this, sarah! it's nice to stay in perspective.

my main "problem" this morning was whether to order a pink kindle case or an orange one. wow.


– I had to give up my personal trainer to stick to my budget to pay off my $10k in credit card debt (from buying to many pretty shoes and purses).

– I locked myself out of the house last night in the pouring rain and had to search for my keys on the wet grass w/ only my iPhone for light.

– I am now officially cramming for the GRE since I failed to manage my time and study like a good girl.

Sigh….its pretty embarrassing writing it all down and making it official that I am the spoiled brat my dad fought so hard to make sure I wouldn't become…


I hear ya on the contacts. Except I haven't been able to wear mine in over a year. 🙁 Now people think it looks weird when I DON'T wear my glasses.

– My computer at work often crashes when I try to play Cafe World.

– The shoes I ordered online don't fit.


This is awesomely funny.

My list:

-I only had enough money to put three feather extensions in my hair and i don't think they show up enough

-i can't find the correct irrigational tubing to make hula hoops

-school postponed my graduation by two semesters because of ONE. FREAKING. CLASS. That isn't offered in the fall.

-gyno appointments are the pits

-my printer is running out of ink


~I am studying abroad in Japan on this big adventure, but I get spotty internet in my dorm room, so I'm just a little bit aggravated.

~I want to clean my room, but don't want to put any effort into sorting the garbage (because there are like a million different bins here) so I keep leaving it a mess.

~One of the other foreign students from China accidentally took my coffee pot, and I need to figure out a nice way of asking for it back because I can't live without my morning drip.

Wow, I'm petty 0.o


– I don't know what I want to do with my life.
– I am sick and tired of societal pressure to get married and all that nonsense.
– I keep forgetting to take out the trash, so the pile keeps getting larger and larger.

Not so bad. 'Just some major life questions 'n trash, lol.


– I have so much homework/so many projects & papers to do in the last two weeks of the semester

– should I buy a new laptop this summer? mine works fine but is 5 years old.

– Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 (a computer game from my teens that I just rediscovered) goes so slow

– I only see my boyfriend on weekends because I rent an apartment in the town where I go to school to avoid commuting an hour each way

– there are too many choices for easter candy and all look so good


My hard drive is full.I need to delete some stuff or back it up… but ugh. Both are boring.

My blog lacks oomph. I fear my readership is slumping.

I have a hard time getting along with my husband.

We have a big tax bill this year.

I have orders from my etsy shop.
I don't have enough orders from my etsy shop.

My kind, funny, well behaved teen has a c average.

Waaa. waaa.


My problems:

– Caught my husband of five months cheating on me with a lady who resembles Mr. Ed.
– Husband caught chlamydia from Mr. Ed and passed it on to me (thank God for modern medicine!).
– My car was slammed into on the freeway by an inattentive driver and was totaled.
– The ligaments in my neck were torn due to whiplash, and I must see a doctor 3 times a week for physical therapy.
– My injury prevents me from kickboxing, so now I'm gaining back the weight I lost despite trying to walk everywhere to stay in shape and get around without a car.
– I have a volcano-sized zit on my chin that I've been treated every day for two weeks and the thing won't budge.
– Lately the precipitation here has not been rain or snow, but persistent tiny hail that pelts my face at 40+ mph when I walk everywhere while trying to stay in shape and get around without a car.

Now here is a list of amazing things in my life:

– I just acquired my dream guitar: a white Gibson Explorer. Moment of win!
– I enjoy my job and my schedule is flexible.
– My French teacher paid for my next session as a gift so I could keep taking classes.
– I own my own home.
– My former college TA made me vegan chocolate chip cookies for no reason. And they were AMAZING!
– I have a celebrity crush on this musician, so my friend wrote to him on my behalf and got me three (three!) personalized autographed photos. Swoon.
– My attorney is getting me a good settlement to cover my medical bills and replace my vehicle.
– I went on a date with a great guy and we'll be hanging out again soon.
– I'm the maid of honor in two upcoming weddings: my best friend's and my little sister's.
– I get to fly to San Francisco in one week to see a dear friend.
– My cat has conversations with me. Her personality is so dynamic, and she's just so happy all the time.
– I don't have a minute of free time because I have different friends calling me every night asking me to hang out with them. I'm not boasting… oh wait, I am!

I'm so fortunate, really.


I wasn't able to register for one of my classes at school, and am now worried that I won't graduate when I want to.

I have a great boyfriend, but never get to see him because he is working on a Ph.D.

No one reads my blog, but do I really want tons of people reading my personal thoughts?

These are pretty good problems to have.


I discovered that coffee irritates my skin into breakouts. Coffee. My favorite addiction since I was 13. I don't know what to do. I gave up cigarettes. I gave up meat (for only a few years until I couldn't afford to be a healthy vegetarian & had to live on Chef Boyardee for awhile & the only thing that'd satisfy my tummy was the ravioli.) I gave up junk food (so far). But coffee!? omg kill me now.

I'm a stay at home mom. Not bad, but I just moved here before having the baby & I know NO ONE. To top it off, a previous pregnancy gone wrong left me without peripheral vision, & a lot of blindness in my left eye…so driving around is not in the cards, so not a good opportunity to go out & meet new, awesome people without the boyfriend & the baby going with me. Not all too bad, but when you love being social & meeting people….blargh. & though I love not going to work (though being a mom is work…) every morning, I wish I could! Oddly, I'd only make enough to cover daycare costs, BARELY, but it won't cover the gas to get there & back, so it is actually cheaper for me to stay home!

Not being able to afford to decorate my apartment the way I'd really like to at the pace I'd like to! Our bedroom walls are still bare!

My phone. Dear god, my phone. It turns off randomly, & it always disconnects my SD card. It's only a couple months old!


I just got a smart phone and while I'm mostly still so thankful for the ability to be so connected, it freezes and randomly doesn't make calls, which causes me to do the "Guh I hate my phone!"

Also, my house, which I am lucky enough to own with my wonderful husband, does not clean itself. A fact which I am constantly surprised at.

My car that I own, with no debt, frequently has fits, and leaves me to kick my tires out of frustration.

Those are my top three first world problems!

These are great! I love yours and all the comments!

Amber Parkin

Sarah – writing in coffeeshops? I'll take the ones without wifi please! WRITING, not research/facebooking/tweeting/admin/bejewelled. Just a thought! xx

Sarah Von Bargen


That's so funny – that's how I've started to think about it, too. But I can't find a single place in Wellington with wifi! Though I've only really looked at four different places…

Alley Cat

Sarah, this is such a timely post! My stupid and innane first world problems are:

*Realising that I had to walk the dog before work after thinking that my boyfriend would walk her. But I needed to wash my hair!

*I have new glasses but I don't thin they suit me and they also pinch my nose a bit.

*The pizza that I ordered last night was a bit crap.

So really, life is pretty sweet 🙂


My problems are very serious:
1. I need to get a haircut. My hair is at the point where it is just frizzy, annoying, and I can't stop playing with it, but I'm too lazy to make an appointment.

2. My daughter has a pacifier problem; she throws it and gets mad that it is gone. It is my job to than find it and give it to her.

3. My allergies are making me sound like James Earl Jones.

4. My boyfriend snores.


My world problems:

I make NOTHING at a job I love

I want more than anything to move out of my parents house but can't afford it

all my friends are getting married and moving away, leaving me with no friends.

Somethings wrong with my car which will cost me i'm sure.

I'm tired.


My first world problem is that I have been LABORING over the decision of what kind of cover to get to protect my *new* laptop for the last two weeks because there are so many out there.

Every once and a while I take a step back and realize how trivial my life has become 😉


My A/C vent in the kitchen baseboard makes my toes too cold when I'm loading the dishwasher.


I have to hide my new nose piercing at one of my jobs or I can be fired…and it is way too early to be switching to a clear ring and it hurts.

I acquired a second job at Gap-even though I don't have the time with school-mainly so that I can get a 50% discount, and also because I might be able to save money this summer to see my (almost) sister and brother in law in Switzerland in the fall.

I'm getting no financial aid this summer and I'm not sure how well I'm going to be able to pay rent/eat/pay for school. Or save for the said trip above.

I have finals coming up.

I'm just glad I have a home and food and the ability to get a college education. 🙂

Perspective is a good thing.

Lovers, Saints & Sailors

* I found a really cute picture of a tiny turtle on a tiny skateboard that I want to use as a screensaver, but it's not high res so now my screensaver is cute but vaguely pixalated.



I have a great job that pays me good money to be bored and read my book all day. Never realized how boredom can put u in a crap mood at work.

Waiting to hear back about a house i am in the process of buying. I dont have the patience for this waiting game.

Been contimplating on writing my own blog. but dout anyone will read it.

If i get this house i have so many goals but dout i will meet these goals.

Maybe i should start thinking more positively??


ahh. and what's bad is that I do come from a third world. yet, here I go.

I want to move apartments but even though I want to get closer to my friends in Hollywood, I want to move by the beach. although silver lake would be much closer.

if I move, I want my apartment to have a poll, gym, and jacuzzi, which probably won't be a reality in silver lake.

I want a new cell phone but refuse tongive up my cheap plan. yet oh how I want those android phones! but I would be forced to upgrade.

I can't afford a bikini wax.

iPad 3G – to buy the data plan or save and just find free wifi? but what if I wanna check in to Foursquare?

I would also like to keep my problems. I'm blessed with such mundane problems. thanks for the reality check. (<3


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