In Denmark, the Adult Education Centres have a “sweeper” function for young adults who need to recommence education. This study explores two L2 (Danish as Second Language) students and how their educational narratives confirm or counter the master narratives of adult education. Students at the centres are commonly identified as adults with social and personal challenges, but their educational narratives and experiences are far more complex. As the edifying institutional narratives of the Adult Centres encompass both professionalism and care, the vernacular narratives characterise the centres as hang-outs for problematic adults without the ability to make a persistent effort in their own life. Students at the centres have to navigate and position themselves in relation to these conflicting stories by giving voice to educational struggles, social relations and agency in their own educational narratives.