Adulting 101: There's Really A Class For That Now

by Love Barnett
PeopleImages / iStock

Finally, one library in Oregon is taking up the mantle that seems to have been dropped by prior generations: Teaching adults how to adult.

It’s not our parents’ faults that they had to work a bajillion hours a week to keep a roof above our head, but unfortunately, that left a generational gap of many who don’t seem to know about basic things that are part of life as an adult. Simple things that many of us take for granted, like how to unclog a sink drain or change a tire, how to cook on a stove or even follow a recipe, how to do your own taxes or balance a checkbook, or how to tell when you need to stop wearing skinny jeans.

In times past, we had parents at home who would teach us these things, and in some places, even classes in high school. But this is no longer the case for many, leaving us with scores of young adults who literally can’t even.

The North Bend Public Library offers a six-part course called “Adulting 101: Basic How-Tos for Ages 16–25,” where they teach young adults the most basic need-to-knows of being a grown-up.

The assistant director of library services at North Bend is Teresa Lucas, and she says she and co-worker Clara Piazolla put their heads together on this project after hearing about similar lessons at other libraries.

The first part in their series that began back in February was a course in “Bare Essential Cooking” led by Clara that began with standard tips and evolved into lessons on how to prepare quesadillas and grilled cheese sandwiches in a dorm room with aluminum foil and an iron.

Clara sounds like my kinda girl, and I am putting in a request right now to start live streaming these lessons. Please? I haven’t used my iron in literally years. If I’d known it could be used as a cooking hack, it wouldn’t have so many layers of dust collecting on it in the back of the hall closet.

The courses continued with lessons in home finance, where they invited guest speakers to provide tips on saving and budgeting, managing a checkbook (do people still keep those?), building and maintaining credit, and filing taxes. As an accountant in a past life, I can tell you that while tax codes can be tricky and I know math isn’t exactly everyone’s jam, these courses will also probably be packed out with interested older attendees who missed the class in high school where they taught absolutely none of this.

More of their upcoming courses include discussions about spotting fake news, getting a job, knowing when it’s time to move out (which I assume will be aimed at kids like mine who fully plan to live with me into their 40s), and a quirky catch-all course called “Odds and Ends” to cover other random adulty type things that people might have questions about.

Library staff confirms that there is no charge for this public service, and while these courses are geared toward this 16–25 age range, there is no actual age limit to attend. To that end, they even offer basic courses on how to operate computers, smartphones, and tablets for those people for whom technology is difficult to grasp. Ahem. ::waves:: Hi, Mom!

As if all that weren’t enough, the North Bend Public Library also has adult coloring courses. You read that correctly — “Inside the Lines Adult Coloring Club.” I mean, BRB I have to go call my local library.