Adulting School Is Here Because We Can't Stop Doing Everything For Our Kids
A new school in Maine is taking it upon itself to pick up the slack and teach Millennials how to function in the real world
A new school in Maine is trying to help Millennials who are graduating from college and realizing they don’t have a lot of the skills necessary to navigate the real world.
They’re an easy target, but maybe save your ammo for their parents.
A story on NPR has the details of this new school which was co-founded by Rachel Weinstein, a psychotherapist who saw many of her clients struggling to make the transition into adulthood.
The Adulting School’s website lays out its mission:
Bring support to those who are looking to gain the skills they need to be a successful adult. Do this so that the information is fun and not intimidating. Let all Adults-in-training feel empowered with their new knowledge. Successful adults mean a successful community for all.
Weinstein and her co-founder, former public school teacher Katie Brunelle, have noble goals. She told NPR, “”You know, when you see 10 people feeling like they’re the only one, and they’re all struggling with the same thing, you think, let’s get these people together so they can learn this stuff and not feel so isolated and ashamed.” It makes sense, then, that the school uses social media, i.e. their Facebook page, to promote the community and allow users to watch videos of recent classes, and to sign up for their own.
Their message seems to be resonating with young adults who aren’t ashamed to admit they need help with some of the things the website lists, like “Changes in health insurance, legal matters, dealing with a death in the family, retirement…”
The students quoted in the NPR article are all 25 and up, and admit to lacking some of the basic skills necessary to be, well, 25 and up.
Cary Bouchard, 29, admits, “I’m still a dolt. Not an ‘A-dult’ — a dolt — when it comes to my finances.”
She’s not alone. 32-year-old Lindsay Rowe Scala says she’s using The Adulting School to learn how to pay down student debt and save. “In job interviews, they’re always asking ‘Where do you want to see yourself in five years?’ ” she told NPR. “And I never know how to answer that because I’m always thinking on how to survive today and next week and what’s coming up.”
When adults need help adulting, maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to blame the oft-mocked Millennials. If people are getting to their late-twenties and early-thirties without knowing how to handle basic life skills, maybe their parents have dropped the ball. Or, more literally, never let their kids take it and figure out how to score all by themselves.
There are certain aspects of life that you don’t learn from books, you learn them from living. Things like knowing the value of a dollar, and getting your oil changed, and managing to whip up a sandwich or a simple plate of pasta rather than ordering Seamless again. There is only so much our already-over taxed teachers can be counted on to impart; we parents have a responsibility not just to take care of our kids, but to equip them with the skills textbooks can’t teach.
If “Adulting school” helps Millennials fill some gaps and find a way to get around some generational issues that aren’t necessarily their fault – helicopter parenting, sky-rocketing student debt – then kudos to them.
At the very least, they’ll know what they need to teach their own kids.