‘Adulting 101’ classes teach high school students real-world survival skills


When exactly do you become an adult? Or when do you feel like one, a responsible adult who has his or her life together? No doubt a lot of us still grapple with this question. But the very lucky seniors at Fern Creek High School are likely to be far more prepared for adulthood than we ever were. Why? They were given a crash course in adulting. Aptly titled “How To Adult 101,” the course they were offered covers everything you need to know as an adult.

“The term ‘adulting’ has been a big thing lately,” College Access Resource teacher Sara Wilson-Abell told WLKY. “So I just kind of took that and ran with it.”

Seniors received three days filled with real-life learning that included how-tos on basic household tasks like doing laundry to even more important things such as saving money and planning for retirement. The school also brought in bankers to teach the kids about loans, in addition to State Farm agents who discussed the ever-complicated topic of insurance.


Doesn’t it sound like a crash course from which we all could have benefited? And perhaps could still benefit from as current “adults“?

Other crucial topics included how to take care of your car — during which students learned what was underneath the hood — and how to cook with what they’ll likely have in their dorm room pantries. In the “Master Chef Dorm Room Challenge,” the cooking instructor worked with the students to whip up masterpieces with ingredients like peanut butter, pizza rolls and ramen.


More Adulting Instruction

Fern Creek isn’t the only school to realize that their graduating seniors might need a crash course in adulting. Bullitt Central High School, for one, had an entire day dedicated to being an adult. The day was known as “Adulting Day.” In the case of “Adulting Day,” seniors were given the chance to meet one-on-one with people from the community in order to learn the various basics of adulting. This included cooking, changing a tire, credit cards and financing.


According to WAVE3 News, it was an event that Christy Hardin, director of the BCHS Family Resource & Youth Services Center, organized for the students after seeing a Facebook post that parents passed around saying that the kids needed a class on things like taxes and cooking.

But high school kids aren’t the only one who can take adulting classes. An Adulting School in Portland, Maine, is targeting millennials who want to learn how to cook, sew, deal with relationships and engage in conflict resolution. They’ll even learn how to fold a fitted sheet, which is a skill that often eludes those of us who are decades older.


A History Of ‘Adulting’

The word “adulting,” which is a gerund arising out of the relatively new verb “to adult,” is a recent invention. In 2015, the American Dialect Society nominated the new verb “adult” as the year’s most creative construction. It means, according to linguists in the journal American Speech, “to behave in an adult manner; engage in activities associated with adulthood.” These linguists even tracked the term back to its first usage, in this tweet from user @unholytwerp in 2008.

But that’s not the whole story, Time notes. After all, millennials embraced the term as part of their coming-of-age story, in part because of the delayed milestones that their generation experiences. Millennials are moving out, buying houses, starting families later than previous generations. The term can be a way of distancing themselves from adulthood, while also transitioning into it.

However, other generations have embraced the term as well — including the high school students who are getting “Adulting 101” classes, who land firmly in Generation Z. It’s part of the fascinating changes our language takes as time passes and new technologies and societal attitudes emerge.


What do you think? Are classes like these worthwhile for students? Or should this be something parents take responsibility for teaching their kids?

Life, News, Parenting

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About the Author
Chelsea Davis
Chelsea is a freelance journalist based in New York City whose passion revolves around traveling the world, immersing herself in foreign cultures, and of course, eating and drinking everything delicious. She covers all things food, drink and travel and is always up for an adventure, whether that means an adrenaline-pumping excursion or trying a new cuisine. Follow her on Instagram at @cheycheyfromthebay and keep up with her latest work at www.chelseadavis.com.

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