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Portland ‘Adulting’ School Teaches Millennials How to Be Functional Grownups

Millennials (people born between the early 80’s to the mid 90’s) are often labeled as lazy, spoiled and unable to act mature enough to handle adulthood, but a new ‘adulting’ school in Portland, Maine, is trying to change things by teaching millennials the skills required to function as real adults.

Unless you spend a considerable amount of time online, the word ‘adulting’ probably sounds very strange, but I’ll have you know that in 2015 it was nominated for word of the year by the American Dialect Society. It has used by a number of high profile websites in the titles of popular articles, and several big brands have used ‘adulting’ in their marketing campaigns. But you’ll mostly find the word on social media, relating to things usually associated with adulthood. The verb ‘adulting’ currently has two meanings – 1. to behave in an adult manner; 2. to make someone behave like an adult.

Growing up was never easy, but some people seem to think that it is particularly difficult for adults. One of these people is Rachel Weinstein, co-founder of the Adulting School, who got the idea for the project while working as a psychotherapist. “I noticed as a therapist that a lot of my client’s well-being seemed to be affected by a lack of some really important skills,” she said. “And I know over the decades with teaching to the test, and other changes in education, schools have had to cut a lot of Home EC classes. And that’s some of the stuff that people really need to learn and aren’t necessarily taught unless parents really impress those skills upon them.”

So Weinstein teamed up with former public-school teacher Katie Brunelle to create a platform that could help millennials pick up the skills usually required to function as adults. “The Adulting School was created to help fill in the gaps in our adult know-how,” the school’s official website states. “You know–the stuff we wish we’d learned in high school or college and never did. So many of us are doing well overall, but have been limping along with patched-together systems for financial management or organization that don’t work all that well.”

The school’s Premiere Adulting Summit took place on November 13 and featured various workshops on everything from how to handle money and finances, career development, time management and paying off school, to personal relationships and communication. But it also addressed more practical issues, like how to make yourself a meal. “We did a happy hour workshop on how to be an improv cook,” Rachel Weinstein said. “How do you open up our refrigerator and make a meal from what you have?”

The Adulating School’s first summit was attended by over 50 people, some of which were just sent there by their parents, but most of which actually paid the $30 attendance fee because they thought it would help them deal with various problems. “Credit card stuff, which I didn’t think I would have at this age,” a 29-year-old “student” said. “And I really don’t have the skill set, how to pay for our rent, and our food, on top of paying off that debt.”

“I find myself feeling anxious a lot, that I’m not doing what I should be doing,” said Allison Morrill, another attendee of the Adulting School.

Many of those who have attended Adulting School classes, where professionals try to help them acquire various skills and teach them how to handle grownup problems, say that they are happy to have a dedicated place where they can get their adult life in order.

The Adulting School hopes to open in other cities across the United States soon, and already has online classes available. So if you want to learn how to be a proper adult in this day and age, now you can.

Photos: The Adulting School/Facebook

Sources: The Adulting School, NY Mag, Maine Public

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