Adulting is hard. The Adulting School in Portland, Maine, is hoping to make it a bit easier.
Co-founders Rachel Weinstein, a psychotherapist, and Katie Brunelle, a former teacher with 13 years of experience, are combining forces to build a curriculum of things that no one teaches you in school but you’re somehow expected to just know.
Brunelle cites nixed home economics classes and chronically overbooked schedules as reasons why many millennials don’t know how to change a tire or julienne a vegetable.
“It’s this idea of, ‘You’re smart, you can figure it out,'” Brunelle told INSIDER. “But if nobody ever shows you, then you’re not going to just know it.”
While some have critiqued The Adulting School’s business model as unnecessary and gimmicky, Weinstein and Brunelle feel that the positive feedback they’ve received from people of all ages validates their purpose.
“We came up with this mission of creating communities for adults to learn practical skills in a supportive and approachable and fun environment,” she said. “It’s not our fault that they didn’t get the information, but we’re providing it now, and we’re trying to do it in a way that will reach as many people as possible.”
Class is already in session in their Portland studio, where a three-day winter session will be followed by the launch of their online courses February 1.
Here are the essential life skills on their lesson plan.
Managing your money
Budgeting is a skill that pays off.
“A lot of people are leaving college with so much debt … and not knowing how to manage that because they’re also finding a saturated job market, and maybe not bringing in a sustainable income,” Brunelle said.
Cooking healthy meals
As convenient as takeout can be, knowing how to throw a balanced meal together with whatever you have on hand is a must.
“We had one teacher do a workshop on improv cooking — what should I have in my fridge and then what can I do with it?” she said.
Decorating your space
Knowing how to assemble furniture, hang picture frames, or patch holes in drywall can help make a place feel more like you, even if it’s just your first shoe box apartment.
“It’s not just for new homeowners,” she said.
Keeping organized records
It’s especially important for people who are starting or moving jobs to have all of their information in order. Receipts for tax purposes, medical information, and resumes should be kept filed and organized so that you can find them when you need them.
Scheduling your own appointments
Just because no one is forcing you to go to the dentist anymore doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook. Being an adult means scheduling those visits of your own volition.
“I’m hearing that there’s this young adult generation that asks their mom to call and set up their appointments for them,” Brunelle said. “That’s so funny to me.”
Asking for what you want or need isn’t always easy, but it makes life easier in the long run.
“Rachel does a really cool workshop called ‘Busting the Fairytale: A Realistic View of Relationships to Help You Love the One You’re With,'” said Brunelle. “It’s not just relationships — it’s how do I have that conversation during job interviews, how can I be a good friend, communicate with my friends, and when is it okay to set boundaries and say no to things?”