Adulting 101: How Adulting Classes Help Millennials Navigate Adulthood

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The word “adult” is increasing used as a verb nowadays, most frequently used as “adulting.” A person is adulting when they’re cooking a meal from scratch rather than ordering takeout, when they’re applying for a loan, or when they’re paying bills. The term refers to anything that is associated with being an adult.

The term “adulting” rose to popularity on social media, with millennials jokingly sharing how they engage in adult activities. According to Jane Solomon, a lexicographer at, a big factor toward the popularity of the word is the “delayed development” of millennials.

The Need for “Adult” Life Skills

Compared to previous generations, millennials go through life stages later in life, such as owning homes and starting families. A 2016 study by Pew Research Center showed that adults between 18 to 34 years old still live with their parents. In many of these living situations, the parents handle most of the domestic and financial tasks.

When some young adults move away to live on their own, they discover that they lack basic skills to survive on their own. This causes anxiety that has millennials sharing bewildered and exasperated accounts of how they tried to “adult” and how navigating the world of adulthood is challenging and stressful.

The Emergence of Adulting Classes

The first of adulting classes was the Adulting School in Maine, which was established in 2017. Its co-founder, Rachel Weinstein was a psychotherapist who has handled many clients who were struggling with their transition to adulthood. The classes are held in local restaurants where students learn to balance a checkbook, manage household bills, and learn how to sign up for car insurance.

Similar programs are formed across the country. Durham County Library offers a program called “Adulting 101” where registrants meet every month to learn different skills. A high school in Oregon offers elective classes to help ease the transition from high school to independent living as an adult. Educational institutions and non-profit organizations also hold online classes for the sake of convenience.

What Do Adults Learn in Adulting Classes?


The curricula of adulting classes differ from program to program, but they usually cover a range of skill sets:

  • Domestic skills teach students how to maintain a household, such as doing the laundry, taking care of small household emergencies, and maintaining a car.
  • Financial skills deal with maintaining good financial health, from planning a budget to maintaining a good credit score.
  • Relationship skills teach students how to effectively and harmoniously communicate with other people.
  • Job skills include learning how to write a resume, negotiating a raise, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Other adulting skills taught in some program include the importance of voting, improving one’s physical and mental health, and taking care of children.

Navigating adulthood can be exhausting and stressful, especially when you’re not equipped with the essential skills. Adulting classes can help you become skilled, self-sufficient, and responsible. Taking them may not make you successful right away, but you can be sure you can handle life’s little emergencies with little to no stress.

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