If you have been following social media for the last couple of years, you may have noticed that the term adulting has become widely popular. Adulting refers to the basic skills needed to operate effectively after high school.  According to the Urban Dictionary, adulting refers to a person who can carry “out one or more of the duties and responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals” (i.e. opening a checking account or making a doctor’s appointment). The word adulting became culturally accepted in the mid-2010’s and refers to the time in which young adults begin to take on adult responsibilities.  The current trend is that young adults, aka Millenials (those born between 1981-1996), perform common life experiences much later than former generations like the Baby Boomers (1946-1964) and Generation X (1965-1980).  For some millenials, the term adulting has taken on a negative connotation. Its negative use is due to the fact that older generations describe Millenials as not being “adult enough” at the right time.  So, in essence, using the term adulting can be seen as positive by some, but as a negative terms by others (Time Magazine).

So, why does it take so long to grow up these days?  According to researchers, there are several reasons for emerging adulthood:

1.  Technology Revolution

Unlike past decades, stable jobs are typically not available after high school so continuing education is essential for job stability.  Therefore, it takes longer to prepare for today’s knowledge based economy than the manufacturing economy of the past. 

2.  Sexual Revolution

With the creation of birth control in the 1960’s, young people are involved in sexual relationships earlier which has prolonged the desire or need to marry.  Researchers estimate that Millenials are waiting at least ten years longer than older generations to commit to a single relationship. 

3.  Women’s Movement 

Unlike past decades there are more women in college than men.  In fact, 58% of college attendance is women while 42% include men.  Instead of beginning a family in their 20’s,  young woman use this time to make decisions about their professional lives.

4.  Youth Movement

The new ideology of the Millenial generation is to prolong youth into their 30’s and enjoy life more. The phrase “30 is the new 20” is really true!

Check out this video that explains this concept more in detail.

With the delay into adulthood, a new phenomenon has occurred in our culture.  Because of the lack of preparation for life, many Millenials find it necessary to take adulting classes that teach everything from the importance of drinking water to changing the oil in a car.  The Washington Examiner found that the concept of taking adulting classes has become necessary due to rise of the working mothers of Millenials. Because many mothers have to work, they often lack time in their busy schedules to teach their kids how to cook, clean, or balance a checkbook.  Although parents should be empowering their children during adolescence, it seems as if Millenial parents feel the need to take care of everything for their kids rather than teaching them basic survival skills.  Therefore, the concept of adulting classes was born. Originally, adulting classes were taught to emerging adults in their mid to late 20’s, but recently, a news article caught my eye about a Kentucky High School sponsoring an adulting course for its students.  Some of the topics that the school offers their students include:

  • Changing a tire
  • Cooking in your dorm room
  • Balancing a checkbook
  • Credit cards usage
  • Tax preparation
  • Talking to police officers when stopped (great idea!)
Watch the short video below for more information about adulting day at this Kentucky high school.

In conducting research for this blog, I decided to look up some ideas about how to create an adulting class or day. Unfortunately, there are very little resources regarding how to create such an event. So, I decided to create some companion materials for high school counselors who may be interested in creating their own event.  

These materials include:

Adulting 101 Event Guide

  • Potential topics with resources
  • How Grown Are You Quiz to determine a student’s adulting IQ
  • How to coordinate your own Adulting Day event.

Adulting 101 Flyer Template

    In addition, I found these great videos that you may want to use with students during your event.  These videos include everything from washing clothes to how to make coffee (an essential skill if you work with me!!).   

    What Happens After High School?

    What Happens When You Turn 18?

    Living and Operating in a Dorm Room

    How to Get Along With Your Roommates

    How to Do Your Own Laundry

    How to Change a Flat Tire

    How to Take Care of  Yourself When You are Sick

    How to Tie a Necktie

    Tips Before Getting a Tattoo

    How to Plan a Meal

    How to Make Coffee (Yes!!)

    How to Write a Resume’

    How to Write a Cover Letter

    How to Write a Thank You Letter

    I hope you enjoy this post and I would love to hear if you find the resources helpful.  Also, please let me know if you have planned an Adulting Day Event or planning one in the future…I would love to see your pictures!!

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