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'Adulting' is hard. Fortunately, there’s a school for it now.


'Adulting' is hard. Fortunately, there’s a school for it now.

WATCH  |  There are plenty of books and blogs on "adulting," and now, there's an adulting school.

Adulting is hard.

Adult stuff -- like changing a tire, filing taxes or folding a fitted sheet -- can be a real struggle for the uninitiated.

There are plenty of books and blogs on adulting, which Urban Dictionary defines as anything from paying rent to having a job to cooking dinner. 

And now, there's The Adulting School.

Auldting School CoFounders copy.png

"I think we've all heard or said, 'Why don't they teach us that in school?'" The Adulting School co-founder Rachel Weinstein told Circa.

Honestly, yes. Why is that?

"Whether it's schools' budgets being cut and not having home ec anymore, those basics" are being offered less and less, co-founder Katie Brunnell said. "We're picking up where you're an adult and you have gaps in your practical life skill knowledge, and we're going to provide that."

The Portland, Maine-based startup bills itself as a community to help people become successful adults. It launched in 2016 with live events (read: happy hour-disguised workshops) on topics like finance, relationships health and DIY. 

There are companies that help with things like buying renters' insurance or a car.

The Adulting School brings many of the issues young people face to one place. And it's been such a hit that online sessions are now being offered for $19.99 a month. (Live events typically cost $10.)

A therapist by trade, Weinstein said the idea for The Adulting School came from conversations with clients in which she noticed many were missing life skills that, in turn, hurt their self-esteem. She began working on a summit and reached out to Brunnell -- who works in education -- for help. Together they turned it into a "real thing."

I don't think it's necessarily our fault. We just haven't learned [these skills], so I think these events bring us together and empower us.
Shannon Brozyna, marketing manager, event attendee
Adulting School Tees.jpg
Adulting School Tees.jpg (Credit: Circa)

Emerging Adulthood

Compared to past generations, millennials (and members of Generation Z) have more freedom to pursue their dreams. But they've also entered the workforce during a recession.

That's a beautiful thing, but it's also a bit overwhelming.
Rachel Weinstein, The Adulting School

And as digital natives, they're constantly exposed to what their peers are doing. "That's a beautiful thing, but it's also a bit overwhelming," Weinstein said.

Constant exposure to social media and freedom to create one's own path can, at times, become paralyzing. "There's a lot of anxiety with that, a lot more choices, and people can kind of get lost," she said.

The idea of emerging adulthood was coined by American psychologist Jeffrey Arnett in the early aughts. The theory explores how people's 20s have become a time to find themselves -- something that wasn't the case in past generations. 

There are key features that come with the age:

  • Identity exploration
  • Instability
  • Self-focus
  • Feeling "in-between"
  • Feeling that possibilities are endless

Financial Freedom

Adulthood is no longer defined by traditional milestones so much as it is marked by financial independence. Per a Bank of America/USA Today survey, young Americans feel like adults once they can pay for themselves.

"With one in three carrying student debt, they are striving for independence but having trouble achieving it," said Andrew Plepler, Bank of America's enterprise, social and governance executive. Still, 54 percent indicated they were somewhat optimistic about their financial prospects.

What it means to be an adult has clearly evolved.

I'm an adult, am I supposed to be doing that?
Katie Brunnell, The Adulting School

And sometimes, you need a little help to #AdultLikeABoss.

"You're seeing everyone else doing all of these things, and you're thinking, 'I'm an adult, am I supposed to be doing that?" Brunnell said. "Either way, you're still an adult and you still need practical life skills, and a goal."

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