Paying taxes, registering a car (did anyone else realise you need to have something called CTP insurance in order to register your vehicle?), making a dental appointment …
These very practical and necessary skills fall under the banner of “adulting” – a term coined by millennials, for millennials. And there are now courses where individuals like me – who might be able to book an Airbnb and stream the latest episode of Black Mirror, but have extreme difficulty opening a bank account – can learn how to ‘adult’ more effectively.
The Adulting School is one of these institutions. It opened in Portland, Maine, in the US this February and is run by therapist Rachel Weinstein and former public-school teacher Katie Brunelle. There are similar schools run by East Carolina University and MassMutual. It seems like only a matter of time before the same courses are offered in Australia.
According to The Adulting School website, the day-long courses, which cost $30 per person, are for people suffering from the following affliction:
If you’re feeling like you’re pretending to be a grown-up and that someone’s going to realise you don’t know the sh%#t you’re supposed to know.
Course subjects include organising your calendar, saving money, making dental appointments. The list goes on and there is no talk about Instagram filters or hooking up on Tinder.
As much as we might laugh, and my dad would definitely roll his eyes, at schools for adulting, there are so many instances where I wish I had of been to one. For example:
Receiving a $650 dollar fine for driving an unregistered vehicle... Ummm, how are you meant to know it's unregistered without the sticker on the windshield?
Trying to change the address on my driver's license. I put this off for months because I thought it was going to be a massive debacle. Turns out you just have to calls Roads and Maritime Services and a lovely woman at the end of the phone called Brenda will post you a sticker to go on the back of your existing licence.
Disconnecting the electricity from the apartment I was moving out of. (If you're not good at adulting, you really should not move apartments. I learned this the hard way.)
Listen: On Mamamia Out Loud, Mia Freedman says Millennials need to stop hiding behind degrees and get a job. Post continues below.
Applying for a personal loan or a car loan. Banks ask so many questions. I walked out of the air-conditioning feeling as big as a caterpillar, and completely terrified about being locked into a four-year repayment plan. (My generation are no good at feeling locked into anything. Too. Much. Pressure.)
I did win at adulting and went to the dentist last week. (It was the first time I've gone in four years, but that's not important). He told me I have teeth of "above average" condition, which made me feel great at adulting and the flossing involved. BUT he also told me I need two fillings. I panicked and left without booking another appointment.
Anything to do with taxes. Anything at all. I studied mathematic optimisation and long division in high school. But I don't know about taxes and I can't figure out percentages without a calculator.
Interestingly, you can test your "adulting IQ" on The Adulting School's website. (But actually partaking in the quiz seems like too much adulting for me, and I already know I'm going to fail.)
Maybe that's why the one-day course offers free "boutique" booze, a Japanesse food truck for lunch and peanut butter frosted cupcakes for snacking.
Adulting needs to be learned in small, tasty, steps. If it wasn't for the free food and booze, why on earth would we care?