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'Adulting' class at Kentucky high school teaches crucial life skills

Students loved the dorm-room cooking class.
/ Source: TODAY

An “adulting" seminar for seniors at a Kentucky high school has been such a success that people can’t stop talking about it.

“The parents didn’t know anything about it until it started blowing up on the internet and being on everyone’s social media,” Christy Hardin, director of the Bullitt Central High School Family Resource and Youth Services Center, told TODAY Parents. “(The response) has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Hardin based the course, in part, on a meme she saw that pokes fun at what people learned in school, such as algebra, when they wished they learned how to prepare their taxes.

“It frustrated me a little bit because we offer these classes, but it has to be an elective path that they choose,” she said. “(I thought), ‘Well, what can I do about that?’”

Hardin thought about the complaints in the meme and what she heard from students when creating the sessions for the half-day conference, which took place when the other students were taking their ACTs. The seniors could sign up for three hour-long breakout sessions, which included:

  • Dorm-room cooking
  • How to interact with the police
  • Healthy relationships and boundaries
  • It’s money baby (aka personal finance)
  • Physical fitness after high school
  • Writing a resume and cover letter, filling out an application
  • When you need to see a doctor and what level of care you need (when to go to the ER compared to family doctor)
  • Basics of checking and savings
  • Why it’s not worth the T-shirt to fill out the credit card application
  • UPS on-the-spot hiring

“The first one to fill up was dorm-room cooking,” Hardin explains. “It was an interactive class and that one filled up three sessions before any other one filled up one (session)."

How to interact with the police was the second most popular session and healthy relationships and boundaries, which Hardin taught, was the third most popular.

“A lot of young women don’t know when it is and isn’t important to set a boundary,” Hardin said. “(I covered) what you should and should not expect in a relationship and defining those things for yourself.”

The high school's adulting seminar might be part of a larger trend. City Lab reported on “adulting classes” for millennials, who feel like they missed out on learning everything from monthly budgeting to how to open a bottle of wine with a cork. And, a library in North Bend, Oregon offers “Adulting 101: Basic How-Tos for Ages 16-25,” according to KGW8, a Portland NBC affiliate. While many scoff at adulting courses, people report needing to understand how social nuances in the workplace or tax preparation, for example.

In her role at Bullitt, Hardin helps students with problems they face, such as anxiety and depression, food insecurity or homelessness. The school district is about 10 minutes outside of Louisville and has a mix of urban and rural students.

“I remove non-academic barriers and help with transition,” she explained.

The adulting seminar gave Hardin a chance to help students move from high school to their adult life whether it takes them to college or trade school or right into the job market. And it was a tremendous success.

“Every kid I talked to said what a positive impact that it had and how they learned so much,” she said.