I never heard the term until last week when I read an Associated Press story about a bank in Columbia, Missouri, hosting a series of adulting classes.
My first thought was that adulting was some sort of pornographic term. What I found out was that adulting classes were to teach millennials how to navigate grown-up responsibilities such as buying a house and paying off credit card debt.
The bank came up with the idea after surveying the millennials it had on staff and compiled the classes and seminars on the things the generation found most intimidating. Apparently it’s managing money.
You can partly see that lack of knowledge when you go to the grocery store and a millennial waits on you and the cash register breaks down and he has trouble figuring out in his head how much change he’s supposed to give you. Some even act like they’re too timid to figure it out with pen and paper, as if those items are foreign instruments. And perhaps they are to this generation and others following it since computer and cellphone screens have pretty much replaced good old pen and paper in the classrooms.
Not to sound like the guy who felt the horse and buggy was superior to the automobile, but some “old” skills like writing and figuring we still need to retain.
I don’t want to place all the blame on millennials on not knowing how to count back change. I blame society.
Many of us older adults learned how to count change when mom or dad sent us to the grocery store. That’s how we learned.
The neighborhood grocery stores are gone and kids no longer can walk to them. Mom or dad drives them to a big mega grocery store on the other side of town. Progress is dandy for the most part, but this progress robs many millennials of the chance to learn how to count back change. This isn’t to say all millennials don’t have money management or other adulting skills. Many of them do, and some are better than most established adults. Going one further, many adults need adulting classes on not just money management but life management.
Being an adult obviously requires more than counting back change and watching your 401(k). It involves getting up and going to work when you don’t feel like it. It involves raising children and not trying to be your child’s best friend. It involves being a good role model for your children and being responsible.
Many of us fall short in some area of adulthood. We all make mistakes and that’s how we learn. We can only hope that our mistakes don’t mess up our kids’ lives.
Adulting classes seems like a great idea. It’s great that some millennials see they need the classes. I applaud the people who take the time to help the younger generation manage money.
Many adults need adulting classes too. I work with and see many millennials who are much more ambitious and advanced than I was at their age. If I made it, there’s still hope.
Guest Column by Alonzo Weston, St. Joseph News-Press