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Course in ‘Adulting’ at UC Berkeley so Popular, Students Are Being Turned Away

Course in ‘Adulting’ at UC Berkeley so Popular, Students Are Being Turned Away

“I want to feel prepared, like I know what i’m doing and I know how to be an adult”

Perhaps more schools should introduce a course like this. There is obviously a market for it. This report is from a few weeks ago, but we didn’t see it until now.

KTVU News reports:

UC Berkeley course in ‘adulting’ so popular, it’s turning students away

UC Berkeley is offering a class in “adulting,” basic life skills young people may have missed until college provided a wake up call.

The class is so popular it’s turning students away.

“I want to feel prepared, like I know what i’m doing and I know how to be an adult,” said Allegra Estrada, 21, who is a pre-med junior at Cal.

“You can know as much as you want about physics or biology or English but that doesn’t help you when you need to do taxes or figure out what to eat.”

Monday night, a new eight week session in “adulting” began.

“We’re going to have guest speakers,” said instructor Belle Lau, laying out the topics: managing time and money, and improving relationships

“That can be a relationship with yourself or others, like family, friends,” said Lau.

Other areas include fitness, nutrition and mental health.

“Self-care, self-love and sleep,” Lau continued.

Many students admit they struggle making the transition to self-reliance in college.

“It’s harder to budget when you’re not living at home because you have a lot more expenses,” said Lauren Frailey, 19, an economics major.

“I’m excited to learn how to manage my time better and that will definitely help me manage my stress as well.”


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You should be able to handle basic adulting when you leave High School. At a minimum I would expect some primitive knowledge on: Cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner, balancing a checkbook/account, making a simple budget, how to wash and dry clothes, understand how compound interest works, drive a car, read and understand a packages ingredients label, change a flat tire, etc.

High schools should cover all of these topics. You shouldn’t have to go to college to deal with the basics of adult living.

The high schools in CA must be spending all their time on political indoctrination and re-inventing history if they haven’t covered these basic needs.

The Friendly Grizzly | February 24, 2020 at 4:58 pm

The English Department is also offering a course in noun-verbing.

This is a very good thing but for the reasons suggested above (because high schools are failing to do these jobs).

For once, I am not groaning at something coming out of Berkeley.

    Apparently parents aren’t doing their jobs either!
    I made sure my kids knew how to do these basics before they left home.

    Isn’t it a parent’s responsibility to prepare their children for adulthood. Little bits at a time from birth onward until in late teens or at least by twenty they are able to live on their own. Please it is not the responsibility of grade school or high school or college to prepare people for adulthood. Schools are responsible for teaching reading, writing, arithmetic and all the advance subjects that flow from those main skills.

      healthguyfsu in reply to DM. | February 26, 2020 at 12:27 am

      That’s an overly simplistic view. Yes, parents should promote their children’s growth, and be responsible for ensuring it happens. However, K-12 schools have quite consistently accelerated a runaway snowball effect of lowering standards and coddling students on their academic shortcomings. It certainly would help if the parents saw it within their responsibilities to ensure that schools are supported in challenging their children rather than coddling them.

      These academic pitfalls are excellent, ancillary learning opportunities for life skills like learning from failure and maturing in order to adapt to one’s situation and improve for future challenges. These growth opportunities are now almost entirely removed from education (or at the very least, appeasement has made academic rigor a shell of its former greatness for stimulating growth and adaptation). High school is a joke unless a student happens to attend a select few elite programs in the country. The sad part is it’s an inside joke that the young pupil is unaware of…they are the butt of the joke and don’t know that they haven’t really been challenged.

      Colleges aren’t much better, but they have 2 options at this point: 1. Get run over by the snowball effect 2. Step aside but try to slow down the juvenile mindset just a bit.

For a second there I thought they were offering a course in “Adulterating”.

An obvious failure point is that this course will be controlled by college faculty . . . not exactly the first people I would ask for advice on anything outside their own specialized fields.

Guest speakers would help provided they’re not drawn from the same pool as the regular faculty.

Reminds me of a scene from the movie “To Sir, with Love”.
Underprivileged youths are taught adulting skills by their new teacher –
many decades before “adulting” was a verb.

Went to Penguin School (Catholic HS with nuns), we had non-academic 1-3 credit courses available like Typing, Home Economics, Politics (local elected official to tell us how politics REALLY worked), Auto Repair, Driving. It’s damning to the High Schools and the parental units that supposedly college-ready students – aren’t ready for either college or life in general.

Great first step: Get out of your parents basement!

I learned “adulting” at Parris Island. 12 week course.

Odd? I seem to remember that ALL of the courses when I was in college were about “adulting.” I learned all I needed to know about “adulting” in Navy boot when I was 17… Made college a piece of cake.

Patrick Bateman | February 25, 2020 at 10:50 am

My instinct is to make fun of them, but in reality I’m quite happy the students are seeking this course out. Yes, it is sad they have to learn all of this from a college course, but hey, at least they’re learning it.