When Did Adulting Become a Word?

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One of my 10 children is currently preparing for her senior year of high school. As many parents in similar situations do, I’ve been trying to help my daughter research various potential career and post-secondary education paths as she prays and discerns what steps she feels called to take once the coming school year ends.

I find it interesting to see how career clusters and available college courses and degrees have evolved over the years. I also love the ever-growing trend of people choosing to forego college altogether and forge ahead as entrepreneurs in a wide-open space of global opportunity.

I consider myself an open-minded, adaptable, able-to-respect-ideas-different-from-my-own kind of girl. What I recently stumbled across, however, not only stopped me dead in my tracks, it left me wondering whether those who say our poor nation is doomed might be more on-point than I thought.

Many colleges are now offering a new course. (In fact, entire “schools” are being opened that focus on this one topic.) While such classes are open to students of all ages, the target audience is millennials. The course? Adulting.

Yes, you read that right. Adulting.

First of all, the fact that this word can now be found in dictionaries (at least, online ones, which is where I looked it up) as a legitimate gerund simply blows my mind. Beyond that, the fact that a college level curriculum has been built around this term leaves me feeling somewhere in between amused, disgusted, dumbfounded and greatly worried about our society.

The goal of an adulting class (in college, mind you) is to provide information and skills to students that teach them how to accomplish mundane but necessary tasks typical to adult life. As I scrolled the main Google page and visited sites featuring information on adulting classes, the main purpose of the lessons (on the majority of sites) was listed similarly to the following: The main goal is to teach students basic stuff they didn’t learn in school or at home that they need to know to live as adults.


As I dug a bit further, I learned that the “basic stuff” refers to tasks, such as changing the oil in a car, organizing bills and budgets, and — get ready for this one —how to hang a picture on a wall. Yes. You can now pay thousands of dollars in tuition to learn how to frame and hang that selfie you took at the club last week on your wall; you can also learn how to patch a hole, should you not fare so well in the hanging portion of your adulting class.

Part of me wants to applaud those who dreamed up adulting classes and figured out a way to make a buck by convincing people they need to take classes in order to live beyond age 18 or 21 or whatever the adult age is nowadays. The other part is still over here shaking its head and wondering how on earth anyone takes such things seriously.

I’m fairly certain that whatever my daughter decides to do after high school, taking adulting classes will not be on her list.

Writer Bio: Judy Dudich

Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.

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