Don't know how to fix a plumbing leak? Freak out a little when you have to make a budget or write a résumé? (Don't be embarrassed. Just admit it.) The good news is, as reported by Patty Wight and heard on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, a new school in Maine could fix your "I have no fudging idea what I'm doing" problem. The organization, known as the Adulting School, specializes in teaching everyday life skills to millennials and other young adults.

A variety of essentials, multiple learning options

According to the group's website, the Adulting School offers expertise in four main "adulting fundamentals":

  • Financial basics
  • Make it and fix it skills
  • Health and wellness
  • Relationships and community

Depending on your preferences and needs, you can get the information you need through a combination of workshops, seminars, webinars and blogs.

Lack of adulting = lack of personal and career success

Some forms of adulting--finally figuring out how to fold fitted sheets, for example--probably aren't going to do to much damage if they're left by the wayside. But other types can have a real negative effect. The inability to cook, for example, can lead individuals to eat out, spending more money on restaurant fare and consuming additives that aren't beneficial to physical health. Similarly, a lack of social skills can lead to issues like failed romantic relationships or the inability to advance at work.

On NPR's Morning Edition, Lindsay Rowe Scala asserted, "In job interviews, they're always asking 'Where do you want to see yourself in five years?' And I never know how to answer that because I'm always thinking on how to survive today and next week and what's coming up."

What's led to the need for a "fundamentals" school?

Neil Howe of Forbes notes a number of possible reasons why today's young adults are struggling with basic life skills, including

  • Technology advances that have made young people think they can just look up what they don't know
  • Generational traits, such as trusting the digital infrastructure and not creating a backup plan
  • Shift to learning through non-sensory techniques

Howe also notes an emphasis on classroom learning and testing. As schools try to accommodate new mandates, which often are connected to essential funding, programs like home economics and shop have fallen by the wayside. As Ruth Graham writes in The Boston Globe, many people are advocating a return of these courses to address the growing inability adults have to tackle everyday challenges. And young adults can't necessarily learn life skills growing up at home anymore, either, as parents increasingly are out of the home on the job and who don't have time to formally teach their kids what to do.

Reaction to the Adulting School has been mixed. Critics generally take the stance that it's embarrassing that society even has gotten to the point that the school is necessary. But others are happy, grateful that there's a place to go to get help and not feel so alone, ashamed and incompetent.

Ultimately, it's not where you learn your life skills that's important. Google. Talk to buddies or older friends and family members. Use the Adulting School. Just don't keep pretending you don't need to understand or learn.