Universities are getting so fed up with their infantile student bodies that they’re taking matters into their own hands: offering special “adulting” classes to students who need to work on being grownups.
East Carolina University is now offering counseling to students who just can’t cope with campus life. The idea is to help students deal with failure, negative thoughts, and a declining sense of self-esteem brought on by finding out that a “diverse” student body includes people who might be smarter, better or—horror of horrors— Donald Trump supporters.
ECU’s adulting counselors can also help students conquer the worst of the real-world problems. That includes basic tasks like paying bills and meeting deadlines— things they might not have learned in earlier education.
Adulting is, apparently, a big hurdle for some. Millennials have even taken to writing long think pieces about how the mere act of taking responsibility for one’s own life can lead to crippling anxiety.
We’ve seen the rise of childish behavior on campuses across the country, as students cower from chalk drawings on sidewalks, ban speakers, complain endlessly about microaggressions, and struggle to deal with opinions that might differ from their own. The “participation trophy” generation is seemingly unable to handle setbacks and disappointments, and it’s starting to impact how higher education does its job.
So now, ECU will offer one-on-one lessons in “resiliency,” “stress reduction” and “relaxation techniques” to help the sensitive students handle a harsh and uncaring world. When ECU began offering the counseling, they treated around 1,500 students. Last year, students requested 9,000 appointments.
The trend is developing nationwide. Communities are now putting together “Adulting” classes for 15-25 year olds, where skills taught might include “how to tie a tie,” “how to apply for a job” and “how to open a bank account.” One book on “adulting,” which includes passages on renting an apartment, finding a mechanic and avoiding office hook-ups, was a New York Times bestseller.