Taking on the basics of life

Mikey McGilvra, 15, left, and Anthony Scaccia, 15, listen to tips on laundry Wednesday during an Adulting 101 workshop held at the Lincoln Township Public Library.

STEVENSVILLE — It’s been a year and half since the Lincoln Township Public Library introduced its Adulting 101 workshop.

Since then it’s become a popular choice among area teenagers.

Led by Hollie Ayres and Vicki Rausch, the workshop began as a general adulting class that included topics from sewing on a button to making no-bake cookies.

“We actually had a very good turnout and were encouraged to do more,” Ayres said.

The informal term “adulting” has been around for more than a decade, but it gained traction about three years ago as a description of acting as a responsible adult, especially doing mundane but necessary tasks. According to dictionary.com, “The concept behind adulting may stem from the fact that members of the rising millennial generation are going through major life stages (such as getting married, having children, buying a home, etc.) at much later ages than previous generations.”

Initially, the workshops were held every few months. But as they picked up in popularity, the workshops became an every-other-month occurrence.

During the adulting workshops, a bevy of topics are covered – such as applying for jobs, filling out college applications and handling finances.

Guest presenters from Lake Michigan College and local credit unions have taken part in the workshops.

Among the more popular workshops have been the cooking classes. In those, attendees were taught how to cook bacon and grilled cheese sandwiches.

“We had a girl at our second cooking class who had never tried bacon,” Ayres recalled. “She loved it. And seeing the look on her face was a great moment because that’s something she might not have gotten elsewhere.”

Ayres said they felt encouraged to teach these topics since the majority of these lessons aren’t taught in schools.

“You don’t have home ec anymore,” she said. “It’s something we think is still important. And we’re willing to teach it.”

The workshops vary from five to 20 people, depending on the topic of the workshop. Ayres said a lot of the attendees are returning teens.

On Wednesday, teens were given the lowdown on laundry. The workshop centered around the “dreaded fitted sheet.”

They practiced folding the fitted sheet as another teen led a demonstration.

“I usually ball it up and shove it into the closet,” Ayres said. “It’s frustrating, but it’s nice to have someone else to do it in front of you. It’s more hands on.”

Ayres and Rausch then gave a cleaning guide and provided suggestions on what chemicals are used for what purposes. The two instructors eventually addressed weekly and monthly cleaning habits that attendees should get in the habit of doing.

They had previously held a “living on your own” workshop that addressed taking care of one’s house.

This was also the last workshop until the fall, as the series is taking a summer break.

Ayres and Rausch decide on the topics for workshops through suggestions and feedback. After the first Adulting 101 workshop, they handed out surveys to learn what attendees wanted to get out of the sessions.

Ayres said she loves it when attendees have good questions. She’s baffled at some of the topics they come across during workshops.

For example, Rausch said she enjoys offering advice on finding an apartment. She said moving out sounds exciting, but that there’s so much more to it.

“My favorite part was discussing moving out on your own,” Rausch said. “It’s things you don’t think about. Hopefully, we save them some trouble instead of them finding it out on their own.”

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