Adulting 101

Capstone Scholars workshops focus on practical side of post-college life

Ask any recent college graduate what they wish they had learned while in school and you may hear things like “how to properly budget money” or “how credit works.” While understanding topics like these is critical to a successful life, receiving the information in a classroom setting is unlikely for many students. After realizing that learning skills like these can make the transition to adult life easier, the Capstone Scholars Program began an Adulting Workshop Series.

“As we meet with sophomores for their Capstone consultations, it became apparent that they are still transitioning,” says Jessie McNevin, program coordinator for Capstone Scholars. “They would go into a story about how they had overcome a new obstacle, which may have been taken care for them in the past, and these events would end with the student remarking something along the lines of, ‘Why didn’t anyone ever teach me this?’ ”

While paying a mortgage may not be at the top of the list for college students, learning how to cook and handle finances is. Sophomore Rachel Zeigler says she was interested in attending the adulting workshops to learn more about how to manage her finances before she travels abroad next semester.

“I was curious to see how a budget should look, because it’s an essential skill that I’ll need throughout my life,” says Zeigler. “Attending a workshop and receiving one-on-one advice from a financial expert made me realize how I actually should be spending my money.”

This semester, students were offered three different workshops. Basic budgeting and credit workshops were led by Lauren Brown, financial literacy coordinator in the Student Success Center. Through these workshops students were given an overview of a month-to-month budget as well as information about using credit cards vs. using debit cards or cash. They were also given insight on how credit scores can make or break your financial purchases.

The final workshop of the semester was a cooking class in the new demo kitchen in the Center for Health and Well-Being. Eighteen students attended the workshop led by Olivia Jolly, outreach dietician in the Center for Health and Well-Being, and learned a few valuable skills like how to make a simple, healthy meal and how to chop an onion without crying.

“One of the major adjustments to moving off campus is the lack of meal plan,” says McNevin. “Many turn to eating out, which can be expensive and unhealthy. Olivia reviewed some knife skills and the students worked together to prepare three dishes: roasted vegetables, a whole grain pasta dish and a muffin/cookie recipe using only a box cake mix and a can of pumpkin. She worked hard to create a menu that involved healthy, affordable ingredients and used recipes that would not take more than 30 minutes to make.”

More workshops will be provided for students next semester, covering dining etiquette, interview and resume tips, and choosing the correct leasing option before moving off campus.

“College is difficult enough. By learning some practical skills, like personal finance and cooking, you free up some of that headspace that would be used to stress about those things,” says McNevin. “That way, you can focus on what really matters — your education.”

Share this Story! Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about