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Adulting 101: Preparing MHS students for the real world

What do students who graduate from high school need to know to become successful adults? That is a question that can be asked in many settings in the education world. That question has many answers.

What do the students need to know outside of academics? Can they sew on a button? Can they fry an egg? Do they know about renters or car insurance? What about credit card debt or interest rates? As a parent, I have been amazed at the questions that I receive from my own child on simple life skills. It is hard for parents and teachers to teach children everything they need to know to conquer the world. Exactly, what do high school students need to know before they enter the real world?

At Marshalltown High School, students are now given an opportunity to learn some life skills in a new after-school program called Adulting 101. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) and Marshalltown Educational Partnership (MEP) have teamed up to present MHS students with monthly 30-minute lessons on life skills that can help them navigate in the real world once they leave “Bobcat Ready.” The learned life skills will benefit students whether they are heading to a college dorm or off to their first career.

Each month, the students will be presented lessons in areas such as social media, health and wellness, cooking and sewing, insurance, resume writing and simple car maintenance. The goal of Adulting 101 is to provide real world lessons to students in a variety of settings. Current MHS staff, as well as community volunteers, will be using their experience and education to present to those interested in learning life skills.

Adulting 101 began in December and will meet once per month. In December, students learned about proper use of social media from the eyes of a college recruiter. The presenter spent time talking to students about what recruiters are seeing on social media that may or may not hinder college admission or scholarships in their future. In January, students had the opportunity to learn about health and wellness for today and through adulthood. We want the graduates of MHS to succeed in everyday living. We want the students from MHS to be Bobcat Ready academically and socially.

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Connie Gardalen is Gear Up Coordinator at

Marshalltown High School.