SMU students learn how to ‘Adult’ at SMU Libraries workshop

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Southern Methodist University offered students a crash-course on how to succeed after graduation in SMU Libraries’ “Adulting 101” workshop in Fondren Library on Tuesday Oct. 16.

The workshop aimed to educate students on topics they can’t take a course in, such as how to draft a professional email or how to select an insurance policy.

Megan Heuer, head of information literacy for SMU Libraries, mentioned this lecture had the potential to save students from making preventable mistakes.

“Adulting 101 covers basic things everyone needs to know after graduation, and helps you to understand how to connect with resources for learning more,” Heuer said.

Hollie Gardner, the user experience librarian, and Tyeson Seale, SMU Libraries marketing coordinator, used humor to talk students through basic tasks that will be required of them upon graduation.

“Okay, how do you fold a fitted sheet? Just don’t!” Gardner said.

The workshop covered basic life-skills, such as how to address an envelope and how to write a check. The instructors were shocked to learn none of the students in attendance even had a check book.

The workshop covered how to register to vote, which is important with the midterm elections coming up in November. It also provided students with resources for finding balanced and unbiased information regarding what will be on their ballots.

The instructors also told stories of their “adulting” mishaps, including signing up for a credit card just to receive a free sandwich.

“If you don’t make some of these mistakes at some point then that’s great, but if you do, you are just like everyone else,” Seale said.

The workshop eventually led to more serious topics like the importance of having a good credit score, but Gardner and Seale made sure they were only providing students with a preliminary understanding on the more significant topics.

“This is just a tester of this subject matter,” Gardner said. “It’s our dream to create a series of workshops here and to have specialists come in and teach each topic to give a more nuanced understanding of it.”

This was the first workshop focused primarily on the skills needed for “adulting,” but it is currently part of a series presented by SMU Libraries called “Work and Life.” This series aims to be another way for SMU to prepare its students for the ‘real’ world.

“I feel like once you graduate from college you know really well how to succeed in your profession but not so much in your day-to-day life,” said SMU student Sarah Mertz. “I would like to be taught this kind of stuff before I go out into the world.”

Gardner and Seale were quick to answer questions about topics covered, but made sure students understood it takes time and practice to learn how to be successful on their own.

“We’re still mastering that whole adulting thing,” Gardner said.

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