‘Adulting’ DeCal sees increase in demand, enrollment

Jenny Zhou /Courtesy
Jenny Zhou/Courtesy

Related Posts

After the “Adulting” DeCal received over 100 applicants in the spring 2019 semester, the course will offer two sections this term, according to course facilitator and campus junior Jenny Zhou.

Zhou said in an email that the class aims to alleviate some of the stress students feel while settling into adult responsibilities and balancing college academics. The course will cover a wide variety of topics that are omitted from a traditional education, including budgeting, time management, relationships, resume-building, taxes, fitness and nutrition.

Belle Lau, a course facilitator and campus junior, added in an email that the course is intended to provide students with skills and information that will be beneficial in the long term — especially as many consider academic knowledge to be less relevant in day-to-day life. 

“We focused on things that us as facilitators felt that we struggled with,” Lau said in the email. “We also believed that other students were facing these same obstacles.”

When crafting the course curriculum, Zhou and Lau generated a list of big-picture topics rather than focusing on daily chores.

Once they decided on which topics to address, they conducted online research, which included reading articles and blogs as well as watching videos. They also reached out to guest speakers, according to Lau.

“Belle and I are not experts at every single adulting topic we teach, nor are we fully developed, independent adults,” Zhou said in an email. “We are both still learning as both students and teachers of the course.”

Though the roster has yet to be finalized, according to Zhou, the course is no longer accepting applications as over 210 students have applied to take the DeCal this semester. She added that only 60 students will be admitted to the course, with 30 in each section.

Lau also said in the email that the application asked students why they were interested in the class and what they hoped to gain from it.

Nancy Liu, a campus assistant clinical professor of psychology, is serving as the faculty sponsor for the course, according to Zhou. She added that Liu was a mental health guest speaker for the course last spring when another professor, who is currently on sabbatical, sponsored the course.

Zhou said in an email that she hopes the course continues beyond her and Lau’s graduation.

“We hope that students who have taken our decal will step up to facilitate it once we graduate,” Zhou said in the email. “As for including this course in other schools, we believe that these adulting skills should be taught in all universities and even in high school because it is important to feel fully prepared for college and beyond and how to manage our well-being independently.”

Maya Akkaraju is a higher education reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @maya_akkaraju.