Workshops help graduating students learn how to be an adult

Krystal Miller, Associate News Editor

Quinnipiac University is preparing its graduating students for their next stage in life through a series of weekly workshops offered virtually and in person March 30 to April 21.

“The adulting workshops we put together as an effort to give our students an opportunity to learn some things they might not yet know before they move off campus or out of their parents homes,” said Charity Kuchyt, associate director of university events.

Kuchyt said these one-hour events were created to help students prepare for gaining independence after college. The workshops cover meal prepping, finances, finding an apartment or home and car care. Students moving off campus are trying to balance other priorities such as their career, which causes learning skills like cooking to subside, Kuchyt said.

“Not everybody has someone that they can call and just ask a question like, ‘how much do I put in to make this recipe?’” Kuchyt said. “It’s not that easy for everyone, and so we want to be able to have and give them a leg up and help out.”

Kuchyt said that an estimated 50-75 students have attended each workshop. For attending all the workshops, students receive the Bobcat For Life cord to wear at commencement. Every session gives students an entry to the raffle for reserved seating at the event.

Briana Wyman, a graduate student in molecular and cell biology, has been to all three workshops so far. Wyman said that one of the most important things she has learned was good finance practices for the future.

Illustration by Shavonne Chin

“I think the finance talk was very valuable,” Wyman said. “I don’t know much about how to budget and what accounts for retirement mean and when I should start putting money into them, so this talk was very informative and I learned a lot.”

Alyssa Esposito, a senior diagnostic medical sonography major, plans to attend the fourth workshop. Esposito said she has learned about meal prepping, budgeting, and how to successfully rent an apartment.

“I decided to attend the events because no one ever teaches us how to be adults, they just expect us to figure it out on our own,” Esposito said. “When I saw the opportunity, my roommate and I were like, “we should definitely go,” also, the cord for graduation and the raffle was an added plus.”

Kuchyt said that the series was inspired by Associate Vice President of Community Partnerships and Quinnipiac alumna Karla Natale. When Natale was graduating in 1999, Quinnipiac offered these workshops as courses. Natale thought of how memorable they were to her, so Kuchyt and her discussed what they wished they had known for these current workshops.

“So it’s just trying to pinpoint where the needs were and then being able to fulfill those, we hope to offer even more next year,” Kuchyt said.

The workshop “Vibe Out in Your Own Home or Apartment” was hosted by Dana Cirincione, a Quinnipiac alumna and realtor-associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach. She talked about what documents to have prepared before trying to rent an apartment, leases, utility fees, security deposits, realtor fees and more. She also explained when buying a home what to discuss with an agent, budgeting, what documents to have for a mortgage pre-approval, and making an offer.

Cameron Conston, a senior diagnostic medical sonography major who has attended all the workshops, said she learned valuable information about renting and buying real estate and tips for saving for a down payment.

“I learned that when renting a property, to document everything and to not always just trust the landlord,” Conston said.

Wyman said her favorite workshop revolved around learning how to cook because it was hands-on. The meals included a whole roasted chicken with rice sautéed veggies (carrots, onion, red pepper and zucchini) and then tacos, a taco salad and a vegan taco option.

“We were in the kitchen with the head chef of Chartwells cooking, and he gave us all these great tips on how to create successful meals that meet all your daily requirements of protein, carbs, etc.,” Wyman said.

Esposito said she found the workshops informative and beneficial because she was unaware of the information before the classes. She said she wishes more people would attend because she knows they are also probably scared of adulthood.

“The most important thing I’ve learned is probably just the fact that being an adult is overwhelming and knowing these things are important,” Esposito said. “If you have this knowledge on budgeting or renting, it’ll make things easier in the future.”

Having the workshops as a series of classes throughout the first and second semester would be a great idea, Wyman said. She wishes she knew about finding an apartment sooner so she could have negotiated the rent price like she learned in the workshop.

“I wish that this was a longer series, or maybe even a fun one credit class that allowed us to learn more,” Wyman said.

The Office of Development and Alumni Affairs has services that are offered to students that aren’t well known, Kuchyt said. One service is a platform called Bobcat Connect, in which Quinnipiac alumni can choose a mentor and connect with others in similar career fields, geographic locations or interests.

“What being a Bobcat means is that you’re always supported by your university and that we want to continue our relationship with the student long after you’re gone through your classes here,” Kuchyt said.