Let’s face it, being an adult is not all it’s cracked up to be. You get slower, more impatient, you can’t remember where you put your keys. It’s also ridiculously easy to injure yourself (I’m talking to you, mysterious leg bruise #3). Combined, all of these can all make it pretty difficult to try new things. And I don’t know about you, but I hate being bad at things.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. We’ve found a bunch of new skills and hobbies you can pick up as an adult. You can do them all yourself, at your own pace, and it doesn’t even matter if you suck. Result.
You may or may not have noticed, but pottery has been experiencing a resurgence lately, and there’s good reason for it. Aside from having an endless amount of pots for your plants (heck yes), pottery is actually really good for your mental health.
When you’re wheel throwing (that’s what the pros call it), your hands are completely covered in clay, so it forces you to disconnect. Living an active life makes it difficult to completely switch off. With pottery, you can refocus your energy and attention on what you’re doing, concentrating on the rhythm and hum of the wheel.
There’s a handful of studios across Melbourne, including Ceramiques in Elsternwick and Slow Clay in Collingwood. Classes tend to range from $220 to $500(ish) for a four, or eight-week term. Plus, your roommates will love you (time to replace all those mugs you’ve broken).
Remember the days when school took you indoor rock-climbing to test your strength and agility, but instead just embarrassed you in front of your crush by giving you a hot harness wedgie. Just me? OK. Either way, rock climbing is a good way to push your limits and overcome your fear (and childhood trauma).
Nowadays, people are increasingly using this as a gym-alternative fitness regime because it’s challenging and fun, and seems to work muscles we didn’t know existed.
Going casually will set you back about $17 ($15 if you’re a student) plus equipment hire, otherwise, there are membership options. Check out our selection of Melbourne centre’s here. There are good spots all over town.
Can't even cook a decent slice of toast? There's hope for you yet. Melbourne actually has a pretty good selection when it comes to cooking schools, and you can dial it up as far as you want. One of our favourites is the South Melbourne Market Cooking School, and there's always Hola Con Lola if you're hankering to master paella (she lets you drink Sangria while you go, it's brilliant).
If you don't have time for that sort of thing, there are even cooking classes that come to you now. We just found Whipped Up, run by Georgia Leaker, who teaches 'cooking and adulting' classes in the comfort of your own home. Georgia covers everything from University meals (that arent 2-minute mee goreng) to baking your own bread.
No matter who you are, being able to whip out some martial arts moves is a pretty badass skill to have stashed up your sleeve. There’re countless ‘schools’ to choose from, depending on what you’re looking for.
Because us Melburnians tend to gravitate around the city and surrounding suburbs, we’ve chosen Wing Chun. Wing Chun is one of the youngest versions of Chinese Kung Fu and was created as a more accessible option as it doesn’t focus too much on brute force, meaning anybody can do it. Think less hectic high kicks and more accurate self-defence moves.
Recently, it’s become popular for a few reasons: it’s relatively easy to learn, it’s ideal for close-range confrontation and it’s (surprisingly) a good way to relax. Wing Chun requires you to remain soft, clear-headed and focused so you can respond quicker and with more accuracy.
There are a few Wing Chun schools spread throughout Melb including Wing Chun Bing Fa Kung Fu Academy in Carlton that offers private, express, self-defence and women’s only classes from about $35 per class in a 10-week program to $70 for an hour-long private lesson.
This one’s truly handy. How many pairs of jeans do you own that you wish were just an inch shorter, or dresses just a touch longer, or even pants with zips that have just given up on you, even though all you’ve done is love them unconditionally? (crying internally).
Instead of piling them up on that chair in your room and taking them to a seamstress (face it, it’s not going to happen), why not fix them yourself? It’ll save you time and money. Heck, being able to make your own clothes will save you even more, and it’s an earth-friendly solution to buying cheaply made fast-fashion garments.
Annie from Sew This Pattern has opened a school in Elsternwick, offering classes from beginners to intermediate, on a casual or regular basis. Prices range from $35 for their casual Friday night Sewcial Studio, to $250 for a four-week course, which includes all your fabrics. And if that’s not enough, you can bring some wine and snacks to the Friday night class. Now it’s a party.
Despite popular belief, anybody can grow things. You might not be born with green thumbs (like we used to give our Sims), but you can certainly learn.
Spring is springing all over the place and the weather is slowly but surely warming up, which means its time to re-evaluate your garden (and life, am I right?). The benefits of growing your own veggies and herbs mean your meals taste 10 times better, and you can spend all that saved moola on something more important, like wine.
Starting your own veggie patch or herb garden is relatively inexpensive and there’s just something satisfying about seeing your little seedlings grow up. If you’re an apartment dweller, that doesn’t mean you can’t start your own indoor herb garden. You can pick up a seed tray or baby greenhouse for $5–10 at Bunnings, and all the seeds and materials you’ll need. If you have a backyard, you can easily DIY your own garden from almost anything; timber, old pallets, plant pots, jars, honestly anything deep enough is perf. If you’re still too scared, Little Veggie Patch Co. offer edible gardening workshops for about $60 that will help you make the most of all spaces, big or small.
Want to expand your mind (in a non-Rainbow Serpent kind of way)? Check out these places to learn stuff in Melbourne.
Image credit: Ceramiques