Adulting 101: An Interview with Pete Hardesty

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When and how were you first introduced to Young Life?

Fall of 1989.  My freshman year of high school.  An older guy on the soccer team named Steve invited me to club.

How did this influence you and your future?

It changed everything.  I ended up going to club that night and loved it.  Met my Young Life leader, Danny O’Brien, who I am still friends with to this day.  Went to Lake Champion after my sophomore year and gave my life to Christ. That changed the trajectory of my life.

What has been your involvement since that time?

I became a Wyldlife leader in college at University of Virginia.  Went on staff in Virginia Beach.  Have been an Area Director there and in Harrisonburg, VA, a College Director at James Madison University.


What is your current role?

Divisional coordinator for Young Life College in the eastern division.

Now, let’s talk about your new book “Adulting 101”…

Where did it come from and why did you write it?

In my 13 years at James Madison, I noticed an increasing amount of kids graduating and having a very hard time those first couple of years out of college.  Students were graduating but not being equipped for success in the “real world.”  It could be subtitled "everything you should have learned in school but didn’t.” We discuss time management, professionalism, finances, sex and dating, work life, and much more. 

Who is Josh Burnette and how did the two of you come to write a book together?

Josh is a dear friend who was one of my student leaders at JMU.  He then went on staff for a little bit and now owns a Chik-fil-a in Little Rock, AR.  He called me in the summer of 2016 and asked if I would consider writing a book with him.  He mentioned a real world prep class we did at JMU and how much that helped him.  He had added onto it for a while and took his employees through it.  They raved about it so he shared it with owner/operators in Arkansas and some of them took their teams through it.  They came back and said he should publish it.  So that’s when he called me.

Who is “Adulting 101” written for?

Juniors and Seniors in college, seniors in high school, and those who are in their twenties.  

Who should consider buying this book?

Any of the aforementioned folks, parents or relatives of those folks, anyone who cares about or works with that age group

Anything else we should know about it?

We really think it can help people succeed in life.  Once we had the chapter topic list, we polled about 25 recent grads and asked if this would be helpful.  The answers were great—they mentioned several topics we hadn’t planned on including so we revised the outline and included it all.

Any words from you to former staff of Young Life?

     Thanks for continuing to give your life away.  Thanks for your years of service to young people. 

      If you would like to buy the book, find it on Amazon.