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home : columns : dear harriette November 29, 2020

10/24/2020 1:40:00 PM
Forced COVID isolation wearing on reader

DEAR HARRIETTE: COVID has changed a lot for the education system. I just started my freshman year in college, and although I knew things were going to be different than expected, living in a dorm seems pointless. Some schools even deliver your meals. Luckily, at mine, I get to go pick it up and bring it back to my dorm. But there is literally nothing to do here. There are no sports, no gym, no clubs, no events, no parties. You cannot be around friends in computer labs or libraries or common rooms just to watch TV. We are forced into isolation and it is beginning to wear on me.

The transition from high school into college is hard enough, and virtual learning is making it more difficult. I never learn in my room. It is harder to focus, and I don't feel like I am actually being influenced and learning the material. I just want to move out and go home. It is exhausting, and I feel like there's nothing I can do here that I can't do back at home with my family. Is this our new world? -- Sick of COVID

DEAR SICK OF COVID: The emotional toll that COVID-19 is taking on our world is dramatic. Many colleges offered the option for students to be on campus and live in dorms, but out of an abundance of caution, no activities are being held -- as you described. Isolation can wear you down emotionally and physically.

Before you go home, consider whether there are any students with whom you can visit outdoors at a safe distance. Can you connect with anyone in meaningful ways? If not, it may be best to move back home and do your work remotely until a vaccine can rescue us.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been seeing this guy for about a year now, and I have brought up the fact that he has not taken me out on a date yet. He always tells me that he will plan something, but he never does. He comes to see me, but all we do is hang out in his car and eat and talk. It is starting to become predictable and boring. I don't want to do that all the time.

He complains about not wanting to spend extra money on going out. But not all dates require you to spend money. So I made it clear that if he does not want to go out and do something, then I don't want to see him. I feel like he is never going to plan anything, and I am just wasting my time. Should I stick it out for a little bit longer to give him a chance, or should I just keep the focus on myself and see other people who are willing to do that for me? -- Need Fun

DEAR NEED FUN: Before dumping him, plan some activities and invite him to participate. He may be happy to do something fun, but he may not have ideas. His attentiveness counts for something. See if he is willing to expand his horizons by following your lead. If he refuses or really cannot afford it, you will have to decide if car dates are enough.

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