I know this problem may not be as serious as some you get in, but I hope you won’t mind giving me some advice all the same.
Currently I’m doing my college work from home, living with my parents. I’m on the part-time PUP as, obviously, I can’t work in my part-time job as a waitress at the moment.
I’m finding it hard to be hopeful about next semester
While I know the college semester is nearly over, I’m struggling more than ever with being at home all the time. And I’m finding it hard to be hopeful about next semester, because it doesn’t look to me like things will have changed overly by then. I feel like I’ll probably still be doing my college work online.
Some of my friends are still staying down in Cork, where I go to college, even though we’re online. I see Snapchats and Insta stories of them having fun together in their houses and I can’t help but feel very envious. I’m stuck at home with my parents and I’m the youngest, so I’m the only one of my siblings here.
My parents are in their 60s and my mam is high-risk, so I’m being pretty careful. I know they’ll get the vaccine soon, but sometimes I just feel like breaking out and going mad.
I should be on a J1 this summer, instead the highlight could be getting my job back
Then I remember I have to be sensible and I get even more fed up of the whole thing.
I should be on a J1 this summer, instead the highlight could be getting my job back. I feel like I’ve missed out totally on a normal college experience.
Do you think I should consider moving out next semester, Miriam? My parents say it’s a waste of money, but maybe if I could finance it myself things might be a bit better if I was staying down in Cork and doing my work online.
I love my family and all, but I’m not sure I can take much more of being at home with them all the time.
Any and all advice appreciated,
Caged College Student
Dear Caged College Student,
Thank you very much for your email. I must say, for what it is worth, while no one has been left unaffected by the pandemic, I do feel particularly sorry for your generation.
You are missing out on the social side of college and that is hard
College is a great time in one’s life and I know you, and many others, feel like you are missing out. I could coddle you a small bit and say, you are not missing out, etc. etc. But I feel that would do a disservice to the situation you are in.
You are missing out on the social side of college and that is hard. But as our mindfulness expert Catherine Callaghan pointed out in her column in the edition of Irish Country Living dated 10 April, you just haven’t had these experiences yet!
“Yet” is the key word here.
Fun and good times with your friends will come back around. It just hasn’t happened yet.
I must commend you on looking out for your parents
When these experiences do happen, all though it may not feel like it now, I promise they will be all the sweeter. For now, make sure to stay connected with your friends online and meet whoever you can for a walk.
I must commend you on looking out for your parents. Well done, it shows great character. In time to come you will be very glad that you did all you could to protect them.
On whether or not to move out, if it is something that will benefit you, then absolutely go for it. Just make sure you can afford your accommodation and you are happy with the arrangements you put in place.
While things look uncertain now, in time the clouds will clear. Even with all the issues arising of late, it won’t be long before your parents get vaccinated. That will be a great relief for you and a step in the right direction.
Wishing you all the best, Miriam.