An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Julie Lutton and Meredith Sjoberg, Upper School counselors

The following blog was originally sent to Upper School students in “Counseling Center Corner,” a regular column by counselors Julie Lutton and Meredith Sjoberg in the Upper School newsletter “The Bull.”

Perhaps one of the hardest things about the fact that school will be remote through the end of the year is that many of you are missing the regular opportunity school gives of seeing your friends and classmates each day.  All of your teachers and advisors are feeling the same way about not seeing their colleagues ­— and, of course, all of you! — too.  Let’s face it — as human beings, we are social creatures and our relationships are meant to happen in person.

However, here we all are, trying to make our friendships and relationships happen online.  We are lucky to have many tools at our disposal to connect with one another, whether it is through video calls, sending photos back and forth, phone calls, and sharing virtual board games with one another.  One in-person interaction that many are missing right now (and can be hard to replicate online) is the few minutes of idle chit-chat while everyone is settling into their seats in class. 

This was an opportunity to connect with those who you didn’t know well or who you only saw in that particular class.  However, there is a silver lining here, as there is in many places in this pandemic — everyone else is feeling the same way that you are!  So, if you find yourself missing those few minutes of checking in with the person next to you in math class who you never talk to otherwise, be brave and reach out to them!  Or perhaps see if the people who sat around you in Spanish class want to practice vocab together on a Microsoft Teams video call. 

With all of us missing those spontaneous hallway conversations we had at school, it’s likely that the folks you reach out to will be more than happy to connect with you, even if it has to happen virtually instead of in Bliss.