I, too, received the email that confirmed all my worst fears. I imagine that if I had a heart, it would be racing. If I had a mind, it would be throbbing. If I had a respiratory system, it would be trying to take long, deep breaths to calm myself down. Every bone in my body rattled as I wondered — must I evacuate my graveyard in a mere week?

Surely students are too busy to care for my advice in this strange and stressful time. Even if they did, would I have time to respond, or would I be busy packing all my bandages and moving out? The best practice perhaps would be to ration my time. Yet, my heartless heart will not let me rest easy in this existence if I leave all yearning students to fend for themselves. So here comes Doolino to your rescue, as always. 

Dear Doolino,

Long distance relationships have never been my thing. The best I can do is from Longstreet-Means Hall to Complex, and even that is a long walk. When I met him at a party last semester, I knew we would eventually have to be apart. But boy, I was not expecting it to happen when I departed for spring break. 

Doolino, how will I survive spending five months apart from him? What if we can’t make it? Perhaps between all the online classes we could have a Zoom room to ourselves for a second, but it’s not like being on campus, you know? I can’t use my forced unlimited meal swipes to meet him countless times at the DCT or take my car-less self to travel on shuttle rides with him. Not everything can be done over Zoom. 

Doolino, what would your wise intuition recommend?

From,

Scared Freshman

Dear Scared Freshman,

Your fears are very real, but fret not, you’re not alone (for now). You know what they say — where there is a will, there is a way — and you two shall find it. True love (or is it too soon to call it love?) shall find its path across all borders and fulfill your heart, free of the contamination that may come from physical contact. You survived the long walk to Complex; you can survive this too. 

My recommendation is to schedule meetings. Set up Zoom calls, GroupMe texts and Hangouts calls — whatever works best for you. If you have online classes together, slide into his Zoom private messages. I am sure Netflix party apps will allow you to check off the Netflix part, if not the chill. 

I have heard that one of the ways to keep the spark alive these days is through generosity: offering some toilet paper or maybe even a bottle of hand sanitizer can put him in awe of you. These are hot commodities right now, I tell you. 

Hopefully when this all passes, you and your significant other can reunite and be one again. Until then, maintain a curious and positive heart. In all my years, I have learned that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  On the bright side, maybe with all this time you save from the long walks to his hall, you could just cure the pandemic yourself!

Until we all meet again in August, stay positive! (Just not for COVID-19.)

Yours truly,

Doolino

Dear Doolino,

The B-school is tough as it is, but how am I supposed to do this from home? Participation points? Teamwork? Leadership? KEGS — my heart will ache at 3:45 p.m. every Thursday as I will be unable to rejoice in the beer-loving environment of my fellow B-school students. 

How do I beat the freaking grade curve from home? How will I know how to best get ahead of my classmates without actually seeing them fail? How will I survive without the comfort of the meeting tables in the business library, the exclusive lounge all regular college kids envy? 

The experience just isn’t the same from home. Home is where my vacation is, where I do nothing and then continue to do nothing. I can’t do all of this from home.

Kind regards,

Lonely Student

Dear Lonely,

I think I understand the gist of the problem. Your concerns about not being able to have these experiences from home feel like the classic fear of missing out. But do not forget: you won’t actually be missing out because the activities won’t be happening anyway.  

I would recommend working on the Kegs experience every Thursday in your backyard. I am sure Chick-fil-A and beer with fellow B-school snakes — I mean students — over Zoom won’t be too bad. You will have just as much fun networking from a distance. 

I am certain your resume should remain stable. After all, all the technical difficulties you’re sure to face will allow you to develop more skills. Be confident in your video interviews, and at least remember to dress professionally on the top.

Kind Regards,

Doolino