Lately, I’ve been really sick of my Facebook, and the feeling of being constantly connected to everything. School and social stress have really been getting to me recently, and I just kind of want to deactivate my account. But, I mean everyone has Facebook. I don’t want to drop off the grid entirely—then I’ll never hear about anything! I really feel like I could use a break though, you know? What should I do?
– Plugged in
Dear Plugged in,
You should definitely try this program called SelfControl! With it, or others like it, you’re able to block multiple websites for a pre-set amount of time. This way you’ll be able to block Facebook and other websites that are distracting when you feel like you need a break. The best thing about these programs is that once you set the time, there’s no way you can access any of the websites you blocked on your computer until the time is up—even if you restart your computer or delete the application.
If you choose to deactivate your Facebook account, be prepared for people to ask you why you did it. But don’t feel pressured to have an account, just because everyone else does. During finals season, it is especially common for people to deactivate their accounts. Actually, people often deactivate their Facebook accounts during this time. Plus, aside from Facebook, there are so many more ways to communicate with your friends, like texting, emailing, or even—unconventional, I know—just meeting up with them.
I totally understand why you want to block Facebook, because so many of us waste numerous hours on there each day—don’t expect that just because you deactivated your Facebook account everything will be solved. Blocking Facebook is just one of the steps to solving your problem.
I’ve been really homesick lately and unsure if I should transfer back home to UBC in Vancouver. I really like McGill, but I miss home, maybe too much. What should I do?
– Missing the coast
Dear Missing the coast,
You say you’ve been really homesick “lately.” Has this feeling been going on for a while? Or was this caused by something that happened recently? Being homesick is something that all of us experience at some point in our lives, especially in the first year of university. Before you make your decision about transferring, I suggest you stop and think about what your reasons are for wanting to do so. Do you want to transfer only because you miss home? Or is it for academic purposes as well? As someone who went through a serious homesick phase, all I can tell you is that it does get better. At some point, you will realize that Montreal has slowly become your home.
For me, when I went home the first time after coming to university, it felt really weird. It felt great to be home, but it’s not the same anymore. My high school counselor told me: “When you leave the school, it goes on without you; it’s not going to pause when you leave, and start again when you’re back.” It actually really helped put things in perspective for me. You might think you’re homesick, but you might actually be nostalgic instead. All I can tell you is that after you leave home, everything that you experienced a year ago will have changed.
Sometimes, it’s not really homesickness that’s upsetting you. It’s the pain of letting go of the past and moving on. If you do transfer home next year, are you going to miss McGill? Try talking to your parents and friends about it. Reach a conclusion that is based on both academic reasons and personal accounts. If the only reason you want to move home is because you miss home and want to be back, make sure you think about what’s going to happen once you make that choice. My biggest advice is to think it through; not just what’s going to happen the moment you get home, but think about what’s going to happen in the next five years. Your choice now will affect many more choices later on in your life.
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