Dear Zoe,  

Being back home is weird for me, because I’m really used to being on my own at school, but now that I’m living at home, I feel like I’m back to being a kid again. How do I maintain my independence while still respecting the fact that I’m living in my parents’ house? 

From,  

Trapped in childhood 

Dear Trapped in Childhood, 

I’d just like to start out by saying that what you’re feeling is totally valid, and you’re not alone. Gaining independence while you’re having to live at home presents a new challenge, but not an impossible one.  

The best way I think you can maintain your independence is to maintain your own routine. It’ll allow you to focus on yourself while you’re at home. Have set aside time to deal with class and work, and don’t forget to block out time for just yourself. Whether you use this time to crack open a book or practice some other form of self-care, having a solid routine during this uncertain time can make the ground feel more solid under your feet. 

Hope this helps, and stay safe. 

Sincerely, 

Zoe 


Dear Zoe, 

One of my friends has been alone and in his apartment since the University got closed and I’m pretty sure he’s going stir crazy. He’s done all sorts of weird things, like tweeting about “Jersey Shore” and impulse buying a Wonder Woman onesie. Should I be worried about him? 

Sincerely, 

A concerned friend 

Dear Concerned Friend, 

With being shut in his apartment, I don’t blame your friend at all. I wouldn’t be worried though; your friend is likely just trying to cope with the uncertainty of his environment, between campus closing, moving online and impending events being canceled. 

However, I would advise you to keep in touch with your friend. Spend time with him however you want. You can text or call him as often as you feel or even stream movies together through different applications. Play an online game together. Time with friends, even if it is through a screen, can make this difficult time a little easier. 

Sincerely, 

Zoe