Editorial Notebook

Human contact important

I crave human contact. Well, I don’t crave it, but I pretty much collapse without it. The first three weeks of break were spent being overwhelmed with family members at my house, catching up with high school friends, and celebrating my 21st. The last week of winter break was spent wallowing around my house doing absolutely nothing. My friends from home had already moved back to college, my mom was on a two week trip to Italy, and my dad works out of the house all day. So, the majority of that last week was spent with hours of isolation. This may seem like heaven to some; hell, it wasn’t too long ago that I was dying to have a single. But that week was torture.

There’s only so much you can do alone. Reach the end of the internet, read a ton of books, catch up on every season of 15 different TV shows, play a crap-ton of Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3 (hate on me if you want, I still have fun), mess around with an Arduino, and it’s now only 2 pm on Monday.

Eventually, hours start blending together, and when you do some time tracking, you realize that there are a whole hours of the day that you can’t account for. I found that I didn’t really want to do anything. I was bored and had no one to be bored with. I couldn’t go skiing because conditions were terrible, I couldn’t snow shoe for the same reason, I didn’t have a job, and I just started getting down, because the whole day the only person I had to talk to was myself, and I can drive myself insane.

I was itching to get back to RPI, but got in late Sunday night, and didn’t get to see anyone before classes started the next day, and didn’t really get to talk to anyone until around noon when our copy editor Wesley walked in. And I was extremely excited—more excited than I should have been—just because I had someone to talk to. And we really only talked about games. Now I’m sitting in the Poly office, with the same old crew and I feel like my normal self again: cracking really terrible jokes, laughing, and getting distracted from writing this by talking about random stuff.

I know it’s very easy to just duck your head down and keep to yourself in your dorm, I’ve done plenty of that. But everyone needs some form of human contact daily. We’re social creatures, and we benefit from interacting with other people. If you’re shy, I’m not saying to go out and talk to every person that passes your way and force yourself into social situations that you’re uncomfortable with, but do something; go out of your way to have a meal with friends at a minimum. You’ll be happier through the awful parts of the semester if you keep in contact with friends.