I’m a college sophomore at an out-of-state school who is sidelined by the pandemic and living at home for now. I’m okay with virtual classes and doing FaceTime and Zoom with my out-of-town friends.
My problem is a few of my local friends are pressuring me to come out and party with them. They say things like:
“It’s alright because we’re young and we probably won’t get sick.”
“We’re college kids, we deserve to have fun.”
“You’ll never be nineteen again.”
All of this is true, of course, but I also feel responsible for bringing the virus home to my parents and younger siblings. We see my Gran occasionally and I’m especially concerned about her. What do I say to these friends that will get me off this uncomfortable hook?
Dear College Co-Ed,
It’s so good to hear from a mature and responsible 19-year-old! How we act during a pandemic is certainly a testament to who we are and our moral character. You can be proud of how you’re showing up.
Even old ladies, like myself, are pressured by friends to do things in person that we think are risky. Here’s what I say. See if these responses resonate with you.
“I’d love to have lunch with you. However, for me it still feels too risky right now. I’m looking forward to when we can be together. See you then.” Leave no room for discussion. Say what you believe and move on.
“I’m so glad you want to visit us on Marco Island. Right now, however, we’re not having guests. Hopefully, we can get together next year.” Give them an option for later. Be clear that it’s not about them. It’s about you and your comfort level.
If the pressure continues, you might say, “I know I’m only 19 once but I’d like to see 20 and my Gran wants to see me get married.”
Hang in there! You’re coming from a place of strength.
Mershon Niesner is a Certified Life Coach and Author of “Mom’s Gone, Now What? Ten Steps to Help Daughters Move Forward After Mother Loss” which is available on Amazon and Sunshine Booksellers. For more information, visit www.mershonniesner.com. Email your coaching questions to email@example.com. Your identity will be kept confidential.