You need something alive in your distance school set-up

Linnea Shively, page editor

As a greater number of schools return to fully online this year, students enter longer periods of social isolation from their teachers and peers. Whether you’re a hybrid student or a fully online student, extended time alone in your room during the school day prevents students from fulfilling their need for genuine human interaction; having a living thing in your room with you provides a good alternative to solely online interaction.

Due to quarantine-induced boredom, many families across the United States adopted puppies; yet a “covid puppy” is a big undertaking and is not a reasonable commitment for all students. Instead, a fish is a more reasonable (but still exciting!) undertaking in terms of both time and economics for many students. 

Even if you can’t really pet fish, they still break the solitude and stillness of your surrounding environment. Watching them swim provides a much needed—and often shorter—distraction from school work which doesn’t involve opening a new app on your phone. A pet relies on you for food and care, which adds more structure to your schedule as you take care of it. It also provides you with a greater sense of responsibility and some degree of control in a time when most—if not all—situations are out of our hands. 

If a fish still seems like a big undertaking, start small with a plant or succulent. Keeping an eye on the health of your plant and helping it thrive through watering and a strategic location in your room still provides a similar sense of responsibility and achievement as taking care of a fish. 

COVID’s disruption to normal interaction has forced Americans to come up with creative ways to stay healthy and engaged; taking on the responsibility for a living thing in your room is a good start.