Maggie Dougherty ’21

Editor in Chief


COVID-19 poses numerous challenges to our campus community in a whole range of categories: health, dining, academics, student activities and more. However, in addition to the many structural and campus-wide considerations, COVID poses a great number of challenges to individual relationships. The nature of the virus and our efforts to counter it lead us to establish small groups, or pods, in which we are meant to concentrate our social energy and especially our dining plans. At least in theory, we are supposed to eat dinner with the same couple people again and again for any meal throughout the week. But, more importantly, those four or so people who you eat with are also supposed to eat with each other — that is, you aren’t supposed to be the social butterfly connecting four (or more) different friend groups.

Unfortunately, people really struggle with this. It’s not high school, and for a lot of us, all of our friends do not share 100 percent of the same friend group. My extroverted friends especially have a hard time with this. I know that many of my friends deal with intense social anxiety under normal conditions, but it is especially heightened during this time. I have heard friends express the sentiments, “If I eat two meals alone, I feel like all my friends hate me and I get super lonely and sad.” However, I need my extroverted friends to know: I don’t hate you just because I don’t want to eat with you. 

For those of us who are introverted, spending time with other people is emotionally draining. Especially when we spend so much of our time in online classes where we are expected to keep cameras on and control our facial expressions for hours on end, we are so tired right now. This is doubly the case for seniors and many juniors who are trying to complete the monumental task of I.S. on an incredibly shortened timeline with no breaks and little time to focus on our mental health. Just because I have an hour free in my day does not mean I am free. I desperately grip to every free second in my day to be by myself and recharge my social battery.

The fact that I cannot be around you when I am recharging is not something you should take personally. Just like I recognize that your anxiety manifests in fear over not eating with your friends, I need you to recognize that for your anxious introverted friends, it manifests in feeling deeply overwhelmed when we are not given the adequate space to recharge and be alone. Add to that the additional concerns over eating with extra people in the middle of a pandemic, we need you to respect our boundaries. Moreover, try to keep in mind that it is not the responsibility of your introverted friends to eat with you whenever you are feeling anxious. We will do our best to support you as much as we can, but we cannot do that at the expense of our own mental health. You just have to trust us when we promise you that we love you a whole lot, regardless of whether or not we can eat with you right now. Xoxo, your introverted friends.

Written by

Chloe Burdette

Welcome to The College of Wooster's Inter-Greek Council website! Here you will find out everything about our campus's Greek Life, including resources for the 2020 Rush season> We are so glad you are with us!