Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lives of the Freshmen

You might remember that a few weeks ago one of the students in the Calculus Circus had changed her Away message on IM to some fairly unhappy stuff. On advice from the blog, I emailed her to see if she was OK, and she replied that she was having trouble with her long-distance boyfriend. I wrote back something vague and bland of the "that's too bad" sort and of the "if you ever need help let me know" sort, and things stopped there.

Oh, I should also mention another detail: At some point she friended me on Facebook. (About 1% of my large calculus class has done so; about 20% of my honors seminar has.)

What I really wanted to say to her was, "Give up on the relationship now." I didn't, though. I don't really know her, and it's none of my business. Plus, there's the whole cultural thing where people around here frequently get married during college (while in my upbringing, it was sort of expected that you'd wait until your late 20s -- at least). And part of my viewpoint comes from the whole Steve situation. I wonder if I would have adapted better to college if I hadn't been entangled with the whole Steve thing during my first two years. Of course, you can't tell what would have happened in the past; I might have felt even more isolated and alone without that chaotic relationship. Could have gone either way. Still, I hold the opinion that the long-distance freshman-year relationship is more likely a bad thing than a good thing.

This morning I logged onto Facebook to see if The Topologist had managed to get near some Wi-Fi and to play the next move in our Scrabble game (alas, no), and the news feed was filled with information about my student. Changed relationship status, changes to profile information, new profile picture. Looks like she has broken up with the boyfriend (and un-friended him entirely!).