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The lingering toll of 2020

Lockdown. Quarantine. Safer at home. Who hasn’t lost touch with friends?

Our elder suggests that this high-school grad take the lead to reconnect with classmates. Read on for her ideas on how to get started.

 

Dear EWC:

I’m 18 years old and 2020 was pretty bad for me. One of the biggest reasons why is because I really lost contact with my friends who I graduated high school with. I haven’t spoken to most of them since March-May of last year and I want to reconnect with them again just so I don’t feel as isolated as I’ve felt these past few months. 

While I still keep in contact with a few of my friends and I’ve met and befriended new people this past year, I just feel like there’s been an emptiness since school ended and I lost contact with everybody, and at the same time I worry that they don’t want to see me anymore, even though I can’t think of anything I did to drive them away. 

How can I go about reaching out to them when it’s been so long since we last spoke?

 

JensPen replies:

I am so glad that you have written about reconnecting with your old friends. I must agree with you that 2020 was a pretty bad year for most of us. Happily though, we have now left it in the dust and can move forward with more hope and anticipation of a better year ahead. 

Many people are feeling exactly as you are, lonely and isolated. I have experienced the same and during that time, I’ve thought of old friends and work colleagues that I haven’t been in touch with for years. Since so many of us are stuck at home we all have more time on our hands, and in my opinion this is a perfect time to reconnect.

Here’s where social media comes in handy. While I am not on Facebook, I bet you are and that is the perfect way to reach out to some of these friends you are missing. Send a message to someone in particular or post something more general. Be upbeat and curious, “Hey old friends, how have you all been doing during this pandemic? I miss our good times in high school. What are you up to?” I’m sure your friends will be happy to hear from you. 

I emailed some old friends and they were really open to reconnecting. It’s fun to catch up. I actually heard from a first cousin of mine that I lost contact with more than 25 years ago. We have now reconnected and are having fun getting reacquainted online.

So the answer to your question is “just do it!” Who would you most like to reconnect with? Give a shout out to that person and I am confident that you will be happily received. 

Good luck to you. You have nothing to lose and lots to gain. I hope you will find my advice helpful. Please feel free to write again should you have any more questions. We elders welcome the opportunity to share our life wisdom with advice seekers such as yourself.

Friendship 

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