Editor's Note: Ask Eric is an advice column published every Tuesday. Anonymous questions are taken from this Google form. Questions are also taken both from The Collegian's Instagram, @thecollegianur, and via email, collegianaskeric@gmail.com.

Hello all,

If you thought a small thing like the school closing was going to stop me from writing this column, you were mistaken. Now more than ever, it is important to have a little levity in our lives. Things are scary right now, and I know that many of us are feeling a lot of different emotions about the school turning to online classes for the rest of the semester. I know seniors especially are bummed out about Commencement. I have felt everything from anger to sadness about the developments involving the school, but I love writing this column, and I have fun doing it, so I will continue to do so. I hope all of you can continue to do things you enjoy or find something new to help you destress. 

That being said, COVID-19 should be taken seriously. I know that being young and not in an affected age group makes everything going on seem like a total overreaction. Not everyone is in the same situation that many of us are, though. Some people are old, and some are chronically sick. For them, this virus could be life or death. 

So I encourage that everyone follow the CDC recommendations of social distancing and hygiene. Please do not go out and party. Stay in and find something else to do. I, for one, am reinstalling Skyrim, which is my favorite game of all time. This virus will not define our college careers. It may seem all-consuming now, but attitude has a significant impact on how you will feel moving forward. With all of that, let’s get to the questions.

  
I am a second-semester senior, and I think I have feelings for my best friend. Is it worth dropping the bomb? Help, Eric!

These sorts of situations are always delicate, and there are a few questions to ask yourself if you want to express your feelings. One: What do I want from expressing my feelings? Do I want a relationship with this person, or am I just trying to get these feelings off my chest? 

Two: Would I want to stay friends if I am rejected? I see it happen all the time: People are friends, and then one of them drops this, and the friendship doesn’t seem to recover after. Usually, this is the fault of the person who expressed their feelings as they tend to distance themselves from their friend who rejected them. I think that if you are willing to remain friends despite rejection there is no problem in taking the chance. You will have to be accepting of whatever answer is given, though, no matter how disappointing. So I would say go ahead and try it if you think your friendship can handle it, but given the current state of the school, it is possible nothing will come from it.


Who would win in a battle between a great white shark and a grizzly bear? Assume the fight is fought on neutral grounds, so the shark can move as it would in the water and the bear can move as it would on land.

A great white shark would win hands down. For one, a fully grown female great white shark can reach up to 5,000 pounds and be as many as 20 feet long while a fully grown male grizzly bear reaches only 790 pounds and a height of 6.5 feet, according to Wikipedia. Both animals can reach speeds of up to 35 mph but due to the larger size of the great white shark, it would do a lot more damage, also according to Wikipedia. So, in summary, the great white shark would win in a fight easily.


Semesters go by too quickly. How do I slow down and enjoy?

I imagine this question was written before the school moved to online courses, but I believe it is an applicable question even now. Since we are moving to online classes, many of us might start to feel a little stir crazy from being in our homes all of the time. 

At this point, it is essential to appreciate how to slow down in life. I know I have talked a lot on here about going to coffee shops to calm myself. Well, now I can not do that, but I have replaced it with making coffee at home and enjoying it with no distractions. Another way I slow down is simply going outside and enjoying the fresh air. Either by myself or with a friend, sitting outside and looking at the flowers or talking makes the world seem to go a little slower. 

Even though it seems like the only thing to do at home is school work, take the time to relax when you need it. 

Finally, stay in contact with friends. We live in an age where it is easy to stay connected to people over long distances, so let’s make sure we all stay in touch and keep each other happy and sane. 

Well, that is all for me this time guys; I am off to make an entirely new team of editors translate the gibberish I put onto a page into a readable column. I know that this first week will be stressful for a lot of us as we transition to online classes. If anyone needs someone to talk to, I encourage them to seek the help they need. We are all in the same boat, and we should help each other when we have the chance. Until next week, y’all. 

Stay safe, and have fun.

Wash your hands,
Eric Bossert

Contact columnist Eric Bossert at eric.bossert@richmond.edu.