DR. WALLACE: Ever since COVID-19 hit and we have had to do our classes from home, I find that I am prone to daydreaming a lot. I really only daydreamed once or twice a year back when I was busier and on the go, but now I find a lot of my idle time has me thinking about many things, and this leads me into many daydreams.
I do get my work done, but I'm finding that my daydreams are now a fairly large substitute for my social life. Do I have a problem because of this tendency? Once in a while, I even daydream during our remote video classes, especially when the teacher gets pretty boring. I do get good grades, and I'm usually on the honor roll at my school, but I'm not sure how to deal with this. — Dreaming of Getting My Life Back, via email
DREAMING OF GETTING MY LIFE BACK: You probably aren't the only one daydreaming during a boring school lesson, especially since you must stare at a small video screen for hours. I trust a lot of your classmates are having the same experience.
I'm sure your teachers are doing their best to keep the remote learning as fresh and engaging as possible, but don't forget that this is a mighty challenge for teachers and instructors, too. They put in many more hours now trying to come up with ways to adapt to the tough circumstances we all are facing. So, as to your school daydreaming, don't worry about it, and do your best to focus as much as you can. Keep some fresh air circulating (use a fan if necessary), and keep sipping a glass of cold water, as this will also help to keep you mentally sharp during your lessons.
Daydreaming is an escape vehicle where your mind craves stimulation, and it can help you leave boredom behind. Basically, it's a vehicle to take your mind to a more pleasant and enjoyable place from time to time. It's perfectly normal to daydream; everyone does it one time or another. I truly believe this time of COVID-19 has caused a worldwide uptick in daydreaming, with some individuals engaging in it more than others. I would not be worried about it as long as you can still get the important things in your life accomplished on time.
Daydreaming could be considered a problem if it takes the place of everyday living. In other words, when one dreams instead of actually doing, and this persists on an ongoing basis to the detriment of one's daily life, I recommend professional counseling.
I trust that once this pandemic ends, the frequency of your daydreaming will decline as your busy life kicks in once again.
TEACHING EXPERIENCE IS NOT NECESSARY
DR. WALLACE: I've always dreamed of a career in education. I want to work with young people to help guide them through their lives to the best of my ability.
I thought at first that I wanted to become an English teacher at the high school level, but now, after much more thought and study of the educational field, I think I would enjoy being a high school counselor much more. I feel counseling would provide me the greatest chance to positively enhance the lives of students who I would interact with.
So, my question is, would it be possible for me to go directly into the high school counseling field, or would I be required to become a teacher for a period of time first? I guess I'd be all right with starting out as a teacher, but I already know that my heart is set on becoming a counselor, where I could spend more time with each student in an effort to truly guide them on their journey into life upon their graduation from high school. — Future Counselor, via email
FUTURE COUNSELOR: I have good news for you! It is indeed possible to become a high school counselor without classroom teaching experience first. The key is that the candidate has the proper credentials for counseling, so focus on this field right away as you begin your college studies.
Furthermore, I suggest that you contact at least three counselors from three different high schools in your area to get their perspectives on the profession, their advice on how to best enter the field and their experiences in their careers. Yes, I'm suggesting that you seek your own guidance counseling for your own career!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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