Dear Barb – Distance Difficulties

Dear Barb:

I am in my early thirties and have been working at a low paying job for about 10 years. I thought about returning to school, but I couldn’t afford to quit my job and go full time, so I decided to try distance learning. I applied to AU last year and I’m already on my third course. My marks are pretty good and I’m feeling accomplished, however I am having problems with motivation. Distance learning is a whole new thing for me and I feel very alone. I am competitive by nature and since I don’t have any communication with other students, I am not able to see how I am doing in comparison to others. I have found a facebook page and have connected with a few students. I know I should research this on my own, but can you suggest other ways I can connect with students to share information? Thanks Dave.

Hi Dave:

Good for you, going back to school is always worth the effort. Distance education provides many benefits such as being able to continue working, saving money on transportation, plus being able to work at your own pace, just to name a few. Here is an AU site where you can discover some resources available for students.

Also through this website you can connect with other students by way of various social media sites

Thanks for writing in Dave and Good Luck.

Dear Barb:

My cousin is having a birthday party for her son and she sent me an invite through messenger. The invitation was worded kind of strange and I’m not sure what to think of it. She said she wanted me to know she is having a birthday party for her son, who was turning seven, and that I am invited, but she “knows I can’t come.” We live in different cities, so maybe that is why she said that, however I would be willing to drive the two hours to attend the party, if she really wanted me to come. I don’t know how to interpret her invitation. Should I just attend, or should I ask her if she really wants me to come? Confused in Whitby!

Hey Confused!

My interpretation would be that she wants you to come, but she would understand if you weren’t able to attend because of the distance involved. Often people have a difficult time saying what they really mean so their words come out sounding awkward. I think you should graciously accept the invitation and attend her son’s birthday party, without giving it a second thought. Enjoy!

Follow Barb on twitter @BarbGod

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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