Dear Parthenon


Zachary Hiser

Dear Parthenon is an advice column where readers send in their questions.

Dear Parthenon is an advice column where editors, Xena Bunton and Carter Truman, answer anonymous questions about life, college and discuss opinions or pop culture. You can send questions through social media or email at [email protected].   

What are some free or inexpensive things to do around Huntington? 

X: I love a good (or free) deal. First of all, the weather is getting warmer, and nature is free Huntington has several parks that most do not know about. Check out the 16 Huntington parks at Another free thing to do is to support local artist’s by exploring the Huntington Museum of Art. Regular admission is $5, but it is free on Tuesdays. 

C: The best free activity in Huntington is the parks — any of them really. Parks are great for contemplating existence, procrastinating on your work or suppressing the urge to pet every dog you see. Bring some friends to a park and play some frisbee, throw a football or just lay in the grass under a tree and hope a squirrel doesn’t crap on your head. The park offers such a wide range of activities that you can’t really beat it, but my top park activity recommendation is disc golf. Disc golf is a sport for those who are unskilled to play regular golf, but too cool to just play with a frisbee. Playing disc golf is like taking a hike, except you get to throw things — who wouldn’t like that? Bottomline – if you’re broke and need something to do, go outside. 

 How can I be sociable again after a year in quarantine? 

X: You don’t. Nah, just kidding, but it may be tricky at first. The process of evolving goes along with basic things like being sociable or hanging out with friends. Get out of your comfort zone. Get off your bed or couch and turn the TV off. Maybe you aren’t comfortable yet to fully go out to a restaurant, but invite some friends to a picnic at the park or take a walk. If you want to do an activity with the least amount of energy, just have a chat on the phone or hang out at home. You don’t have to go on a crazy adventure, but start getting out more. 

C: If your antisocial after a year of quarantine, or maybe just a whole lifetime of being antisocial, I would suggest making some friends who are the opposite. Go out and meet one or two people you like — who will drag you to things — even when you’re reluctant to go. You need someone in your life who’s going to try and better you, because without that constant motivation, it’s easy to slip back into old habits, especially after a year of quarantine has made us all reclusive. Now, part of this is going to require you to be willing to do things. If your friend asks you to come to do something with them, do it. You can’t just stay in your room forever, and good friends are made to help you get out and about. So, make some friends who you want to be with, and let them carry you back out into the world after this year of quarantine. 

How do you think the fall semester will look? 

X: All my classes for the fall semester are in person. Crazy, right? I am honestly nervous about it, because I only have one in-person class this past semester. How will my days look? Will I be exhausted every day? Will I be exhausted after one class? What if I don’t like in-person classes as much? I can’t avoid a question in class or turn off my camera whenever I please. I feel like school will be somewhat normal again. It is my last semester before graduation, so I am hopeful. 

C: I think the fall semester will look like the fall of 2019, hopefully. I can see them weaseling out of it somehow, but remember, the university is here for one reason — to make money. This pandemic has been a cannonball-sized hole in the university’s side, and they are bleeding badly. Attendance in residence halls has dipped tremendously, primarily because of their awful visitation policies, and now they are praying they can make that up next fall. My prediction — they won’t. I don’t think any university for the next five years will see the same level of attendance as they saw before COVID, and a lot of these places will sink because of it, but that’s good. Colleges are overpriced, underserving and bloated beyond belief; any business like that can’t and shouldn’t survive. I hope when the water comes in, and the rats leave the ship, our tuition will dip as an incentive for us to return — because if they don’t, universities across the country will go the way of Blockbuster.

You can send questions to Dear Parthenon through social media or email at [email protected]