COVID-19 Brings a Totally Different Type of Taxing SeasonSubmitted by DuBoi McCarty, Counseling Faculty

When the month of April arrives, we often look forward to new experiences. We anticipate enjoying more sunshine, warmer weather, spring sports, blooming flowers, spring fashion, proms, graduations, vacations, family reunions, and spending time with people we love and appreciate. Yet, with all of these anticipated new experiences, April is also known as tax season. Tax season sometimes is met with dread and nervous embrace.

Taxes may be considered a required resource contribution to the greater functioning of our society. For some, tax season is a time when they are required to produce resources that they don’t have readily available. Others experience tax season as a time when they learn they have contributed over the amount required of them, and they will receive a tax refund. Our familiarity with taxes gives us a method for understanding what we must do and how we must contribute. Although tax season may not be our favorite experience, we have familiar systems in place for how to work through it successfully.

In our current experience with COVID-19, we find ourselves taxed in ways that are unfamiliar. We have been required to live in a way that is unprecedented in our lifetime. The culture for how we function as educators, families, communities, and friends has changed overnight. Some people have experienced silver linings of hope by having more time to spend with loved ones, maintaining financial stability, and time to develop new hobbies and fix up their homes. While others have experienced financial crisis, seclusion in toxic home environments, deteriorated health, and an overall loss of hope in all that was meaningful to them.

Without question, the lived experience of every individual will be authentically different during these times. Through it all, we are stronger when we work together. We will make it through this challenge as a community. The late great Bill Withers sung the infamous tune “Lean on Me” which encouraged us to reach out for support when we are in need.

In this time, it is important to be mindful of your needs and seek opportunities to practice self-care. Know that your continued support of our students is appreciated as we face uncertainty. Also remember counseling services at Harper are still available, and counselors are able to check in with students to provide support for them. Students may request the support of a Harper counselor by calling 847.925.6393. Our counseling staff will respond to their request and contact the student by phone. Additionally, we encourage students to become familiar with Counseling Services at https://www.harpercollege.edu/services/counseling/index.php which is our counseling center website.

We will make it through these taxing times as a Harper community, and we will emerge stronger from what we are enduring.

Take care everyone,

DuBoi McCarty, Counseling Faculty