During this time when you are stuck inside, it is easy to wallow in your house without anything to do. If you want to be productive, you could just go online and find a series of optimistic and unrealistic suggestions that will make you feel bad for sleeping in and playing video games. With this article, though, I hope I can offer some suggestions that will reach my fellow students who are stuck with trudging through draining online school days followed by lazy afternoons at which point you feel too mentally tired from schoolwork. Since Cistercian will finish the fourth quarter electronically, it is important for the sake of one’s sanity to find ways to have fun while also being productive. The hardest part of being productive, whether at the beginning of school or after, seems to be getting started on anything. To get the creative “juices” flowing, one could:
Do trick shots. What kind of trick shot or what materials you use is up to you. I found that throwing ping-pong balls into a strategically placed solo cup does just fine. Not only does this get me invested in something, but it also is a good release after the boring day I’ve had.
Go outside. Everyone has different access to outdoors activities so this varies by what you can do, but it feels good to be able to just think to yourself away from siblings or parents, or not think at all and blow off some steam. Whether you are exercising for athletics or just going on a walk, it feels good and keeps you in touch with nature. You can also bring along music for your activity.
Participate in some art. It’s not about drawing or painting. You can totally skip this as an option if you are like the majority of high-schoolers who only look to art for an easy A in an elective. However, this is a great time to express your emotions creatively. You could just write words filling up a page by finding some markers (I’m sure they are somewhere).
Once you’ve gotten school out of your system, you could plan out the course of your idea or just go headlong into it. It really just depends on what you want to do. Here are a few things for thought:
Read a book (or books). Although this is a classic option, you could be creative with what genre or specific author you read. Find something interesting. The worst feeling is suffering through trying to read a dense book that you hate, and then feeling bad about yourself because it is considered a classic. The same goes for movies (and TV shows). Just watch or read what you enjoy.
Keep a journal. I know very few people, especially males, keep journals, but nobody knows how important this will all be years later when you’re asked about what it was like during the coronavirus. This is a distinguishing mark on our generation, and it would be nice to be able to look back on this time through your own writing.
Maybe you want to learn something with very little effort, or just have something in the background. Podcasts are a great option. I never really listened to a series of podcasts before, but now I have the time to find one that I like. These are great for learning about sports, music, or history, and you’ll rarely find a podcast that is boring or too general.
Of course there is FaceTime, Houseparty, or Zoom if you need to see some faces other than your parents’. Isolation can be a real problem, so it is healthy to talk to others, especially if you are in a small family. As much as it would be great to hang out with your friends, try to limit human contact outside of your family, not just for your own safety, but for the sake of other people’s health that you may inadvertently be endangering. And if you just want some family time, I’m sure your family has started breaking out Monopoly or Risk.
Finally, there are specific hobbies that you may already be doing or want to pick up. You could try out an instrument, learn another language, build a model, or even go bird watching. For every person, there’s bound to be some hobby.
I have often felt the “bleh” factor after the school day ends. However, there are still plenty of different things you can do during this quarantine, and if you can just keep yourself going after school ends, you may find this quarantine to not be so bad.