How to Stay at Home

Alyssa Sherry, Features Editor

I’m sure most teenagers can relate: we are never home.

On weekdays, we balance a thousand different activities and obligations—between school, extracurriculars, high school sports, working a job, club team practice, SAT/ACT prep, theater rehearsal, etc., it seems like we live outside of our homes more than we live in them. And on the weekends, we do it all over again, except we also allot time for seeing our friends and family. During the first two-thirds of my sophomore year, I can say confidently that the only three things that I spent time in my house for were homework, Netflix, and sleeping.

Now, as a person who was constantly making plans and running around, living in isolation is a foreign feeling. I’ve had a lot of time to think, and I thought I’d share a few of my ideas to fill your time:

  • Set a somewhat-normal sleep schedule. Believe me, I know it’s tempting to stay up until who-knows-when. But it is so much easier to be productive and make the most out of your time at home if you’re going to bed before 6am. 
  • Start running or working out! I know you’re all seeing those TikToks about a post-COVID19 glow-up. It can be real, if you get motivated!
  • Go for a hike with your family. I promise, you will feel so much better if you go outside. With the beginning of April has evidently come beautiful weather, so take advantage of it! 
  • Listen to music. Create a Spotify playlist for every occasion—you’ll be glad you did one day.
  • Go for a drive. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know my life feels more normal as soon as I get in the car, even if I’m not actually driving anywhere. Whether you have a license and you can drive yourself, or you need a family member to take you around, leaving the house is good for your mental health (even without a destination). And for all of my fellow sixteen-year-olds with a permit, this is an amazing opportunity to get some quality driving practice in to prepare for your test. 
  • Read a book. This one might be controversial, but nowadays you can download basically any book you want from the internet, as an eBook or an audiobook. There’s bound to be at least one that you like. 
  • Try Netflix Party with your friends! If you download the browser extension Netflix Party, you and your friends can sync your accounts to watch a movie together at the same time. If you FaceTime while doing so, you can hold your own virtual movie night. 
  • Pick up a new hobby. If you have access to the necessary equipment, try something that you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe it’s painting, maybe it’s photography, maybe it’s tennis, maybe it’s the guitar, maybe it’s cooking! Come back after quarantine with a brand-new skill to show off. 
  • Study for your AP exams. There’s lots of resources online that can help you adapt to our changing situation. And our classes are still extremely important during this time!! 
  • Learn a new language. There are lots of programs out there—Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, etc. While some require you to pay, others are completely free! This is definitely a worthwhile pursuit. 

That said, the arguably most important thing you can do during this time is maintain social distancing! I know we all really miss our friends, but the sooner we can suppress this pandemic, the sooner we’ll be able to see each other safely again. In the meantime, it’s up to you! Be creative about how to maintain connections with everyone while still staying apart.