This spring is an unusual spring. With social distancing in effect and everything non-essential cancelled or shut down, many college students are left with very few options for places to go and things to do.
Spring is usually associated with enjoying the outdoors but this spring will be a little different than past years due to the coronavirus pandemic that is causing global shutdowns. College will remain in effect online for the remainder of the semester and that means a major change in lifestyle for many. Students will have more time on their hands but will not be able to participate in their usual social activities for what remains an unknown period of time and many people are fearing boredom and anxiety due to isolation.
Here are some things you can do to stay upbeat and to make the best of the situation during this challenging time.
Stream movies and TV shows
Watching TV and movies has always been a popular form of entertainment. With today’s technology and resources of streaming, binge-watching is easier than ever and is handy for this situation.
For those who already have streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus, binge watching favorite movies and TV shows will be a helpful source of amusement. Many sites offer student discounts and free trials.
Netflix has introduced a new feature to their service called Netflix Party which will allow friends to watch movies and TV shows together in sync while having a group chat to talk in.
Clean up and redecorate
It is especially important to clean during this time in order to prevent getting sick so use this time to wipe down commonly touched surfaces.
You can also redecorate by moving furniture around, adding lights and putting up artwork, posters and photos. You may be surprised how much you can get done during this time.
You can also take this time to get more organized by decluttering and going through clothes.
Do arts and crafts
Being creative is good for the mind to relax and do something enjoyable. It is important to keep yourself busy and have some fun. Some activities you can do are painting, drawing, scrapbooking, creating vision boards, practicing photography and making collages from magazine cutouts and your own photos.
Pinterest also has many creative ideas for crafts.
Read a book
Curling up with a good book is always a productive thing to do. Reading is a great activity you can do on your own and it can be a good stress-reliever and form of entertainment.
Libraries may be closed right now but there are still plenty of ways to access books online and many websites have online book clubs and recommendation lists.
Play board games
There are several options for games whether you are playing solo, with two people or with a group.
Some classic single player games include Concentration, Solitaire, Rubik’s Cube, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, as well as online games on your phone, tablet and computer.
Popular two-player games that can be played with family are Connect Four, Othello, Tic-Tac-Toe, Chess, Checkers, Battleship and Stratego.
More group games are UNO, Scrabble, Charades, Sorry, Monopoly, Clue, Taboo, Yahtzee, Pictionary, Clue, The Game of Life, Blackjack, Poker and What Do You Meme.
“My favorite game to play with family is Monopoly,” Michelle Piccone, a sophomore psychology major, said.
While not everyone may have these games, just a simple deck of cards is enough for several possibilities and lots of fun.
Video games and apps are also great options for playing alone or with friends.
Video call and chat with friends and family
With video apps such as FaceTime, Skype, Google Duo and Houseparty available for free in the app store there are many ways to get in touch with loved ones beyond text messages and phone calls.
Some apps, like Houseparty, even offer games on group video calls.
Piccone also believes that it is important to stay in touch with friends and family during this time in order to not feel isolated from friends completely.
“I like to FaceTime with my friends since we can’t hang out or get together right now,” she added.
Spend a little bit of time outdoors
While it is important to practice social distancing it is also important to get fresh air and get some vitamin D.
Jemmy Medina, a junior criminology and sociology major, looks forward to being outside when the weather gets nice in the spring.
While gyms may be closed, students can still exercise at home. Students can still go outside and get exercise by going for a walk or taking their dog for a walk. They can enjoy the weather by just sitting outside for fresh air and even doing homework there. Just be sure to wash your hands when you go back inside.
There are limits on being outdoors right now but the Centers for Disease Control has not entirely restricted going outside. While there is still an option to go outside, try to take advantage of the nice weather but avoid crowds. It is uncertain what changes will come in the future as far as quarantine rules are or how long the quarantine will last, so for now take some time to enjoy the outdoors while you can. It is still spring and the weather may do your body some good and boost your energy and spirits.