To put it bluntly, this sucks.
You have every right to be mad, sad, anxious, and even a bit depressed about what’s been lost of your senior year to a virus with the same name as a beer.
But while it’s okay to acknowledge and express these negative emotions, you don’t want to live in this state of victimhood. At some point, bemoaning what’s been lost needs to be set aside so that you can start to focus on what does still lie ahead and what you are able to do with your extra time.
You might want to start off by reading this article by someone who’s somewhat been in your shoes and offers some great perspective.
Next, here are some other ideas (yes, I know some of these may have been offered up by your parents, but yes, I’m a parent, too). I know you have plenty more ideas of your own and would welcome hearing them!
- Maintain somewhat of a routine – this can help give you some sense of control. Try to get up at the same time every day (in the morning, preferably) and keep doing those things that are important, such as schoolwork, AP test prep, personal hygiene etc.
- Exercise of any kind is important – how about a virtual workout with a friend or a new workout from YouTube? Lots of exercise gurus are also posting free online workouts. Research shows that morning workouts pay bigger benefits and set the tone for the rest of the day.
- Do something for someone else – studies also show that helping others is one of the world’s best mood boosters. Have an older neighbor who may need some assistance? Can you have a daily facetime date with an isolated relative? Make lunch for your parent who may be telecommuting?
- Research other online learning – your forced online coursework may be your first introduction to this format. If you like it, check out other online course offerings, such as the free ones offered by schools such as Stanford, Virginia and many others. You also can check out what online courses may be offered for credit by your local community college this summer to get a jump on that college degree.
- Create something – maybe a Spotify playlist to share with friends that highlights the music of your 4 years of high school or college or a photo scrapbook to give to friends as a graduation gift. Or even get a start on creating something for your dorm room, such as a photo collage.
- Pare down your current belongings – yes, this is a different way of saying clean your room, but with a different goal in mind. Go through your belongings thinking critically about what you’ll want to take with you to college, keep behind for safekeeping or get rid of altogether.
- Ask parents or other relatives to tell you about their college experience if they have one. How did they choose their school or major? What’s their favorite college memory? If they could go back to college today, what would they do differently?
- Cook a meal – it’s never too early to learn this vital skill.
- Spend time on the accepted student Facebook page for your chosen school to meet your future classmates. And speaking of Facebook, there are all sorts of free concerts by today’s famous musicians popping up on Facebook and Instagram live, so check those out.
- Start planning your fall – check out the residence life page of your college to learn more about dorm room dimensions, what’s allowed or needed, such as a rug, microwave, refrigerator, etc.; visit the student life page for ideas of what organizations you’d like to join your freshman year.
I know that none of these activities brings back your last sports season, theatrical production or other culminating events, but I also know that you are an incredibly bright, talented, resilient group of young people who will know how to appreciate all of the memories that life holds for you. So once this social distancing ends, please Go Forth and Do Great Things. In the meantime, stay home and do the little things that make each day a little better.
Robbye Fox is a PEP Certified Parent Educator and Educational Consultant with The College Lady.