Living through this quarantine as a young person can be very difficult because it is the perfect time to go out with friends, experience new things, travel and have fun. But with the safer-at-home order, many young people are experiencing sadness, anger, and anxiety. These desperate times call for some creativity. Most of all, it calls for some structure and strategy. Here is some advice for teenagers during quarantine.
You Are Not Alone- Teenagers During Quarantine
Knowing that many people, regardless of age, are experiencing the anxiety, fear, anger, boredom, and sadness should help you know that what you are feeling is completely normal. Of course you feel anxious, you are supposed to! A rapid review of the literature suggests that these feelings are all normal. The important thing is accepting your feelings, talking them through with a friend or family member, and acquiring strategies to get through this.
Keep Yourself Connected
It is important to keep yourself connected to your social network. Use the phone or video conference programs to remain socially engaged. This has shown to improve anxiety and the long-term effects of stress. In addition to simply talking, you may want to plan to engage in fun virtual activities with your family and friends. For example, creating something with a friend or group of friends can be fun. Try a recipe together. Watch a show together. Choreograph a dance for TikTok. The possibilities are endless. Keep it light and fun.
Communicating with your support network can be fulfilling and the perfect way to distract yourself from the COVID-19 pandemic news. Reading all of the anecdotes and alarming news surrounding the virus can be alarming and stressful. Be aware of all of the misinformation floating around social media. Stick to one or two reliable sources of information to get your news regarding the virus. Remember that not all sources on the internet are reliable. Then make a list of all of the things you’ve been wanting to do at home that you’ve never gotten around to doing. Organize your closet, start gardening, cook something, take up an art form such as music or painting. There are so many online courses that can get you started on a hobby or skill and many of them are currently being offered free of charge.
As much as possible creating and sticking to a schedule is a healthy and happier way to live. Create a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule for short term and long term plans. Include your academic responsibilities and social engagements in your scheduling. Don’t forget to include time for yourself. Down time and exercise are a crucial part of well-being. Allot time for all of these and stick to wake-up, sleep, and eating times. If possible, include some family time into your routine. Many sources are reporting an increased use of electronics. Even though that can easily become a normal part of your day, allocating time for it will prevent you from becoming a slave to it. Do not go online all day, whenever you want. Instead, have a time set out for it daily.
Keep Your Goals In Mind
Even though you’re home and not physically at school, your goals to attend college are not over. Keep studying for your courses and for your college entrance exams. The SAT may be cancelled, but the ACT isn’t. We recommend you begin studying for that and make a plan. If you are interested in an online course for the ACT, read more here. Read our tips and testing suggestions here. Many schools have decided against dropping student grades, but there are still possibilities for improving grades and maintaining high scores. Most importantly, keep studying because you need to learn the content for your present and future.
Create or Start Something New
Since you should still be focused on getting into college and doing well academically, you should think of a way to do something innovative that will help you stand out from other applicants. In lieu of college entrance exams or grades, colleges may ask students what they accomplished during the quarantine to demonstrate initiative. Some young people have started programs to help the sick while others have spent time perfecting their skills. Think of something you can do that interests you and makes you unique. Do something fun and don’t be too anxious about it. Read more on handling your anxiety while getting into your dream school.
Of all the advice you can hear or read about this is the most important- Be You. Take time to yourself, to unwind, to be kind to yourself. Take time to think about who you are and what you want in your life. This is a time of reflection and self-care. Do You!