Ashley’s Adventures: Closing out the school year in pandemic style

It may not seem like the end of the school year. Without the stressful cumulative tests; fervent yearbook signings; lunches in the courtyard under the spring sun; and proper goodbyes to friends, classmates, and teachers, the end of the year does not feel the same. Even though we are transitioning into summer, it still feels like we are stuck in limbo. 

On June 15, school and online learning came to an end in earnest while the county and state slowly reopened. With many common summer activities unavailable due to social distancing guidelines and safety concerns, here are some options on how you can celebrate the end of the school year and enjoy the summer pandemic style.

*Note: With any recommended activities that involve being outside or interacting with other people, remember to follow CDC guidelines.*

Activities for you and your friends:
  • Plan a game night
    • Video chat with a group of your friends and play some online games. It is a great way to reconnect, and there are tons of options, from Spyfall to Minecraft. Search google for hundreds of online game ideas.
  • Meet up in an open space and have a picnic
    • Pack a nice lunch for yourself and meet in an open area outside to have socially-distanced lunch with friends. Enjoy the nice weather with friends and catch up on your quarantine hobbies and habits.

Activities for you and your family:
  • Take a family walk or bike ride
    • Explore some trails outside. Maybe just take a walk around your neighborhood. Remember to try and find locations that are not crowded to ensure that you do not have to compromise on social distancing.
  • Go for a scenic drive at night
    • If your family owns a car, this is another great option. Since the weather is warming up, you may not want to be in the car during the day. But in the evenings, when it gets a bit cooler, roll down those windows and feel the breeze. It’s a great way to enjoy the weather and relax, while also exposing yourself to a change of scenery.

Activities for you:
  • Go outside
    • Even if you just stand outside of your house, go outside. Take a walk. Feel the warmth of the sun. Listen for birds. According to Harvard Health Publishing, being out in nature reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Commit to self-care Sundays
    • Turn on some music and put your phone down. For a couple hours, dedicate some time to yourself doing an activity you enjoy. Remember, you do not necessarily have to be amazing at what you like to do. Paint a self-portrait, draw a comic, cook a family recipe, bake some cookies, kick around a soccer ball and learn some trick shots, take a bike ride around your community, try a new workout, or do a skin care routine. The key to this is to disconnect. With distance learning, we are all spending substantially more time on our devices, and it is important to set aside time for ourselves to recharge.
Courtesy of Ashley Thommana
BAKING GALORE To keep myself busy, I've been baking cookies and trying new recipes.
  • Learn a new skill
    • As a follow-up, try and pick up some new skills. Some interesting skills that might even help on your resume include video editing, photography, coding, and learning a new language. But there are tons of other options, like learning how to whistle with your fingers, twirling a pencil in your hands, or juggling!

And that wraps up a few ideas on how to celebrate summer! There is a ton to do; just tap into your creativity. As always, remember to follow CDC guidelines when outside or around others. Have a great summer, everyone!

~ Ashley

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