Updated: Jul 11, 2020
There’s no denying it: our world has flipped upside down.
Students who were supposed to be going to school and studying for standardized tests are now stuck at home, trying to tackle a new, digital way of learning. Restaurant and business owners are forced to shut down their stores for an indefinite amount of time, leaving their employees with minimal, if any, salaries. People are lining up at hospitals and clinics, desperate for immunization to protect them and their loved ones. Amidst a global pandemic such as the coronavirus, it’s natural to feel lost, confused, and even hopeless. But many of us are wondering: How can we make the most of our situation living at home? How can we contribute to local businesses and endeavors? And what can we do to help those who need it most?
Stretch your Skillset
It’s no lie that we have a lot of spare time on our hands, so why not make the most use of it? If there is a skill or hobby you have wanted to develop for a long time, but never had the time to do so, now is your opportunity! Several education platforms such as Khan Academy, Codeacademy, edX, and Coursera offer a diverse array of classes -- from coding to Pythagorean mathematics to Greek mythology, the possibilities are endless! Utilize this time to grow your skills and learn something new along the way.
These past few weeks, many of us have received emails from summer programs, explaining that their programs have been canceled due to concerns revolving around the coronavirus. But that doesn’t have to mean that our summer opportunities are gone -- we can still seek remote internships and research positions! The first step to unlocking such opportunities is to have a strong presence on recruiting platforms such as LinkedIn, where employers and researchers can find and learn more about us. We can then cold-email these employers, tell them a little bit about ourselves, and ask about any summer opportunities.
Endeavors to Help Others
At a time like this, many of us want to help others in any way we can, and believe it or not, there are many ways we can give back to our community as teens. Many teens are sewing masks and donating them to hospitals, tutoring students online, and even creating their own online babysitting companies! There is no limit to how we can help others during this time, whether it be financially through fundraisers, collecting and delivering groceries to family and friends who are immunocompromised, or connecting with others and keeping communication alive.
Flaunt your Fortes
Think of some of your hobbies! Whether it be gardening, cooking, art, or more, you can showcase your hobby to the world and teach others about it. Using formats such as blogs, Youtube channels, or portfolios, you can exhibit your skills and interests –and maybe– get other people interested in them too!
At the End of the Day...
As you explore ideas to keep yourself engaged while making a difference in your community, know that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. But by going day-by-day and doing what you can to help those around you, we can emerge from this pandemic stronger and wiser.