• Jacob Zarate

But I have nothing to do...yet

So, congratulations, you made it through finals. Now what? Lucky for you, I have compiled a short list of things you can do to pass the time while feeling accomplished, and not like the lazy bum your parents seem to think you are.


1. Paint Your Glass Windows


I know I know, it sounds a little lame. However at the beginning of our Covid-19 quarantine, my family and I painted our glass door in the kitchen and we actually had a lot of fun doing it. The only things you need for this project is painter’s tape (to protect areas that you do not want to paint), washable paint and some basic brushes. You can decorate with Christmas patterns, stained-glass patterns or even freestyle and paint random drawings. The best part of it all, is that the moment you get tired of what you painted, you can wash it with some soap and water and start all over again. Here is a link to some washable paint from Amazon!



2. Make Christmas Cards


Not only will you get brownie points from your parents for saving them a trip to the store, but you will also get brownie points from the relatives and/or friends who receive them, because it lets them know that you care. To some extent (just kidding). But seriously it is an easy way to do something nice for other people, and it is therapeutic if you do not let your inner perfectionist ruffle your feathers. Take some time and get in a creative mood! Here are some ideas you can get for inspiration.


3. Organize A Family Zoom Meeting


Living in 2020 has been so hard that I would not be surprised if the “I Survived” series made a special edition titled “I Survived The Pandemic of 2020.” One of the most difficult challenges we have faced is the inability to travel very much to visit other family members. For the people who have not been able to see their extended families in a while, try organizing a virtual meeting. You can use any platform (like Facetime or Google Meets), and talk virtually. If you are meeting multiple families with younger kids, try playing games with them through the screen. One of my favorites resembles a scavenger hunt. Each family (a minimum of three is needed to play) complies a list of objects that need to be found (ie. a spoon, 67 cents in exact change, a purple sock, etc.). Then take turns saying an item out loud. The remaining families then race each other to be the first team to visually present the object over Zoom (or whichever platform you choose). The family who finds and presents the object first receives one point. Feel free to play however many rounds you want. The team with the most points wins and is entitled to bragging rights, of course.


4. Learn to Cook


I know you probably have not thought about it too much but you, dear high schooler, will someday move out of your parents' house (hopefully, for your parents' sake). And unfortunately, that means that we have to learn how to survive and make food because living off of Netflix and Poptarts is bad for your heart, or so I have heard. Try watching cooking videos and shows, then imitate them in the kitchen. Your first attempts might not be edible, but do not give up! Maybe try and get that family recipe from your grandma, because trust me, if you attempt to create something from scratch, it is not going to turn out as great. Now is the time to put your "useful math skills" to use and start measuring those fractions. Fun, right? Here is a link to some expert chefs and recipes!



5. Start a Journal


Now I know this might not sound exactly appealing at first glance, so let me help you paint a mental picture. You, a student, turn in your first essay since our long break, walk up and physically (or digitally) place it on your teacher’s desk (or inbox). Your teacher’s eyes widen as they glance at your essay and realizes that they are in the presence of a genius. Of course, this is due to the fact that your writing has improved significantly because you started a daily (or weekly) journal. As hinted previously, the benefits of doing so include an improvement in your writing skills (which in turn improves your grades), vocabulary, creative thinking and I if I am going to be honest here, it is a cool hobby to pick up. It is cool because years down the road you can pick up your journal and reminisce about the "fun" times you had in 2020. If you really do not want to write about your own personal events, then write short stories! Writing alleviates stress, and as high schoolers I am certain that only good things come out of having less to worry about.


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