Illustration by Olivia Kharrazi
School is almost over. There is only a week left, and it’s hard for most students to focus on anything. Most students would be in cruise control right now if they were still in school and are even more so with the coronavirus forcing them to do work from home. Due to the widespread fear of the coronavirus pandemic, it is easy to focus on the downsides of this new way of life in quarantine; however, there are positives in the world right now, too. Although being locked in the house might seem like a complete waste of time, this is an opportune chance for people to use quarantine wisely to develop talents and better their community.
One simple way to not only keep busy but also help the fight against the coronavirus is by donating masks or money to organizations that are helping people in need. At the Bon Air Center in Greenbrae, volunteers collect mask donations in the parking lot for people unable to afford them. The volunteers are usually out on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone can also donate money to other various organizations that are helping our communities during this time of need such as Save the Children, Convoy of Hope and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation.
Another productive way to spend time—especially for juniors—is to work on college essays. It’s important to get started early and save time during what could be a stressful fall semester of senior year with the uncertainties of Redwood’s plan. The importance of writing a strong college essay is prevalent now more than ever because some colleges are making ACT and SAT scores optional.
This is also the perfect time to hone in on a passion. Write a book, paint or practice an instrument; the possibilities are endless as long as you love the activity. Doing something one loves can only help result in positive outcomes, so why not start now? According to the South African College of Psychology, “Research found that the sustained experience of reading… might increase mental flexibility.” Greater mental flexibility allows people to better adapt their thoughts and behaviors to situations and are more likely to seek out new solutions to problems. Also, reading improves creativity and enhances brain connectivity and function. It’s important during quarantine to work your brain every day to help with creativity and problem-solving.
While learning new subjects enhances brain function, it is fine not to take advantage of quarantine all the time. People shouldn’t solely work all the time; staying healthy and safe is essential as well, and keeping oneself busy should not jeopardize this. According to the World Health Organization, even though it is recommended that people exercise and stay healthy, many people are doing fewer tasks and jobs in order to not come in contact with the coronavirus. While it can be rewarding to accomplish tasks or pursue a passion, they should only be done while staying healthy and keeping others safe.
That being said, it is so easy to take advantage of this time off, even at home. Use this time wisely to work on something interesting and try something new. Have fun with it. Anything is possible!