I never realized how much I miss leaving my house until now. It’s simple, but the ability to get coffee, to go grocery shopping when I’m out of lemons or to go grab shampoo when I run out. Now–I can’t do that. To leave my house, I have to suit up in a mask, armed with hand sanitizer. I haven’t seen a friend, or a person my age, face to face since March 15.
It’s really tough not being able to see my friends every day, especially when I was used to sharing a room with two of them for weeks. I’ve been trying to keep up with people, though, so I’m going to share some resources for staying connected & making sure you are taking care of yourself during this pandemic!
We all know it. I’m using it for my college classes. I feel like by the end of this, we’ll all be zoom pros. But, Zoom allows for you to virtually connect to a large number of people at one time, which is really great so you aren’t limited to the 4 people WhatsApp video.
What can we do on Zoom? There are so many things to do! Zoom has great features such as the share screen, so you can watch YouTube videos with your friends at the same time using the screen share button & chat about it using the chat function. I really like this & have used it so that I can show my friends Youtube videos without having to wait for each person to watch it individually.
You can also do PowerPoint Parties! I’ve been doing some of those, and they’re honestly so much fun. As someone who loves organization and graphs, I love making PowerPoints. For a PowerPoint party, all you have to do is make a slideshow with a topic, and share it using the screen-share function of Zoom with your friends! I’m currently re-watching Glee and am planning a PowerPoint party where we all tackle a different character from Glee & talk about their best and worst moments. For me, the wackier and the weirder the topic is, the better. It’s really nice to be able to take a moment to relax, laugh and feel like you’re back with your friends again.
You can even do workouts on Zoom if that makes you feel happy! If exercising makes you feel good, see if any of your friends want to try so that you can have a friend doing it alongside you.
a great Google Chrome extension! Netflix party allows for you to watch a show at the same time as your friends & chat about it. All that you need to do is download the Netflix Party extension to your Google Chrome browser and start watching!
Book Club/Podcast Club
Get a group of friends together and set about reading a book each week or listening to a podcast! You can text about the book/podcast and then come together over Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangout, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, whatever, each week to talk about it. I personally really love podcasts, and I’ve done listening parties with my friends during quarantine! I’ve included my personal suggestions for books and podcasts at the bottom!
With Zoom, you can do a virtual background & pretend like you are in your favorite coffee shop, spot in school, or maybe even on a beach! If you’re someone who needs to study with others, this is a great way to be able to be with others while studying.
Most of us have played Kahoot in school, and it is so fun! You can create your own Kahoot games with your friends and play on Zoom!
There are websites online that generate random words or phrases for you to draw! You can play over something like Zoom by drawing individually on a piece of paper, or even over text!
Schedule weekly lunches or dinners with your friends! You can plan a meal theme (Taco Tuesday!?) and all get online to talk and eat so it feels like you’re still back at school.
Old fashioned, but fun! Do a pen pal system with your friends and send each other letters. It’s always fun to be able to open up a new letter. Someone I know from a club at school posted on her Instagram story asking if anyone wanted to be pen pals, and it was a great way to stay connected with people I don’t usually talk to!
Book Suggestions, all written by women!
Use this time to read stuff for fun! Try a genre that makes you really happy or something you’ve always wanted to read.
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (Ages 14+)
- Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi (Ages 15+)
- The Namesake by Jumpha Lahirii (Ages 14+)
- The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (Ages 13+)
- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (Ages 13+) This book will be released May 19, and it is the prequel to the rest of the Hunger Games trilogy!
“Stuff You Missed in History Class” (Ages 15+)
“The Mortified Podcast” (Ages 15+) This one could be fun to talk about with your parents to see what they were like in high school!
“Radiolab” (Ages 14+)
“Curious with Josh Peck” (Ages 14+)
“Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain” (Ages 14+)