Summer is usually a time filled with hanging out with friends, going to the lake or beach, and sometimes traveling during your time off. My summers the past few years have also consisted of waitressing at a local restaurant. I benefited from having a job and also got to hang out with my coworkers. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s summer is going to look a little different than usual this year, due to the coronavirus. Clearly, we can’t do all the summer activities we would like to do. However, there are still some fun ways to make the most of your summer!
Strengthen your relationship with the people you live with.
Whether this be family, friends, or roommates, this is a great opportunity to spend time with and become closer with the people you live with—because you’re already quarantined together! I, a college student who went home for spring break and then never went back to campus, have been living at home for the past three months. While being thrown back into life at my parent’s house unexpectedly has caused some difficulties, I’ve also really appreciated the extra time I get to spend with my family. Living so far away for college (I go to Vassar, which is in New York, but I’m from Iowa) means I don’t get to see them all that often, so I value this time I’ve been granted to be with them.
One thing I know I always wish I had the time to do is to read more. During the school year, I am reading so much for my classes that I never read for pleasure or other educational materials that interest me. During the summer I am usually so focused on work and seeing my friends that I never read then either. This summer, since we can’t really do those other activities, I’m planning on actually finally taking the time to read the many books on my super long list.
Duh, this one sounds obvious. But sometimes I go outside the least in the summer. Whether it’s because it’s hot, I sleep in, or I’m feeling lazy, I tend to stay inside. But spending time outdoors is super important to our mental health. It’s also something you can do that isn’t as affected by COVID-19. I’ve really been enjoying social distance walks with friends. If done right, this is one way you can see your friends without breaking quarantine rules. (Just make sure you actually distance yourselves!) I also sometimes love to just go lay outside and soak up the sunshine. Sun is also important for our mental health! Just make sure you are safe and wear sunscreen.
Experiment with recipes.
Something I have absolutely loved doing lately is experimenting with cooking and baking. Now that we’re not so busy with work and school, this is a great time to have some fun in the kitchen. It’s especially relevant because we can’t go out to eat at restaurants. Also, the summertime brings an abundance of fresh produce that you can use. Some of my favorite summer meals are vegetable kabobs, bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, and green salads. There are a multitude of fun summer drinks to try as well! Smoothies, milkshakes, and fruity lemonade concoctions are great ways to cool off.
These are just a few simple ways I’ve found to still be able to enjoy my days during quarantine. With the weather warming up, it’s easy to feel extra dejected that we can’t do normal activities. It’s also easy to forget about the pandemic altogether and go back to life as normal. I would urge you to remember that even if the place where you live is opening back up, COVID-19 is not gone. There will likely be a second wave. We should continue to follow social distancing norms that will keep our communities safe. But you can still enjoy yourself this summer!