Summer 2020: A Guide To Staying Safe and Having Fun

Ashley Alcantara

The 2019-2020 school year has been abruptly cut short, with an official end date of June 17. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the nation (but mostly in New York), causing a variety of issues for students at the high school who have family members that serve on the front line, student’s who either contracted or have lost loved ones to the virus, and seniors who were not able to have their prom and graduation. However, after eight weeks of adjusting to distant learning and quarantine, summer break offers students a respite from the stress of school during a national pandemic. There are a wide range of activities that students can engage in to alleviate their worries and spend quality time with their family before the next upcoming school year.  

 On sunny days, try to go outside and enjoy the beauty of nature. Last week, I had a barbecue with my parents and played badminton with them in our backyard. You can sunbathe on your porch, have a picnic, or play casual sports or yard games with your siblings. During these times, it’s essential to not stay cooped up in the house all day. Stretch your muscles and get your vitamin D! You don’t need money to enjoy yourself. Even going outside for a walk while listening to music can help ease your mind and relax your body.  

A backyard badminton competition can brighten any bbq. Ashley Alcantara

 You may be thinking, what about the days when it’s raining or there’s a storm? Well, there are still many ways to keep yourself entertained without resorting to Netflix binge-watching. If you’re a bookworm, try to read a genre that you have never read before. If reading bores you, try to create something, whether it is a drawing, a painting, a robot, a building out of legos, or even customizing your sneakers. If you’re the musical type, practice a new song by singing it or play it on your instrument.  

An art project, such as this still life drawing of a vase of flowers, is a great way to spend time productively. Ashley Alcantara

 Moreover, since you have more time to spend with your family, try to play board games with them, bake with them, or even come up with your own challenges such as “who’s most likely to…” or “guess that song…You can upgrade your typical movie night by making your own snacks and movie tickets, decorating your living room with fairy lights, and making a fort out of blankets.  

 While you’re at it, host your own indoor parties! Provide your family with a theme, and require a dress code to match that theme. Be the D.J. of the party, have a designated VIP section, and take pictures to remember the event.  

 If you’re like me, you might have considered signing up for some virtual summer programs. Even though you can’t physically attend these programs in person, there’s a lot to be learned through virtual discussions and simulations. If you’re looking for a program that appeals to the career that you want to pursue, try asking your teachers or guidance counselors to suggest programs that will suit your interests. Now is the time more than ever to join a summer program, because not only do you get the experience and potentially college credit, but you get to complete the program in your pajamas!  

 With COVID-19 still permeating Long Island, and especially in the Brentwood community, it is essential to stay home when necessary, and if you do go out to public places make sure to follow safety regulations to keep yourself and others safe. To not be able to see your friends and even some of your extended family members can be challenging, but the activities listed can provide some optimism during this grim period. Just remember this, in the midst of these uncertain times, there is always something you can do to keep your spirits high.