By Anushka Rajmohan
During the early months of the year 2020, the pandemic COVID-19 swept the world and warped normal life as we know it. Institutions, workplaces, shopping centers, recreational centers, and any other locations deemed as non-essential all were shut down. People around the world were deeply affected as they quarantined in their own homes, with families, pets, and sometimes even alone.
With the disruption of regular reality, students, teachers, parents, and workers all were forced to adjust their old lives to this new reality. So, how have teenagers been spending their time in quarantine?
Many of the students of the world were first overjoyed at the thought of having a break from school. However, as the quarantine was extended and these young people were forced to stay home for weeks on end, this excitement quickly turned into boredom and restlessness.
To cope with this feeling of ennui, students have been occupying themselves in the digital world more and more. Many have delved into different social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat, to stay connected with their friends and family and the world. Others have turned to platforms such as YouTube and Netflix to entertain themselves.
As a result of millions of daily viewers, some streaming services have even created new supplements for subscribers and viewers to utilize. For example, Netflix has introduced the “Netflix Party,” an extension that can be used to watch Netflix at the same time as another person. Friends have been using this to hold quarantined movie nights in the safety and comfort of their own homes.
Other young people have sought enjoyment from a decades-old activity: video gaming. With the release of the Nintendo game Animal Crossing: New Horizons, many have spent hours on their Nintendo Switches, fishing for Rainbow Trout and helping animal characters in the game. This game is part of the Animal Crossing game series that consumed the childhoods of many millennials, which has led those 20-year-olds to spend their time on this game as well.
Similar to how these millennials took this chance in order to pick up old hobbies, many have followed suit and have tapped into old interests.
Ruhani Gill, a current junior at Council Rock High School North, expressed that with the amount of free time she has now, she has been “reconnecting with [her] old hobbies like painting, Tae kwon do, and reading.”
With the copious amount of time in many people’s schedules, this has been the perfect time to discover new passions and rediscover old ones.
Aside from these leisurely activities, students have also been busy with the introduction of “distance learning” by many school districts across the world. As part of distance learning in Council Rock, students are required to record their attendance every “school” day through their computers. Although this form of learning is very different from the face-to-face experience of classroom learning, thanks to the hardworking and wonderful teachers around the world, many lucky students have had the opportunity to still learn and stimulate their brains even during this lock-down period.
Teachers record lessons and post them on a learning platform, such as the vastly used Canvas, and then later, students can access these lessons. In addition to these lessons, many teachers have been utilizing applications such as Zoom to virtually see their students and lecture in that manner.
Although these seemingly superficial activities that these young people and teenagers are engaging themselves in may seem trivial compared to the suffering and chaos occurring in the world as of the moment, it is important to recognize how this young generation is dealing with such an important moment in history.
Even though this virulent virus has rattled the world, these teenagers have managed to adapt to this new situation and to be brave in the face of chaos. This very flexible mindset should be both applauded and applied to one’s own life.
Recommendations from students on how to spend your time during quarantine: