Sept. 11, 2020 | By Kara Thomas | Illustration by Xixi Qin

Flashback to April 2020: we were all scared, but thought the pandemic would clear up by the summer — August, at the latest. Yet here we are now, in the middle of September, still bearing the brunt of a tough year.

The start of the school year offered a chance for many students who had been quarantining at home with their family to come back to campus and see their friends again, but with the recent announcement Colorado College made — that school will be mostly online for the rest of the semester and most students cannot return to campus — the tides have changed.

Like many students, I am disappointed. I am dreading the next several months of yet another round of online classes cooped up in my house. However, as easy as it is to dwell on the negatives, there are some creative ways one can keep entertained during this time.

For the Nature Lovers

  • Take a walk/hike

If you are in Colorado, there are many nearby trails you can run/hike/walk, such as the Tiger Trail, Palmer Park, Ute Valley, and many more!

  • Hike the Incline

Yes, it’s open again! You have to reserve a time online, but it’s free. Push yourself to get this completed before the first snowfall!

  • Camping

Car camp, backpack, rent out a little cabin … whatever floats your boat! Camping is a great way to get out of the city and into nature for a relaxing weekend. You could even print out your reading for class and bring it with you … but that’s optional.

For the Introverts

I, for one, am a huge introvert. The good thing is, this pandemic has forced almost everyone to become slightly introverted … but this list is for those who thrive off being alone. Or maybe you are typically extroverted but need some alone time now and then. This list is for you!

  • Start a puzzle
  • Write a letter to a loved one

Now is the time to save the post office, right? So why not do it in style? Pick up a pen and write out a letter, long or short, and mail it to a friend, family member, acquaintance. Everyone loves receiving some snail mail!

  • Read a book
  • Learn a new hobby

Could be juggling, skateboarding, painting, baking — anything, really! What have you always wanted to learn, just for the fun of it, but thought you never had time for?

  • Keep a creative log of every day that passes

2020 is going to make history. Do you want to remember what you did to pass the time? You could take a short video of every day (and compile it into a long video later), write a few words in a diary, or make a scrapbook filled with various pictures/items/stories that happen each day. Something you can look back on later in life!

For the Social Butterflies

  • Start a craft with those you are quarantined with!

My housemates and I are thinking of redesigning our backyard to make it into a more comfy, clean place for us to do work. Pick a craft that all of your friends/family/housemates can get involved in, and go for it!

  • Play some socially-distanced games

Some of my favorite are Contact, Spyfall (google it, my favorite one!), and Heads Up. You can also play most board games online for free (Catan, chess, poker).

  • Create a scavenger hunt on campus/around your neighborhood!

Have friends that live in a different dorm that you can’t see all the time? Create a scavenger hunt for them! Leave notes around campus for them to find, then have their prize in a special location. Keep this one outside so as not to risk exposing people in other buildings.

  • Have a themed “party” every Saturday

During the beginning of quarantine, when I was with my family at our home in Chicago, my mom decided it would be fun for us to have a little “party” every weekend. The only people invited were … us! We themed each week, and everyone would have a different task to do for the party (I would cook, my brother would bring a game, my sister would make the drinks, and so on). It was a fun way for us to look forward to something exciting at the end of the week, while also staying safe at home!

There is no doubt that this is a difficult time. However, whenever you feel yourself slipping into a grey area of complete boredom, come back to this list and find something to do! I encourage you to also create your own list, or take mine and refine it, just to have on hand for those days that do seem a little harder than others.

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