Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post about “10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Senior Year.” Unfortunately, for many high school students, senior year was cut short due to the pandemic. This means many senior activities that students have looked forward to for years have been cancelled such as Senior Prom, Award and Recognition dinners, and even graduation. Many students did not know their last day of high school would happen two months early. I’m here to tell you it’s okay to be upset about. You have every right to be. Don’t be afraid to cry and let your frustrations out, it’s healthier than keeping all of your emotions in. With that said, I decided to write a blog about nine things you can do as a senior in quarantine. Although it’s frustrating to not have the senior year you may have dreamed of, you shouldn’t have to spend the next few weeks or months sitting home upset all the time. Hopefully, one of these suggestions can help you take your mind off of reality for just a little bit!

1.Video Chat with Friends– Just because you can’t physically see your friends doesn’t mean you can’t hang out virtually! There are so many ways to video chat with your friends whether it’s Facetime, facebook messenger or zoom! My friends and I have nightly chats where we just talk because honestly, you need some sort of outlet during these times.

2. Netflix Party- If you like watching movies with your friends, you will love Netflix Party! Maybe you were planning to see some movie with your friends, you still can. Sure, you won’t be watching the movie together physically, but Netflix party allows you to watch the movie at the same time and it allows you to chat with them. My friends and I watched “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” last week and go to chat during the entire movie. It was a nice way to take your mind off of reality for a little bit. Just remember that you will need Google Chrome in order to download the Netflix Party extension!

3. Host a Virtual Prom– Prom is one of my fondest memories from high school. My sister’s Senior Prom was supposed to be this year. She spent weeks picking out the perfect dress. Ironically, the day she finally got her dress also happened to be her last day at her high school. Over the past few weeks, we thought of ways she can still wear her dress. We then landed on the idea of having a “virtual prom.” This would allow her to still get all “dolled up” for prom. The virtual part comes in the fact that she would video chat her friends once everyone is ready. They can pose for video chat screenshots together and even listen to music together. Of course, a “virtual prom” can replace an actual prom but at least you will have memories of your senior prom that you can look back on in a few years and remember that you were able to survive it!

4. Apply for Scholarships– With the extra free time, you have more time to scavenge scholarship opportunities! Email your counselor for any scholarship opportunities he/she may recommend to you. Also, make sure to check the website of the school you applied to for any scholarship opportunities they might be offering.

5. Family Time– You probably won’t have this much time with your family once you go away to college. You can see this social isolation period as a blessing in disguise. Quarantine allows you to have day after day of family time. My sister and I decided to start 2000 piece puzzle three weeks ago. Have we made any progress? Not really, but at least we got to bond as we decided whether all 2000 pieces were even there.

6. Virtual Theme Park with Friends– Maybe this sounds lame but have you ever watched a Point of View video of a roller coaster? It’s actually one of my favorite things to do. My senior year of high school, we went to Six Flags. Unfortunately, my sister’s senior trip to Six Flags was cancelled. Of course a virtual theme park can’t take the place of her senior trip but it’s still kind of fun to watch POV videos of roller coasters. Here’s one of my favorites. The ride is called Kingda Ka, a steel roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure. It holds the record for tallest roller coaster drop, among other records. I’ve only been on Top Thrill Dragster, which is very similar to Kingda Ka except it has a lower drop. You can also do POV Disney World rides. While it’s not the same as actually attending a theme park, it’s still kind of fun to see (and then to try and go to once the quarantine period is over)! Skip to 1:59 for the start of the ride.

7. Final College Preparations– With the extra time you have to stay at home, it’s a good time to make sure you have everything set and ready to go for college. Have you paid any required deposits? Have you figured out your dorm/living arrangement? Do you know when orientation is? Make sure all of this is organized so that you’re all ready to start college in the fall.

8. Learn to cook/bake/do laundry/ect.– Is there a better time to try out something new than when you can’t leave the house? In my original post, I said it would be a good idea to learn a skill like cooking, baking or doing laundry before going away to college. Therefore, if you’re socially isolating with your family, try to learn some of these skills. They will benefit you in the long run!

9. Video Game Tournament/ Twitch– If you like video games, try to join a video game tournament with your friends! It’s a great way to stay in contact with your friends while also being able to play video games with them.

10. Work on a Senior Project– One of my favorite assignments I did my senior year was my senior project. My favorite part specifically was writing a letter to myself 10 years from now. Basically, in this letter, I wrote about my life as a senior in high school, I wrote down some of my life and career goals, and I listed what life was like the year I was a senior in high school. I had stored this letter away for the past four years but recently found it again and it was interesting to see how much life has changed. So write a letter to the older you! Write about the frustrations you’re facing, or your career goals. Just write about anything that’s important to you! Then, put the letter in a safe place and maybe in a few years, you’ll come across it again. If letters aren’t your thing, a few other assignments I did for my senior projects included: making a track list of my favorite songs in high school (I went to high school in the Gangham Style/What Does the Fox Say/ Thrift Shop/ Harlem Shake era so you know I had to include all those songs on my track list), a graduation party invite (I “fake hosted” mine at the White House so feel free to host your party wherever you want), and making “Top Ten Lists” of your favorite things from high school such as your “Top 10 Favorite TV Shows,” “Top 10 Favorite Movies” or even your “Top 10 Favorite Restaurants.”

These ten things can’t replace all the memories you’re missing out on right now but remember that life will get back to normal! While you’re socially isolating at home, try to take advantage of any newfound free time you may have and make different memories.

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