You have just a few weeks left of high school and you’re stuck at home. When you’re supposed to be studying for your last exams, hanging out with friends, celebrating graduation, and planning the best summer ever, COVID-19 is disrupting everything. You may feel frustrated with the current state of the world, but the last few weeks of high school can still be enjoyed. Here are some ways to take control of the end of your high school experience when the world seems out of control.
Accept Your Reality
Everything seems messed up right now and there’s not much that you can do about it. Although you might be feeling angry or sad, don’t let those emotions control you. Take charge of the next few weeks and look back on your high school years with pride in your accomplishments. Be grateful for your positive experiences in classes, sports, and social settings. Remember that everyone else is also experiencing COVID-19, some with much more serious consequences, so take stock of the important things right now. Don’t take out your frustration on parents or siblings. Instead, channel that energy into building new routines or projects.
Create Healthy Routines and Schedules
While you can’t attend classes, events, or practices for the foreseeable future, you can still create a solid routine for yourself. It may not sound pleasant, but your mental health will surely benefit from waking up at the same time every weekday and carving out specific blocks of time for school work, exercise, meals, and hobbies. You can even use your planner to do so! An example schedule might look something like this:
8AM – Wake up, shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast.
9AM – School work.
11AM – Exercise.
12PM – Eat lunch.
1 PM – School work.
3 PM – Take a break to go for a walk, work on a fun project, or pick up a hobby.
4 PM – School work.
6 PM – Eat dinner.
7 PM – FaceTime a friend, spend time with your family, read, or watch a movie.
10 PM – Bedtime!
It’s easy to sleep in every morning, fail to brush your teeth, and spend the entire day in sweatpants watching Netflix, but I promise that you’ll feel much better at the end of the day if you create a schedule, get dressed, exercise, and accomplish something.
Keep in Touch with Loved Ones
Schedule phone calls and FaceTimes with your friends or long-distance family members. Even if you don’t have much to talk about, you can play games or watch movies over the phone. It’s always nice to reach out to people outside of your immediate family and check in with them during this difficult time. To start a meaningful and interesting conversation, ask questions beyond the typical “how are you?”. You could spur a fascinating conversation by asking questions like “what has been your biggest challenge of the past few months?” or “what is one thing that you want to accomplish while you shelter-in-place?”. Be a good listener and a curious conversationalist to move the exchange beyond (possibly boring) day-to-day activities.
Celebrate Graduation in Small but Meaningful Ways
If your graduation is now remote, you can still find ways to celebrate with the resources you have! Surround yourself with those around you and plan some fun activities. You could throw a small backyard party, take graduation photos, decorate your graduation cap, eat delicious food, and call friends or family members. It might not be as wonderful as your original plans, but you will be glad to reflect on your past four years and celebrate your achievements. Focus on all that you have to look forward to, including the next four exciting years in college!