Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the new era of distance learning, and unpredictable changes to daily life, some teens have found themselves bored out of their minds. In order to combat tedious work and endless hours at home, many have turned to outdoor recreational activities and devoted time to their unique passions. Here are the stories of a few ambitious high schoolers.
Alexis Hammond is a tenth grader at CHS. During her free time outside of school, she enjoys reading, knitting, visiting the park with her dog Maverick, watching Netflix, and playing video games with her little brother. Pre-COVID, she would soccer practices and matches with fellow teammates filled many of her days, but the pandemic has changed that routine.
“At the beginning of COVID-19, my soccer team wasn’t allowed to go to the Cays field to play soccer together. So we did Zoom soccer meetings. After many weeks however, we were finally able to come back slowly. We transitioned from the CHS field and the Silver Strand field back here. We practice social distancing to be safe of course (hand sanitizer, masks, and trying to stay six feet away),” Alexis shared. “Other than soccer, I have been surfing, hiking, and jogging.”
Alexis has also been fortunate to enjoy safe summer travels with her family, where they completed a two-week road trip.
Jackson Garrett, class of 2024, has also been spending time outside for fresh air and sunshine after long days of Zoom classes and homework.
“I’ve been surfing a lot and running to keep in shape for cross country,” he said. Jackson also shared that he’s chosen to expose himself to a core group of his friends and their families through the pandemic, so he doesn’t really struggle with the whole not seeing friends because of the quarantine issue.
Most teens miss seeing their friends after a couple of days, let alone months since schools first closed down in March. Pre-coronavirus, students socialized in person on a daily basis. Now, with distance learning, most would be lucky to see their friends in person from a safe distance on a weekly basis. The urge to spend time with peers is understandable, and some teens have chosen to spend their free time among others.
Freshman Harper Gilbert is a competitive water polo player who has taken this break from attending school on campus to the next level.
“With COVID-19 temporarily putting all sports on pause, I went on runs and did work-outs with my dad. Then mid-June water polo opened back up for socially distanced practices, which was just swimming and (training our) legs for months. Since then we have progressed, while following county rules, into more contact and contact drills,” she explained.
Outside of school, Harper spends her time doing homework, reading, practicing water polo, and keeping in touch with her friends via FaceTime and masked meet-ups around town.
“I FaceTime with my friends and am able to get together with my two friends since we keep a small circle of people we are allowed to interact with,” Harper shared.
When asked how she keeps a balanced lifestyle amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, she described, “I take time to focus on how I am feeling at least once a week. Not being able to do as many things is an adjustment, but I am trying to do things that make me happy. I also am trying to spend more time with my family and take more breaks from screens since school is a lot of screen time!”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone has made adjustments in daily life. Whether it be a break from distance learning or homework, students have sought their passions and devote their free time to what they love best. From reading and soccer to surfing and water polo, teens have found various ways to beat boredom.