This is a hard time for teenagers. They are at the age when they'd much rather be doing their own thing, away from home and with their friends. Here are some ideas—other than homework, bored games (get it?) and video games—that will keep them busy and engaged.
The best part? All of these can be done virtually with friends!
Go Through Your Closet and Purge.
Get your summer clothes and swimwear ready, too! Set aside items that no longer fit or that you're just not loving anymore. Then take those items you think you can sell and post them on Instagram to swap or sell. You might as well get some spending money in your pocket to have once this is all over, right?
REMEMBER: Porch pickups only and thoroughly wash or clean anything you buy before wearing.
Start Your Summer Job Search.
It might seem like an odd time to look for a job with everything closed, but there are things you can do now so that will increase your chances of finding that perfect summer job later.
Step 1: Make a list and rank what's most important to you. Is it making money? Having fun? Learning a skill? Working outdoors?
Step 2: Make a list of all the places you can think of that might be a good fit using the priorities you established in Step 1. Finding places that hire teens can sometimes be a challenge, so be open-minded and try to come up with at least 10. Also, consider logistics. Will you have your own transportation or will you need to get a ride or walk/bike to work?
Step 3: Do some research. Visit the websites of the different places on your list. Check out their employment section and find out as much information you can. Again, it might not be the best time to apply, but you could message them to introduce yourself and ask when they will start hiring for the summer. Make notes on your list to remind you later.
Step 4: If you've never applied for a job, fill out a mock application. This will make it a lot easier when it's the real time to apply. Almost all places will ask for references, so come up with two or three of those now. Even if you haven't worked before, references can include teachers, coaches, neighbors you've helped, et cetera. Just make sure you ask permission first!
Step 5: Set a reminder in your calendar to revisit your job-hunting efforts for early May. If you wait too long, you might miss out on the job you want most!
Host a Netflix Party.
Did you know that with Netflix, you can now stream movies and watch with your friends? Netflix Party, a Chrome extension, lets you watch videos with your friends and chat together at the same time. To make the party more special, avoid "bingeing" and go for a classic that everyone will like. Some suggestions include The Shawshank Redemption, Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness, Chasing Amy, Bad Boys I and II, and Jerry Maguire.
To set up a Netflix Party, follow these steps.
Create a Dream/Vision Board.
This downtime is a great opportunity to set some goals—and designing a vision board can help you get started! A dream board or vision board is a collage of images, pictures, and affirmations of a person's dreams and desires, designed to be a source of inspiration and motivation. Think about what your goals are in these areas: relationships, career and finances, home, travel, personal growth (including spirituality, social life, education), and health. Using photos, clippings from magazines, stickers, markers, etcetera, decorate your board and make it come to life.
Refresh Your Room.
You're likely spending a lot more time in your room, so why not give your space a little update? Even simply rearranging your room can give it a new vibe. Take down the things that no longer feel like "you" and replace them with new artwork—even better if it's something you created, photos, and maybe even new bedding or throw pillows. Adding some lights will always change the mood. LED strip lights are fun, colorful, easy to put up and not very expensive. Check these out.
Written by Jill Carroll, Marketing Manager for West Michigan Woman.