By Ryan Bernstein
After months of quarantine, I think we all may be ready for our daily lives to resume. But as the prospect of “social distancing” extending throughout the summer continues to increase, there are many ways that students can take advantage of this newfound time and make drastic improvements to their daily lives. It’s time to turn off Netflix and be productive!
One such way to be productive is to stay in shape and be healthy. Often, due to our busy schedules, we are unable to get the proper amount of physical exercise. However, with our days left unconsumed, there is no better time to make these adjustments! Sophomore Alex Berkman explained that, “I think now more than ever, we can take advantage of all the free time we have. Personally, I have been setting aside time each day to work out. With no accessibility to local gyms, I have been doing a lot of pull-ups, sit-ups, and push-ups.” There are tons of engaging online resources that can motivate you and help you achieve your fitness goals.
Another way to maximize this time — particularly for freshmen and sophomores — is to begin standardized test preparation. There are tons of free resources and practice tests online waiting to be utilized by students. This can be the perfect time to assess where your strengths are and plan out how much time you will need to spend on preparation, as well as which test is the best path to take. Senior Sam Aberman stated, “As a senior reflecting on my own standardized testing preparation, this quarantine is a perfect way to jump start this process. With all of the uncertainty regarding when these standardized tests will be available again it is important to be ready.” Cornell University, which Sam is attending next fall, is the first Ivy League university to drop the standardized test requirement for applications in the upcoming school year.
It is important to remember that this virus is having worldwide implications, and many people are struggling during this time. Do some research, and find ways to get involved online and donate your time and energy. I have personally seen opportunities to write letters to the elderly and participate in online tutoring. Gabby Ripka, a junior at Byram Hills High School, has taken initiative during this time and founded Community Against COVID-19 with fellow juniors Jack Brook, Sam Lubcher, and Alex Hansburg. Gabby explained, “Jack Brook, Sam Lubcher, Alex Hansburg and I started the service to deliver essential items to the elderly and immunocompromised. In the last two months, we’ve delivered over $10,000 worth of essential items to those in need, and have created eight other delivery services run by teens across the East Coast. We feel so fortunate that we’ve been able to make an impact in our community, and it’s been amazing to see what four best friends can accomplish in a time of crisis.”
Lastly, while being productive during this time is important, it is imperative you maintain your mental health and well-being. Wellness has always been a passion of mine, and with the help of Mrs. Healy and Dr. Taylor, I have created a Wellness Club that is focused on the well- being of students during this time. This club will have weekly challenges that promote productivity, organization, and overall enjoyment. Sometimes it’s nice to have a little reminder to take care of yourself!
**For students looking to get involved, the code for the club google classroom is alznie4.