Corona-who? Boring spring break–what? Yea, we don’t know her. Whether you find yourself stuck at home thanks to the-virus-who-must-not-be-named or some other odd reason, you stumbled across just the right article. Say no to your ordinary Instagram scrolling, Netflix binging and “trying” to act productively.
Here lie 30 concrete ways to turn your uneventful spring break into one that will truly count.
1. Surge Through Your Childhood Home Videos and Pictures
One of the pastimes we underestimate as hustling and grinding college students includes our ability to look and reflect upon our pasts. And what better place to do this than in our own homes? The origins of our childhood, roots and embarrassing first bath videos, digging into our pasts by re-watching childhood home videos and surfing through photos proposes an entertaining past time. A little blast from the past never hurt anyone.
2. Re-Decorate Your Room
If you seem anything like me, returning home only means facing the posters reminiscing high school musical interests, dusty counters and cluttered bookshelves. Getting into the feng shui groove as you redecorate, reorganize and revamp your room will make you feel productive and liven up your bland time spent at home. Get creative with magazine cut outs, vision boards, twinkle lights, a man-cave corner–the whole shebang. Now, the next time you return home, come home to a fresh new room that reminds you of a simpler time trapped inside for spring break.
3. Read a Book
In the irony of it all, opening a book during your free time might seem like the very last thing you’d want to do–considering the intensity of finals and new semesters we head into. Yet barring all the chemistry lab notebooks, Shakespearian collections and linguistic instructing textbooks, book genres spread far and wide. Murder mysteries, unlikely romances, graphic novels and interesting biographies offer an exciting adventure just as much as any party or TV show. In fact, I daresay more. “I have a whole stack of books I’ve been wanting to catch up on since freshman year. Time spent inside kind of forces you to tackle these things you haven’t been able to do,” UCLA fourth year Ibukun Olabinjo said. For those with a piling list of book titles itching to get started on or for those unsure of books all together, reading acts as an entertaining and fulfilling pastime.
4. Learn a New Hobby
You know those nights just before the due date of a quiz or essay when we suddenly get immersed in the art of woodworking or calligraphy at 2AM–curtesy of YouTube? Sadly, in those defeated moments of choosing between getting an education or learning a new hobby, reality always reels us into the former. Learning a new hobby peaks no better than in the days we find ourselves at home with nothing to do. Whether its learning the beautiful art of crocheting, painting with water colors or mastering the art of parkour, the only limit includes ourselves.
5. Workout Plan
With excuses we make all throughout the year of “Oh, I’ve got sooooo much work to do tonight,” or “Freshman 15 ain’t got nothing on me,” let’s honestly admit that time stuck at home means endless boredom eating and lounging around. But what better way to flex on all your friends, or even yourself, than returning to school with your summer body–in the spring!? “I usually go to the gym on my college campus, so maintaining my health is something I naturally want to do over break. It just makes you feel and look great overall,” UCLA fourth year Vanessa Velez said. Besides benefits such as keeping you healthy and a positive impact on mental health, working out just gives you something to strive and work towards. So get out your stretchy pants, weights and yoga mats because working at a workout plan all throughout Spring Break may act as your new normal.
6. Cook a Meal for Your Family or Loved Ones
Cooking a meal for people other than ourselves warms our hearts and sharpen our cooking skills. But for who better to cook a meal for than the loved ones we’ve found ourselves trapped within the suffocating confinements of our homes? Kidding. Nonetheless, cooking for loved ones allows us to get down and dirty by putting all our unfocused energy into something tasty. Whether you copy an online recipe, whip out your dusty cook books or cook your specialty broke college student ramen recipe, feel good cooking from the heart for people you care about.
7. Netflix Russian Roulette
In a day of easily accessible entertainment through Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus, playing Russian Roulette with your viewing options provides the mystery and newness you didn’t know you needed. It simply works like this: Use your remote to scroll through your viewing options on a platform of your choosing blindly by looking away or covering your eyes. Stop randomly or make someone tell you when to stop, and the TV show or movie you land on will act as your next TV show for the next hour and possibly week. By committing to watch at least the first episode or 30 minutes of a movie, such an activity will broaden your TV show and movie tastes. You never know, your next favorite movie or TV show may be just a click away.
8. Volunteer at a Local Animal Shelter
In times like these, it helps to consider our furry friends who have found themselves in less fortunate situations than ourselves. Yes, I’m talking about those sorrowful cats and dogs howling from their cells just itching to have someone to play with. Volunteering at your local animal shelter warms your heart while giving you unlimited access to animals as you spend your day playing with them. By the end of the day, I promise it won’t act as your last visit, because our furry friends always gain a soft spot in our hearts reeling us in to come visit again.
9. Have an Indoor/Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Ahh yes, nothing breaks a college student more than getting reminded of our innocent hide and seek days spent outside with the neighbor’s kids. As childish as hosting your very own indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt may sound, scavenger hunts may act as the very one pastime we didn’t know we needed: They take up heaps of time and entertain us beyond compare. Partnering up with family members or friends and hiding objects secretly around the house as you look for them brings up memories you didn’t know you still had.
10. Mix and Match New Styles
By now in our late teens and early twenties, we may already flaunt distinct styles made complete with Old Spice soaps and Victoria Secret scents. But that doesn’t mean we can’t experiment with various styles now that we have all this free time on our hands. Remember the wannabe goth style you always wanted to pursue in middle school? Or the Kpop style you’ve been dying to try with silver died hair and light-up kicks? The time has come where you can mix and match your styles, try some new ones and just have fun. Dig into your closet, rummage through some of your mom’s jewelry and your sister’s drawer and viola–a new style in the making.
11. Vlog Your Day
Admit it. You always secretly envied the lives of David Dobrik or Zoella where they make a living just documenting their daily lives and mishaps. Vlogging your day offers entertainment and memories as you document your life during this interesting time in your life. Not only does it keep you company as you talk into your camera, but it forces you live productively as you think of things you can fill your day with. Whether you film your live reaction to a new movie, make breakfast and lead a cooking show, or document your CVS run, possibilities await your camera roll. Vlogging your day marks some memories as you think back at the time you couldn’t do anything a college spring break.
12. Start a Blog
Count this as yet another thing you keep saying you want to do, but just don’t possess the time for. Starting a blog where you freely write your opinions, realizations, feelings and advice offers a great way to stay busy during spring break. More so, in a time full of a pandemic virus, presidential races and college years, making your mark by writing contains enormous value. So, let’s get writing. “Writing a blog is a great way for a nursing student like me to channel her forgotten love for writing. Given the break of schoolwork, I can now document all my adventures on my blog and maybe stay updated with it when school starts,” UCLA third year Valerie Espinosa said. Whip out your creative juices as you document hilarious quarantine anecdotes, recipes, college advice and so much more. You never know, your blog might end up successful in which you can continue writing for anyone willing to read.
13. Host a Themed Movie Night
We all hear of the typical movie nights where we binge on junk food while scrolling through Netflix as we choose between our typical fix of The Office or something entirely new for. As the idea of movie nights die out, specified themes for your movie nights always bring the freshness and fun back into the picture. So go all out as you set up a quality projector, make delicious finger foods and invite a couple of friends to join in on the excitement. Whether your movie night features spooky movies, Hogwarta, Wizards and Trolls, Disney classics, rom-coms or Japanese horror films, the possibilities prove endless.
14. Spa Day
Whether a girl or a guy, I think I speak for everyone when I say it feels nice to implement a little self-care once in a while. Hosting your very own spa day for yourself or with friends allows you to take a step back and take a breather for once. Go all out and bring out the scented Korean face masks, mud facials, home foot massage machine, candles, essential oils and more. Bringing out the nail polish kits and doing some mindfulness meditation also offer relaxing times. “It’s something you can do with your friends and build memories and laugh with one another.” Shawna Nguyen said. When you do something slow-moving and calm, time just passes on like the wind.
15. Karaoke Night
Now seems like a good time to pull out the big guns in your knowledge of all the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody, Party in the USA or Mulan’s I’ll Make a Man Out of You. With a karaoke night taking place within your own home, you won’t worry about limited song collections, paying for drinks and embarrassing yourself in front of strangers. “I have karaoke nights occasionally with my roommates and its always a great time of bonding, throwbacks and craziness. It’s a great go-to when you want to just have fun,” UCLA fourth year Olivia Yee said. Let your hair go as you belt out your lungs to all your favorite tunes with family or friends on a crazy, melancholic or talent-filled night.
16. Play with Legos
Shhh, we won’t tell anyone else that you still love the fun and challenging entertainment that comes with building Legos. Whether you do it alone or with friends, playing with Legos offers a serene time where you just use your hands to build something while talking with someone or listening to music. Nothing beats the moment when you finally get to see your finished battleship, Hogwarts replica or your dream home made entirely out of Legos. Careful once you get started in this addictive hobby, it’s difficult to stop.
17. Spend a Day with an Older or Younger Person
While this obviously won’t apply to those extremely vulnerable to sicknesses and the virus during this time, spending a day with a parent, older sibling or younger nephew offers a wholesome time. As we get more and more busy with our own lives with less time to know what’s going on in the lives around us, this offers a great way to catch up and get out of our comfort zones. So try it! Ask your mom if she can tell you all the juicy gossip happening with Vanessa the receptionist at work, offer to play pretend with your little brother or ask to help a grandparent as they water their plants. By the end of it all, you’ll find your time well spent as you grow closer in your relationships and do something you normally can’t do.
The challenge proves pretty simple and goes like this: make your own Tik-Tok account (extra points for making a hilarious identity masking name), post as much content as possible on your page and see if you can get tik-tok famous. With an app as fast-paced and random as Tik-tok there exists no do’s or don’t when it comes to making videos. “Even though Tik-Tok is considered a teenager app nowadays, it honestly has hilarious content and I made my own account. This challenge is something I’d totally occupy my time with,” UCLA fourth year Juliette Le Saint said. So whether you mimic famous dancing challenges, post a how-to video or post your own original comedic content, this challenge gets your creative juices flowing and keep you busy for a whole day.
19. Make an Awesome Breakfast
College breakfasts go a little like this: Waking up 10 minutes before you must leave, trying to look mildly presentable and rushing out with a banana or yogurt to go. Sometimes, you don’t even eat breakfast. Now, with time and resources like a stove and oven, making an extravagant breakfast offers a way to use your time effectively–and deliciously. Use YouTube or cookbook recipes to replicate a breakfast quiche, make some fluffy Japanese pancakes or a full English breakfast right in your own home. You have the time and you have the drive–now let’s get cooking!
20. Iron Chef Challenge
For my overly competitive and go-getter folks, maybe merely cooking a meal and following a recipe just doesn’t cut it for you. Luckily, hosting your very own Iron Chef challenge gives you the entertainment and competitive fix you’ve been looking for. Grab a sibling and strive to make the very best dish without looking at any recipes and just use the ingredients in your fridge. At the end of it all, make someone taste your dish with a guideline of presentation, taste, creativity or create new guidelines of your own.
21. Bob Ross Painting Night
Ready to make “happy little accidents” as you embark on a new journey bound to keep you busy? For both experienced painters and beginners, the great thing about Bob Ross painting videos includes the fact that anyone can follow them. “I did a Bob Ross Paint night at school one time. It was very relaxing and I just love Bob Ross’s positivity. I can imagine how an activity like this could be soothing and help get people’s minds off current situations,” UCLA fourth year Monica Tudon said. With a paintbrush, notebook or canvas to paint on, and some optimism, Bob Ross painting offers either calamity or chaos as you continuously pause the video just to keep up. With a wine glass in hand, this pastime offers a great way to pass time and make something memorable in the process.
22. Plan Your Summer
Amongst all the final exams, graduation and studying, we really have no opportunity to brace ourselves for summer. Luckily, in a time where we’ve been forced to stay indoors and our plans have been put to a halt, this offers no better time to prepare for the future. So whether you want an internship, to party at some summer festivals or concerts, or want to travel, it doesn’t hurt to plan all the logistics for our summers. Times like this give us the opportunity to truly invest time and effort into things we really want to get done or make happen.
23. Listen to a Podcast or Audiobook
In a media-savvy world like today, alternate forms of entertainment such as podcasts or audiobooks gives us auditory experiences like no other. Listening to podcast these days mirrors that of an actual person telling a story, sharing their opinions and just straight up engaging in an interesting conversation as you listen on in. “I love podcasts! They are my go-to forms of entertainment because they are comedic, real and usually have some kind of applicable insight,” UCLA fourth year Poleena Bedrosian said. Similarly, listening to an audiobook gives you a break from all the page-turning and tired eyes, as you listen to a voice reading a story to you instead. Both experiences give you a newfound feeling of getting completely immersed into stories that you personally invest in.
24. Build a Fort
By number 24, you should know by now that childish feats and past-times take up space in this list just as much as any other more mature activity. After all, getting stuck indoors during spring break gives you cabin fever, and what better way to counteract this than with childish games where you can truly let your hair down? Quick, grab all your pillows, blankets and sofa cushions as you build a fort you can brag about. This activity serves as a great activity you can do with family, pet or even significant other. At the end of it all, lounge in the lairs of your fort by watching a movie inside of it or eating lunch in it.
25. Gas Lighting Movie Night
Want to bring back nostalgic memories of the 80s or 90s when summer nights were plagued by late night walkie-talkie talks with your friends? This activity rings true of the past, and you just need modern technology like Google chat, Skype or a phone call paired with a movie night. A gas-lighting movie night works like this: Gather all your friends to start a movie at the same time and together, talk to one another through these apps acting as if you really are there together. While you may live miles and even states away, this activity brings you closer together and bring back the fun adrenaline of long distance communication.
26. Costume Night
Halloween in March, anyone? A definite plus of staying home means getting to make your own rules in your own house (or at least as much as your mom allows you to). This includes having no regard for the proper dates of holidays either. Dressing up unexpectedly feels just as fun as it feels new and spontaneous. Whether you try and dress up as your favorite movie character, bring back the 80s with eyeliner and headbands or want to dress elegantly, a costume night offers entertainment like no other.
27. Build Your Resume
Don’t get fooled. As fun and exhilarating as these other activities sound, nothing beats productively making progress on your career and dreams. Taking some time to build or edit you resume goes a long way and definitely comes in handy as you get closer to finding a job and graduating. Meanwhile, updating or starting LinkedIn or Indeed accounts keeps you busy and make you feel accomplished as you make new connections and update your profile with a fancy new photo of yourself.
28. Call or Message Your Crush
As honest human beings let’s all admit that time spent at home means we miss those closest to our hearts–and no, I’m not talking about our pets. When all else seems dull and uninteresting, making contact with your crush definitely keep you awake and on edge. As Wayne Gretzky and potentially Michael Scott once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” This chance, my friend is your shot. Don’t worry, confessing your undying love for them right on the spot I not necessary (unless you want to). Rather, it’s simply about bridging some communication in which you ask about their day, send a funny meme or just exchange conversation banter. Muster up the courage and make some progress on what could potentially lead to something bigger.
29. Board Game Night
Ready to risk it all and ruin friendships and family ties with a game of good ol’ Monopoly or a trusty UNO card deck? Despite these risks, bringing out all the board games will offer entertainment in the form of unstable Jenga towers, the queen of hearts or a Twister mat. “I remember always playing board games when my dad left me at my grandma’s house and I didn’t have anything to do. They’re a great way to pass time and be competitive,” Mt.Sac second year Alex Lara said. Bring out the 10-year-old you as you engage in the classics you once loved on hot summer days and family barbeques. Apart from these classics, roleplaying board games and strategy games offer a more mature approach where you spend hours on end participating in fantasy worlds and games. Either way, a board game night does no harm and usually makes endless memories for you and your loved ones.
30. Teach Yourself a Foreign Language
Thanks to apps like Duolingo and what people refer to as the interweb, nothing stands in your way between American-you and the Parisian-you you always wanted to become. In other words, learning a foreign language has no better time than in 2020, and boosts your mood as you get better at a language each and every day. Want to communicate with foreign family members, learn Korean so you finally understand BTS’s music or plan on studying abroad in Norway next year? Learning a foreign language offers the perfect chance where you keep busy, heighten your memorization skills and just have fun.