Looking for something to do since in-person activities came to a screeching halt with the arrival of COVID-19? The good news is there are plenty of things to do. Follow these steps to find meaningful activities to give back to your community, build your skills, and/or dive into your passion.
Step 1: Identify Your Strengths and Interests
The first questions to ask yourself are: What do you like to do and what are you good at?
- What are your favorite school subjects?
- What are your hobbies?
- What activities were you involved in?
- What did you wish you had time for?
Step 2: Do Your Research
Want to do community service?
Local as well as national organizations are looking for help. Matching websites can help you find groups that have remote options. Community-based Facebook pages and apps such as Next Door often have postings for groups and people needing help. Your school or local library may also have community service opportunities.
- Help a neighbor – offer to do yardwork, deliver groceries, or just check-in on them (they would probably love a card or artwork).
- Provide online tutoring Teens Give.
- Offer to teach a virtual class in something you’re good at (think painting, dance, a sport).
- Create a virtual story time – post videos of you reading children’s books.
- Volunteer to increase voter participation. Rock the Vote
- Coders can help nonprofits with their programming needs Tech Republic
- Organize an online fundraiser to support a local nonprofit (Facebook makes this very easy).
- Transcribe historical documents for the Smithsonian.
- Scan a book and help Bookshare® provide accessible print materials to children and adults with disabilities.
- Foster an animal from a local shelter.
- Spread cheer by creating sidewalk art, painting kindness rocks, or making thank you signs for essential workers.
Want to build your skills?
Now’s a great time to learn a new language, do some creative writing, draw/paint/sculpt a new creation, learn to code or play an instrument or cook a new type of food.
- Check out your local library for online classes and virtual programs.
- Conduct an informational interview with someone who works in a field you’re interested in.
- While in-person internships have been cancelled, you may still be able to do a remote unpaid internship with a local business.
- Watch TED Talks or tour a museum online.
Have a talent you want to explore?
Develop it further – start a blog, build a website or app, organize a virtual performance (you can even make this into a fundraiser for a local nonprofit).
Don’t forget to look for organizations and contests to submit your work – who knows, you might win an award. One example: jGirls Magazine – self-identifying Jewish teenage girls ages 13-19 can submit creative content (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, photography, music) on the subject of their choice for consideration for publication in their online magazine.
Step 3: Get Involved
Pick an activity that will help you grow by trying something new, honing a talent, or taking on a new responsibility. This is not about building your resume for college. This is about building yourself. Step out of your comfort zone. Try something new. Who knows? You may discover a new passion or talent that could lead you to a place you would never have gone before.