Bored College Students: Here's 8 Activities to Get the Creative Juices Flowing
Posted on April 14 2020
The other day, I ran into a woman I know and her daughter who is a high school senior. As we stood 6 feet, well maybe 4 feet apart, I asked her daughter how she was doing. I thought she may share that she was upset that they were not having graduation or frustrated with her online classes, but the first think she uttered was, “I’m bored!"
I get it…the Coronavirus, unfortunately, has drastically altered the way young people typically live their lives. The new reality for many is forced remote learning secluded somewhere in the family home. I’m sure they are desperately trying to reach for ways to escape. However, there is a silver lining. It is at this moment (constraints + boredom) that creativity is triggered. According to the World Economic Forum, “while people tend to intuitively believe constraints stifle creativity, they actually have the opposite effect.”
I saw this played out recently when a young amateur skier, Philipp Klein Herrero, was forced to cancel a ski trip due to the Coronavirus. He was bored and he was trapped so he relocated the experience to his living room.
As a parent, the best you can do is recognize the lack of interest or enthusiasm and initiate a conversation about it (i.e. “Have you thought about…….”?). However, before you have that conversation with your teenager or young adult, please read our list of 8 activities that have the potential to trigger innovation. And if you believe your teenager or young adult would not be interested in any of these activities, think about what interests them, do some research and add a new twist to the situation. For instance, if your teenager or young adult has been having Zoom get-to-gathers online, have them think about hosting a theme party on Zoom. There’s lots of ideas here, but my favorite was the March Mindfulness tournament that Mashable hosted.
March Mindfulness is Mashable's series that examines the intersection of meditation practice and technology. It culminates in our meditation competition, which this year took on a new spin.— Andy Nelson (@Bet1015com) April 7, 2020
With every major event from the https://t.co/9Z155FbmpG
Here are 8 strategies or activities for what your teenager or young adult can do with their newfound time:
Podcasting is gaining popularity in United States and around the world. Since 2020, 51% of the population has listened to at least one podcast. Nearly a year ago, my daughter and I were traveling in the car and she asked me if I wanted to listen to a podcast. It was a murder mystery and after it was over, we had fun sharing our thoughts. She is an avid podcast listener which is not too surprising because 18-24 years of age make up 18% of all listeners (biggest group-25-34 years of age make up 28%). If your teenager or young adult is not interested in starting their own podcast perhaps they wouldn’t mind listening along with you. Here are the top podcasts for adults in 2020. Top podcasts for college students include: College Years, Keith and The Girl, Stuff You Should Know and Rooster Teeth. And Jennifer Mattern who is the mother to teenagers researched the best podcasts for teenagers. Podcasts, she admits, they will listen to.
If you are not familiar with Massive Open Online Courses, many universities offer a course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of students. Some of the first universities to create OpenCourseWare were MIT and Carnegie Melon. Other elite universities also offer noncredit courses for free or for a small fee some universities (Harvard University) offer a certificate. The mission is to make high-quality education accessible to any person. Taking a MOOC is a great way for college students to enhance their skill set and gain valuable knowledge in a specific area.
3. Watch a Movie or Webcam with Friends or Family Members
Face to face binge watching is the best, but while social distancing is being enforced other creative ways to watch movies together with friends and family need to be explored. One streaming option called Scener works the best with Netflix. According to Kayla Cobb, "Scener allows two users to watch Netflix shows and movies at the same time and includes video, audio, and text conferencing." Viewing live cams can also be a fun way to share information with a friend or family member. In the past few years, live streaming webcams of wildlife have expanded from cameras located only at zoos and aquariums to giving viewers a glimpse at wildlife in their natural habitat. I, personally, have been following Semba, an elephant at the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona. She recently gave birth to a baby girl on April 6, 2020 bringing to an end 22 months of pregnancy — the longest of any mammal on the planet.
Our family loves to listen to audio books and we usually listen to a book on a long car ride. We use Amazon Audible- you can enroll in a free 30-day membership and after the first free month of listening, the standard monthly subscription fee is $14.95. We select the book we want to listen to on the app and then listen to it via the bluetooth receiver in our car. Once the receiver is paired with our phone, it plays the audio book through the car speakers. However, there are many other ways to enjoy audio books for free. Nikki Vanry lists 11 websites to find free audio books online. One called Librivox allows you the opportunity to read sections of books- no experience required.
Painting your bedroom is a very ambitious task, but one your teenager or young adult probably has the time for. If they have never painted before, you may want to have them watch a YouTube video or click here for some pointers. Browsing other sites can provide you with additional ideas and color schemes. If they are feeling really brave, they may want to try stencils or try chalk board paint.
6. Design a Photo Memory Book
Your teenager or young adult may have a vacation they want to remember or they may have a life milestone they want to document. Designing a fun photo memory book may be the answer. There are numerous photo collage apps to help get them started. From easy (PhotoGrid arranges photos for you after selected) to more sophisticated (Photo Blend & Shape Collage Maker allows you to form a photo collage within a variety of shapes such as a heart or bird), the apps add a great deal of flair to each design. When the pages are complete, send to a photo book service for a quick, personalized photo album. Here are 9 of the best!
7. Put Together a Jigsaw Puzzle
It appears jigsaw puzzles have made a comeback during the Coronavirus lockdown. If you go to Ravensburger Puzzles, most of their puzzles are sold out. However, in searching the web, I discovered the Jigsaw Puzzle Swap Exchange. According to their website, "When you are done working a puzzle, simply select another member and send it, they will return one to you." They now have a puzzle library and swap meets. To find a swap meet near you click here. Some businesses are looking into renting puzzles while others are creating personalized puzzles. And if your teenager or young adult is really serious about solving puzzles, they can always put one together online at Jigzone.
8. Plan Your Next Adventure
Need a great diversion from all the Coronavirus isolation? Check out these YouTube travel channels. While these travel channels are run by individual travel enthusiasts, others are created by some large brand names in travel like REI, National Geographic and Rick Steves'. Taking a virtual tour online is another great way for your teenager or young adult to plan a trip. Finally, they may want to use apps during the planning process. Here are some of the most popular apps to use. They include many ways to keep organized.
Whatever your teenager or young adult decides to do during their time off, we wish them well and hopefully they will be back at school in the fall.
Rebecca Hastings is the CEO/Founder of hugabox, college care packages with a purpose (90% of the proceeds go to childhood cancer research). She is a huge advocate for sarcoma cancer research funding and works with others across the country to make childhood cancer a national priority. When she is not working, she is off hiking, skiing and playing golf with her husband. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram @ hugabox.
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