Hello CTP Fam,

Hoping you are doing well in these extraordinary times, we at CTP would like to encourage and support you. Believe it or not, like it or not, this is a once in a lifetime event, where you have all the time in the world to do whatever you have always wanted to do. The world literally stopped. Take a moment to take that in. What’s happening to our world is with no doubt absolutely horrific, but we have little control over it besides social distancing and personal hygiene. But we still have control of how to spend our time during the quarantine. Instead of lying in bed all day and worrying about COVID-19, we have compiled a few suggestions that will not only help you overcome your boredom but also benefit you in the long run.

1. Take the time to think
Reflect on what you have come to so far and anticipate what you would like for your future to be like. Whether you are the kind of person who likes to meditate or the kind who would rather discuss that with beloved ones, go for it. Focus on the inner self and set clear goals, prepare SMART(Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals and plan out your day on a timely basis. As you look back, take note of the times that are most meaningful to you and why. One of these events could ultimately be included in your essay and/or extracurriculars. It is also a very good time to prepare for tests. You have ample time to prepare, read and practice for standardized tests and there is no better time to prepare for these.

2. Develop a Hobby
Most of us grew up just focused on school and maybe tried to do a couple of things over the summer, but never had a full-grown hobby we love and are passionate about. Well, now is a perfect time to learn something new and either figure out your passion or if you already know it, start dedicating time and developing it completely. Some suggestions are reading books (maybe even start a virtual book club), coding, art, puzzles, chess, knitting, cooking (this will make you the favorite child by the way)

3. Start Thinking About College Applications
Whichever point you are at, think of how you can use this time to contribute to your college application. Researching for a school, or about a school you are interested in and looking at the SAT test and practicing doing questions are examples. The hobbies you developed are potential things you can put on your application as extracurriculars or skills.

4. Prepare your professional self
The present being a time of great competition, it is never too early to prepare your professional self. By that, we mean that you should make yourself ready to be recruited(or become a recruiter). Setup your Linkedin account, prepare a resume( or CV, if you’re a science person), develop professional skills like Microsoft Office, LaTex, or a certain type of programming language

5. Enjoy Your Time
Catch up on movies, play games with your family members, take afternoon naps and relax. Again, you will never find the time to do all these things during a school year and not feel guilty at the same time. So, spend some good quality time with your family and revitalize your energy.

I am sure by now you are all motivated to do all these amazing things and make your dreams come true, but it is also expected if your motivation doesn’t last too long. Coming up with a schedule and keeping yourself accountable to it is helpful. Take it one step at a time, and well, remember there’s always tomorrow to do it. So don’t let it get you down. As for our final word, we will share a quote, “you don’t want to look back at this time and regret not doing anything with it.”

Amerti is a rising junior at Columbia University studying Economics and Aaron is a rising sophomore at Lehigh University.