Meredith Trolex

Take a break from schoolwork — ideas to relax and fill time

It's important to take time for yourself with at-home activities


Meredith Troxel is a Bowling Green State University senior majoring in public relations from Sandusky, Ohio. After graduation, she would like to work in higher education for a university's communications department.

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By Meredith Troxel

Now that the stay-at-home order in Ohio has been extended to May 1, it is especially important to find new ways to entertain ourselves and fill our days.

This can certainly be hard, trust me. I am also struggling with the fact that I can’t take leisurely walks in Target when I get bored at home! Nonetheless, it is important to take brain breaks for your mental health and simply to have something to look forward to in between classwork assignments.

Bowling Green State University just launched #BGSUVirtual because the BGSU experience is about more than academic pursuits. With that in mind, here is what I have been doing, along with a few other ideas for fun at-home activities.

Sit down with a new book or stream a new podcast

I’ve got to be honest. I don’t think I have leisurely read a book in four years, but I agree that now is a great time to read all those novels you wish you had read. I recommend looking at lists provided by Goodreads, where books are grouped by genre. The website also includes lists of books that everyone must read in their life (according to Goodreads) and even the best books of the year. This website is great for finding something new and even has user reviews to browse before buying.

If you aren’t into reading, podcasts are great for gaining new information. Many celebrities and public figures have their own. Podcasts come in all kinds of genres, including news, politics, crime, and personal development like health and fitness. I love listening to podcasts as background noise or when I get bored rotating through my music playlists. Podcasts can be found on most streaming services, as well as the Apple Podcasts app.

Binge watch latest trending shows and movies on Netflix

Netflix has recently been adding a lot of new content to their streaming service. The Internet is in an uproar about the documentary “The Tiger King,” Netflix’s latest limited series. My family and I just finished it and you are sure to like it as well if you enjoy crime shows. “The Tiger King” is full of cringeworthy moments, cute tiger cubs and a whole lot of scandal. There is also a new internet browser extension, Netflix Party, that allows you and your friends to watch the same movie together and talk in a chatroom.

Buy a new video game and go on a gaming spree

In the past, I never really got into video games, but I just recently bought a Nintendo Switch and the game “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” and I am hooked. It is fun to focus my time on something other than schoolwork, but also something I don’t get bored of quickly. Of course, you don’t have to buy a brand-new console. You can even download a new game on your phone to pass time!

Find a new skill to learn

One thing I personally love to do is find a new skill and teach myself. One summer, I got really into teaching myself to learn to code computer language. I had fun learning a new skill that can help me in the future as well as find enjoyment in seeing the results of my hard work. If you have ever wanted to take time to learn a new language, spend an hour a day working with apps like Duolingo to learn on your own. You’ll be able to impress your friends in the fall with your new skills!

Spruce up your resume and (try) to look for summer internships or jobs

We all know the economy and the job market is taking a hit right now, but many places are still looking to hire for the summer months. You can spend some time working on building your resume or portfolio to show off your talents and hard work at BGSU. The Career Center lso is still taking virtual appointments to help students with their job search and improving their resume for internship and job applications. You can request an appointment with the Career Center through Handshake.

Use Zoom video call your friends

We all can relate to quickly going from leaving BGSU for spring break to leaving BGSU for the semester, without saying good-bye to our friends. Zoom s a free and easy platform for video calling with friends. The software even allows you to add a photo of your choosing to make your own fun background. I just did this with friends from my internship last summer who all attend different universities in Ohio. We had a great time catching up and finding random pictures for our backgrounds.

These are all great ideas on how to get out of that “quarantine slump,” but the most important part is to stay connected with your friends, keep up on your classes and find enjoyment in every day. The days can seem to drag on, so make sure to find something you like and look forward to each day. We are all going through this together and each day brings us new opportunities and memories to look back on when we all meet again.

Have fun, Falcons!