As we enter our second full month of quarantine, some, if not most of us, are beginning to feel sick. Not from the coronavirus, but from monotony.

However, in the midst of this monotony, I find that the extra time can be used productively. With extra time after school, we can enjoy the spring weather outside, even while social distancing. Exercising outside is a great way to both get some fresh air and to break the long indoor spells that we experience during most of the day. Long runs, walks or bike rides are especially freeing as our minds have the space to think about nothing at all.

We can be one with ourselves outside. I have learned many new things about myself outside when I am not distracted by school or social media indoors. Quarantine can teach us vital life lessons, such as how it feels to be lonely, what it’s like to be house-ridden, unable to go anywhere and instead stuck looking at life passing in front of our windows.  

The extra time given to us by the quarantine can also be put to good use while in the home. We are able to spend more time with our siblings, our parents and our pets. We can use the quarantine to build closer relationships with the people we love. We can also use the extra time in the house to learn new skills and pick up new hobbies.

I have finally had the time to learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube, a wonderfully challenging task that breaks the monotony of the day. I have also learned how to fix and maintain a bike. With daily rides comes the necessity to learn how to maintain my bike. I have learned how to align the brakes, check tire wear and maintain the gear train. This skill is one of many skills we can busy our minds with during quarantine.

I encourage everyone affected by the quarantine to look past the long, lonely hours of the day and to instead use the extra time that we now have in our lives to learn more about ourselves and to build closer relationships with our families, relationships that we may not have had the time to build in the past.

Sam Herzlinger is a rising senior at Gann Academy.

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