As if being a teen wasn’t hard enough, I can’t even imagine how difficult being a teen in the year 2020 is. Personally, I don’t have the fondest memories of my own teen years, but what I do remember enjoying was my growing independence. Getting out and exploring the world as an emerging adult was thrilling. I hated sitting idly at home and would take any and every opportunity to go out with my friends. Now, instead of enjoying your new found freedom, you are being asked to stay safe at home. Even though this is truly the very best thing that you can do for yourself and your community, it is still a serious a bummer.
So, in order to write this blog post, I tried to think of what I liked to do when I was stuck at home with nowhere to go when I was younger. How did I pass the time between the exciting parts? Below are some ideas accompanied by free resources available on Hoopla Digital, accessible with your Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh card. If you don’t have a Library card, find out how to sign up for a card online here. If you don’t know how to use Hoopla Digital, watch a video here.
When I was a teen, my creative outlet was sewing. But I’ve been working in public libraries for almost 15 years -most of that time was spent in Teen Services- so, I *know* first hand that a lot of you like to draw. And I know *A LOT* of you like to draw manga. Hoopla Digital has an awesome collection of how to draw book, including titles that will help you develop your manga and comic book style skills. Then, share all of your amazing drawings with us on Instagram @clpteenspace. We love when you share your creativity and talent with us!
I spent a lot of my adolescence skateboarding back and forth down the long driveway of my apartment complex. Skateboarding is an ideal sport to enjoy while social distancing because you can do it solo and it doesn’t require a lot of space- just a patch of pavement. Check out these skateboarding books from Hoopla Digital, ranging from the history of the sport to “how to”. But please, and I mean PLEASE, put on your protective gear -helmet AND pads- before you venture out with your board. Now is not the time to end up in urgent care with an injury that could have been easily prevented.
Play the ukulele
Have you ever dreamed of playing in a band but you’ve never touched a guitar? Well, the ukulele is actually pretty simple and learning how to play it can be a like a baby step towards becoming a total rock god. Sometime in the year 2012, I think every person I know bought a ukulele. Maybe your aunt sent you one as a gift? Or did your parents buy one as decoration for your little brother’s nursery? Well, now is the time to take that dusty ukulele down from the shelf. No longer just an accessory, you are going to learn how to play that tiny guitar-like-instrument. And once you master that ukulele and it’s safe to find your way back into the world, you’re going to make your way to your nearest Teenspace and discover all of the instruments available to play and experiment with at the Library. Until then, find books on how to play the ukulele and other instruments here.
Take a walk outside (six feet away from others)
When I used to feel cooped up at home during my teenage years, I would often just go out for a stroll around the neighborhood with my favorite cassette playing on my Walkman (I am that old). Yes, we’re supposed to be staying safe inside right now, but going for a walk is allowed- as long as you stay 6 feet away from others. Not only is it allowed, but it is encouraged and can help you maintain your mental and physical health. Hoopla Digital has tons of audiobooksand music that you can download to your phone and listen offline. Get lost in a book or discover new music while you soak up some vitamin D.
Prepare for life after high school
One of the things that got me through high school was fantasizing about how exciting life would be once I was out on my own and attending my dream college. Maybe working towards the goal of attaining higher education isn’t a priority for you right now. I completely understand if you don’t have the mental bandwidth to focus on studying for the SATs, researching scholarships or fine tuning college admissions essays. Ignore this suggestion if that is true for you. But, for everyone else, this might be the very best use of your time. Seriously, what else do you have going on? We’re not going to be self isolating forever and focusing on your plans for the future might be just the thing that reminds you how temporary our current situation is. Hoopla Digital has a comprehensive collection of college entrance and test preparation related books available for check out.
However you decide to spend your time, please stay home, healthy and connected with us. We miss you and can’t wait to welcome you back to the Teenspace once again!