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While it is important to focus on your campus involvement, it’s equally important to find ways to be involved outside of campus and in our communities. In this time of the coronavirus pandemic, we should all help each other to get through our struggles. Here are some of the activities I participated during my time in quarantine to be a little more productive and involved, whether to practice a new skill or to help out my community, instead of lying on my bed and watching Netflix all day.

Volunteer your time or spare resources

Whether it’s donating spare resources to charity or stocking shelves for the food bank warehouse, volunteering is a great way for you to give back to your community by doing something good. There are many ways of volunteering other than going to the food bank; you can organize/clean books at the library, plant trees and pick up trash at a park, as well as hold performances at retirement homes.

On a personal note, something I did with my friends in my orchestra group was that we performed Christmas songs at retirement homes. It was a fun experience I got to have with my friends, and it was amazing that we had the opportunity to bring in a bright holiday spirit to the retirement home. Another thing I did over the winter break was donate my old clothes to Goodwill as I moved houses. Instead of throwing the used garments away, I donated them instead so they can be reused at a cheaper price.

Utilize your second language

This one is for those who have the capability to speak another language. You can use that ability and become someone who subtitles films or TV shows. I am a huge fan of Chinese dramas, and in my spare time, I like to help out the subtitle community on Viki (a website dedicated to translating Asian dramas to other languages officially) to translate some of my favorite films into English. Another platform I would suggest is Ted Talks. They have a specific website where you can sign up to become a translator to translate speeches or educational videos (Ted-Ed), and you also are able to learn about a specific topic as you subtitle. You can form close relationships with the people you meet as you will be put into a team with other translators, and it’s a good way to put your second language into practice since you might not use it that much on a daily basis.

Support local businesses

Due to COVID-19, many small businesses are being forced to shut down due to a significant decrease in the number of customers. What we can do to help as a community is taking the time out of our day and buy something from a small, locally-owned restaurant or business to help support their business. These businesses don’t restrict only to local establishments, you can also support small, local creators online on Etsy where individuals sell a variety of handmade products.

Graphic by Autumn Rendall via Canva

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