Small summer activities

This summer is going to be complicated. With all of the pools in the Twin Cities closed (maybe), and all the stores shut down (partially). We are going to have to find ways to keep ourselves occupied. So, for that reason I decided to come up with 6 fun ideas to try during our quarantined summer. 

1. Pen Pal

If you enjoy writing letters this is the activity for you. If you want to pursue this you’ll need to take the following steps.

  • First, you’ll want to find a friend to do this with either here in Minnesota or somewhere beyond that.
  • Then, you will want to make sure you have all the supplies necessary: stamps, envelopes, paper, and a writing utensil.
  • Lastly, you will want to set up a schedule based on distance and how often you want to update your pen pal. 

2. Chalk

Chalk is a very simple and fun way to pass the time. If you have sidewalk areas you can use, then take advantage of that space. You can draw elaborate murals or simple little designs.

All you need is chalk, which you can buy online, and sidewalk, which you can find outside. 

3. Science Experiments

This activity is a more difficult one to try because of all the materials you’ll need. There are hundreds of different science activities you could do. You could make your own ice cream, make slime, etc. 

4. Art

There is a lot you can do in this category and that’s why it’s so fun. You can draw, sketch, paint, color, etc. You can follow art tutorials or try and draw something nearby. You can use some of your old things to create a sculpture. 

5. Try Something New

Have you been staring at an old instrument in your house that you want to play? Look up how to play it and work towards that goal. Maybe you want to learn how to loom, or knit, or sew. Try it! It’s now or never.

This is the one summer where you get to do things that you can’t do next summer, or the year after that. You’re still young so embrace it! 

6. Learn to Do Something Cool

You want to learn something cool to show your friends the next time they see you? Do it! You can learn to do a cartwheel or a flip. Maybe you want to do a skateboard trick? Go ahead! Try your best! 

Always remember to be safe! Wear a helmet if you or a family member thinks it’s necessary. Don’t make unsafe choices. Be smart and be safe! 

Things to do this summer 

By: La Dafia Dehaney

Summer is here and we have spent almost four months locked up inside the house. If you are looking for something to do, here are a few ideas: 

1. Go to a lake – Minnesota has the most lakes of any state. Some lakes you can visit are: Lake of the Isles (in Minneapolis), Mille Lacs Lake, Lake Minnetonka, Lake of the Woods, Leech Lake, Gull Lake, Rainy Lake, and Lake Vermilion (in Saint Louis County).

Lake of the Isles, in Minneapolis, is the quietest of all of the Minneapolis lakes, and also the most beautiful. Lake Vermilion, in Saint Louis County, is the fifth largest lake in northeastern Minnesota.

2. Take a road trip – Choose some states that are close to each other and tour them. Visit museums, tour buildings, and find good food to eat.

3. Get a job – You can always get a job to make some money to buy new things.

4. Try new foods – To make the best of the summer, you can drive around to new restaurants and try the food and write about them.

5. Volunteer work – Minnesota has a lot of volunteer work. You can volunteer at: the Lead Global Affairs discussions, drive cancer patients to treatment, serve meals, become a JA volunteer, or volunteer for Music Teachers for Underprivileged Children.

6. Watch movies – Netflix and Disney+ have a lot of great new movies coming this summer so you can binge watch a couple of them.

7. Re-Decorate your room – Keep yourself busy by redecorating your room by adding new furniture, re-painting it, organizing your closet, or adding new carpets.

8. Have a sleepover – Nothing better than having friends by your side, so invite friends over, watch a couple of movies, eat snacks, and gossip a little.

A quick list of how to stay positive during quarantine

Here are some suggestions on how to stay positive during quarantine:

  • Make sure to let sunlight in: Sunlight is shown to increase the brain’s release of serotonin a hormone. Serotonin can boost moods and helps a person feel calm and focused.
  • Listen to music: Music can cause your brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that makes you feel good and is often associated with why we use our phones so much. The dopamine is addicting and your brain gets used to it.
  • Talk to someone: We may be separated but we are not alone in these times. We all are going through the same thing so we all have something to talk to each other about. You should also ask your family how they are doing and how they are holding up, it could just make there day better.
  • Exercise: Exercise is good for your body and your mind. Some of us may being doing this already but I know a lot of us are just inside sitting around and that can’t be healthy. So get a move on and get some exercise even if it’s once a week
  • Eat healthy: Eating healthy has always been a good way to stay positive and it shown to have good effects in your life. Junk food can make you groggy and lazy if you eat it more then healthy food. So eat your greens and veggies, oh and don’t forget the fruits

Quarantine haircuts

By: Vivian S

About a week ago, at the time of writing this, as the sun set over the horizon and the day wound to a halt, I walked upstairs with my mother. We stood in front of a mirror and she handed me a pair of scissors. Reaching out, I grabbed her hair, and carefully, I hacked through the mounds of tangled hair she had grown during quarantine.

It was the best experience of my life.

Stuck at home during social distancing, one of the businesses that has been closed (at least here in Minnesota) are hairdressers.

Now, lost as we are without our stylists’ help, our hairs have begun to grow long and matted. Some have taken this tragedy into their own hands though, as my mother did, and cut their own hair at home.

Now is the time! That haircut you dream of yourself having in your nightmares? You can give yourself that! No one ever need know; it’s not like you shall be seeing anyone anyway.

Of course, I can make no promises as to how long social distancing shall last. Who knows? Perhaps you may be called back to work tomorrow, and all of your coworkers will see, and laugh, at the mohawk you gave yourself. It may be better to play it safe and give yourself a haircut you would be willing for others to see you with.

If you want ideas for your own haircut, you need only to search for “coronacut” on Twitter or Instagram to see all the photos of people trying to do their own.

Why, you could partially shave your head. That’s an idea, though whether your razor will die halfway through is out of my vision.

Regardless, corona haircuts seem like a great way to have fun during social distancing. I have not gotten mine yet, but it is only a matter of time.

How to keep up with your mental health in quarantine

I think we all know how difficult the quarantine has gotten, and we need to focus on keeping ourselves in the best state of mind.

Try to stay optimistic and keep looking forward. Dwelling on mistakes clouds the mind. It’s important to stay in the present, and look towards the future instead of the past.

It’s important to stay relaxed during this time. Avoid stress as much as possible as this can be as damaging to the mind as it is to the body. Most people know stress can cause anxiety which, if severe, can lead to depression.

But, what are some physical symptoms of stress? Mayo Clinic Staff has reported that stress can take a toll on the body just the same as the mind. It can cause eating disorders, muscle pain, body aches, continuous exhaustion, problems sleeping, and stomach pains.

It’s important to loosen up during the day; working can make you tense. While doing homework, or working on something that requires much focus and time, it’s always a good idea to take a break and assess how you’re feeling. Do something to relax yourself, whether it’s watching tv or getting a snack. Take time to get away from the task at hand and ease your mind from the work.

It’s just as important to keep your body fit as it is your mind. Try to devote some time in your weekly schedule to a bit of exercise. According to it can be great for sleep problems and it’s known to b e a way to give you a boost in your mood.

Not only does exercise help the mind, but it does wonders for your health. Being active lowers your risk for getting heart disease as well as other heart problems. Maintaining your body weight healthily is also a good way to stay fit. 

Though we may need to stay at our homes, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some fresh air. Going into a backyard, on a balcony or porch, or even cracking open a window to feel the breeze are all fresh air options that are quarantine approved. It’s not always fun to stay cramped in a house for so long, a sweet gust of air can bring up your mood, especially during this beautiful spring season.

Any way you may be getting a taste of the outdoors, remember to stay cautious and keep a safe distance.

Helping small businesses

During these times, there are a lot of people struggling. There are many ways that we can help these people who need us. Small businesses are having some troubles with maintaining pay and keeping up with rent. So, here are some good ways to help these small businesses. 

There are certain small business owners who have made gift receipts or gift cards available to keep buyers coming. Some other places are making gift baskets or bags to carry out to cars. This is a great way for business owners to keep transactions moving and a great way for us to get ahead on birthday and holiday gifts! 

A nice way to help out is to offer volunteering if you can risk working outside of your home. There are a few places that are offering carry out jobs. Just make sure, that if you decide to do this, that none of the people you’re around have pre-existing conditions or have a low immune system. 

Another nice way to help out a local shop is to leave a positive review on Yelp and on Google Location review spots. On March 24th, Yelp made a collaboration with GoFundMe so you can leave a good review and send some cash to your local businesses at the same time. 

You can tell your friends and family about how you are trying to assist a small business so they can help out too! Finding ways to post online, or even writing a suggestion in chalk outside, can really make the difference. You never know who might be looking to help too! 

The last thing you can do is a very good and easy way to just spread positivity and hope. You can find the address of your local place and send them a nice card or something to say thanks. Kindness can really go a long way. 

During these hard times we all need any help we can safely get, so make sure there are no negative vibes!

Stay hopeful, stay safe, stay positive! It will be okay!

Mother’s Day gift ideas 

By: La Dafia Dehaney

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and this is a time to show them how much they mean to you. Here are some things you can do for them, or gift ideas on what to get your mom.

  • A Mug – On the mug you can write “best mom ever” or “I love you.” 
  • Make them breakfast – Everyone likes breakfast in bed, so you can make them some pancakes, eggs, bacon, and a cup of coffee and serve it to them in bed.
  • Gift Cards – If you want to keep it simple, or be cheap, you can get them gift cards like a Starbucks card, Amazon card, or eBay card.
  • Gift baskets – You can get a pretty pink basket, or whatever her favorite colors are, and pack it with hair products, food, lipsticks, or anything else. 
  • Do the chores all day – For Mother’s Day, you can also let your mom rest, and you can do the cooking, cleaning, and everything around the house for a day. 
  • Write her notes – Write small notes around the house like “you’re the best mom,” “I love you,” “thank you for putting up with me for all these years,” or “thank you for everything you have done for us.” 
  • Make her food – Make her food all day; don’t order it. Make her breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For breakfast you can make her waffles, pancakes, eggs, or muffins. For lunch you can make her a bomb sandwich, pizza from scratch, mac and cheese, or a salad. For dinner you can make pasta, spaghetti, chicken soup, a burger, or a seafood boil. 
  • Get her clothes – Get her some of her favorite brands online. 
  • Scavenger hunt – Put cards around the house where she can solve mysteries and at the end of the hunt there’s a prize that she gets. 
  • Leave her alone – Some parents would love for you to leave them alone. So you can leave her alone for the whole day. 





















Toxic relationships

By: Zakianna Johnson 

You never really know when you’re in a toxic relationship, and for females, it’s harder for us to understand and realize how toxic a lover can be. When it comes to teenagers there are a lot of toxic relationships going on. Cheating, lying, stabbing in the back and more, and for people with depression, it hurts worse. But not even just relationships, friendships can also be toxic. 

Nowadays, there aren’t really many people that you can trust which makes it difficult to form a relationship or friendship. From my experience as a teenager, it makes it hard to have a girlfriend or boyfriend simply because the people that you think love you can just be there to use you. This makes it hurt so bad because you really think that they’re there for you when they’re just there for themselves.

It puts people in pain when someone is just there to use you for what they can get, and not for what they can give. If you’re going to get into a relationship you can’t make that person feel bad about themselves. You’re supposed to be the person that they can run to when they need to escape. You’re supposed to make their problems go away.

You can’t find a love like that nowadays; people are just out to use a person for what that person has. It’s not about love anymore, it’s about what I can get from this person. What can they give me? Or provide me with? How can I make it seem like I’m here for support when I’m just here to get what I want? Most of the time these types of people are insecure and non-dependable.

Which goes to the relationship becoming toxic and once the relationship gets toxic you can either stay in a toxic place, or release yourself from it. It’s better to release yourself from it, staying in it can make a person go crazy. Trust issues, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and abuse are all symptoms of a toxic relationship. No person should ever have to go through that. 

Things to do during quarantine

By: Linda Tellez-Ruiz

Quarantine can be very stressful and very boring. Although you may have a lot of time on your hands, no one‘s quite sure what to do with all that time. You and your family might be tempted to go out to a park, or do something outdoors, but you just don’t want to risk it.

Well, I have a lot of family friendly ideas to pass the time.

The first thing that’s fun, and also kind of expensive, but is totally worth it, is to get an inflatable pool. It doesn’t even have to be new; they’re basically sold everywhere and they’re probably only maybe $100. If you invested in one it would last you way longer than just quarantine so you could be using it for the summer, and just for family fun whenever you want.

Another thing that would be fun for the whole family is a big 1000 piece puzzle. They are very time consuming but also very fun. You can get them online for a couple of bucks.

Something you can do as a family is binge watch a TV show and also prepare to watch that show by cooking a family dessert. It’s a fun and tasty activity for the whole family.

Now, something that I like to do, that’s not really hard, but it takes a lot of time and dedication, is if you have a pet take the time and try to teach it some cool new tricks. I’ve done this and I’ve taught my dog how to roll over. It’s very easy, and very cute, and fun, just put on a tutorial on YouTube and follow the instructions.

How can I help with donations?

While we are all under strict social distancing/stay at home orders/quarantine, many people are looking for ways to help the brave people who are risking their own health in order to make sure people who have contracted COVID-19 are able to recover. Many of us have people in our lives who are essential workers such as nurses, doctors, or other people in other medical professions.

Since the beginning of this outbreak, people have been buying materials in bulk that these medical professionals need in order to do their jobs safely. According to the New York Times, early in April, a man was arrested for hoarding “192,000 N95 respirators, 130,000 surgical masks, and nearly 600,000 medical grade gloves.” The man was arrested for lying to federal agents about selling the supplies back to hospitals with a 700% mark up. 

Even though those supplies are being distributed to hospitals in New York and New Jersey, many hospitals don’t have enough supplies and have begun taking donations of cloth masks. According to the Hennepin Healthcare page, they are taking donations of cloth masks for staff who do not need medical-grade protective equipment. They, like many other organizations, have provided a pattern to make the masks and designated drop off times.

Hospitals are also accepting donations of unused medical supplies as suppliers are not able to produce as much as all the hospitals need. Finding these products also becomes difficult when people are panic buying supplies in much larger quantities than they could possibly use. If possible, please consider spending some of your time while social distancing making these masks for our health care workers who are putting themselves in danger to help others.