Students Provide Guidance on How to Thrive Social Distancing

Makayla Dotson, Features Photojournalist '24

While some people are still trying to figure out social distancing six feet at a time others have found a way to adapt to the challenges and find a path of their own. Taylor Smith and Breanna Green both have tips on thriving social distancing. Although many have an idea on how to survive I will be discussing how to thrive in social distancing. 


Photo Credit: Breanna Green

Like most students, Vanden freshman Breanna Green wanted to start the school year off in person but she is growing used to the reality of social distancing. “At the beginning of social distancing I was scared, I didn’t know what it would look like or how long it would be in place family and friends are really what made it better though”, says Green

Photo Credit: Breanna Green

She explained that  “It’s definitely easier to get through something with a support system knowing that there’s at least one person who is there for you can make tough times better.”


 Connecting with loved ones is crucial to maintaining mental health. Most people’s lives are busy managing sports, jobs, and school. While we have a snippet of free time, it might help to connect with the people you may not have talked to in a while and let them know what you are facing while social distancing.  Green suggests trying new things in quarantine she says, “Teens can try things they never thought they would do before just experience something different if possible… roller skating, drawing, reading a book, learning to play an instrument!” Green listed off with excitement.  Picking a hobby is a common coping mechanism for many. In a recent NPR article, Maryland Pao, a mental health researcher, states, “Taking on new activities [gives] us internal control — when outside there is no control,”.  

 Many people want a sense of consistency in their lives so by taking up a hobby you receive that sense of consistency and control. 

Another Vanden Freshman, Taylor Smith, modified her life to accommodate social distancing. “I went to real school, I went to the grocery store without a mask and didn’t pay as much attention to washing my hands as I do now,” Smith said.. “ It was definitely difficult when I saw friends at the grocery store and couldn’t hug them or anything.” This has proven a challenge to many, This has proven a challenge to many. The first human reaction of hugging or shaking hands with familiar faces in public spaces is now a safety risk. The bubble of what is or is not socially acceptable is a complex discussion.“ I miss the social environment and seeing friends but I have kept busy with different activities. Smith, much like Green, Smith busies herself with activities. Enjoying nature, crafting, cooking, and (mural) have all kept Smith occupied in these imperfect times.


Maintaining your mental health at this time may be a different process than it has before; uncharted territories call for uncharted solutions. There are so many different activities to try while in this seemingly never-ending quarantine. While these times continue, to find an activity that interests you or continue one you already have.