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BHS Unplugged: Tips for How to Stay Entertained Offline


A bike, a song, a book. These are some of the offline things that members of the Berkeley High School (BHS) community are using to entertain themselves while stuck at home, though hopefully not all at once.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise and smoky air outside, the world seems determined to try to keep us inside our homes. As such, with the addition of online work and learning, it comes as no surprise that many are turning to digital devices to ease their boredom. For instance, in the United States, time spent playing video games has increased by 45 percent according to Nielsen Holdings PLC.

However, it is often nice to get away from your computer, phone, TV, or whatnot in order to experience the delights available with just a little bit of consideration and effort. With that, here’s BuzzFeed’s Top 10 Best Offline Sources of Entertainment.

No, not really. But I may be able to help you find something enjoyable to do that doesn’t involve screens.

First consider continuing activities you did before lockdown, which could include restarting a woodworking project, going on bike rides, or whatever it is that you enjoy. In fact, the second is precisely what Maximus Francis, a sophomore at BHS, has been doing. As a fan of mountain biking, he has continued to go on rides so far through lockdown, “as it’s a fun way to stay in shape and also keep [him] entertained.” In addition, he has been reading books detailing the events of wars, a topic of interest to him. This leads to another option for offline entertainment: reading. Almost all people with whom I spoke suggested reading as a way to spend time. Specifically, consider reading into a topic that interests you, whether it be something like wars, ice skating, or the specific biological structures that allow for the growth of bark in the Acer ginnala, or Amur maple tree.

In addition, one can spend time developing a skill. For example, you could start learning how to cook. Sam Saxe-Taller, a BHS senior, shared some of his favorite recipes, starting with pinto or black beans soaked overnight with some salt, then pressure cooked with onions, garlic, cumin, epazote, and anything else wanted. He also recommends making rice that is rinsed and toasted in oil and turmeric powder before cooking, red lentil soup with greens, and finally, sautéed cabbage.

Furthermore, you could spend time with your family, whether it be playing games, going for a hike, or most things, as long as there is time. Khalid Conda, a BHS sophomore, recommends the former, as well as sharing other activities, including drawing and going for bike rides. Art is an amazing way to pass the time. Whether you’re an experienced painter or a beginning doodler, I believe that there’s something relaxing and satisfying about creating art. Maybe it’s just the experience of creating something new through one’s hands and imagination.

Other options include different types of exercise. On this, Aris Carter, sophomore, said: “I’ve mostly been … trying to do my track workouts, but the smoke has made it very hard.” That which I mentioned earlier, the combination of smoke and COVID-19, marks a particularly difficult situation for sports and exercise in general. Interestingly, a primary method of dealing with both comes in the form of masks. Hopefully, the smoke will lift from the air, allowing for some form of continuation of sports. However, I will say no more in fear of stepping too far into the realm of the sports section.

Finally, if all else fails, you can try looking around you and taking inspiration from whatever is presenting itself. For this, look no further than what Principal Juan Raygoza has been doing. Raygoza shares: “we are doing a lot of listening to music with our 3-year-old daughter and dancing either around the house or outside … as we’re taking care of our garden.” Let that which you have around you guide your actions, which can be as simple as taking time to dance with your family.

I’d like to share one more way of finding something to do — in fact, it is the exact method that I used — and that is to ask people. If what I’ve shared hasn’t satisfied you, ask others for suggestions. More often than not, they will be perfectly happy to share the things they enjoy.