Ways to keep busy this summer: A return to childhood

Erin Kelly, Contributing Writer

As the spring semester comes to an end, thousands of college students are thinking of ways to keep themselves entertained during this unique summer. For Iona students quarantining at home, this means more time spent with family and perhaps a trip down memory lane. As we look for ways to keep busy, indulging in childhood activities is a great way to bond with family and reminisce about the good old days.

For many college students, breaking out old gaming systems is a great way to enjoy time at home. If you still have a Nintendo Wii, GameCube or even a Nintendo 64 hiding in your attic, now is a great time to restore its former glory! Sophomore Gabriel Cinanni has been home in Ottawa since March 10 and has enjoyed playing childhood video games.

“I’ve been playing a lot of Wii Sports with my family, and I turned on my old Nintendo DS – these are things I haven’t used in almost 10 years. It helps make light of a bad situation,” Cinanni said.

For senior Joseph DaSilva, dusting off his old GameCube console is a way to keep busy at home.

“Anything you could do you’ve probably done already, so it’s fun to play games I haven’t looked at in a while,” Joseph says.

Streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus all offer a selection of shows and movies that will surely stir up feelings of nostalgia! Senior Emma Lopez-Fonte has decided to use these platforms to rediscover some childhood memories.

“I’ve been watching a lot of old Disney movies like “The Incredibles” and “Hercules, and I found some old TV shows that I had completely forgotten about,” said Lopez-Fonte. She has also recently started playing the piano, a hobby she has not practiced since middle school.

This is also a time to get creative; some students have been inventing new games or traditions with family. Matthew Dumashas been enjoying his time home in Long Island.

“I like being able to spend more time with my family,”Matthew said.

 One unique activity he shared is the Family Olympics he created with his parents and brothers. Aside from the impromptu Olympics, Matthew has been playing board games with his family and reading more books to keep his mind sharp.

For those not quarantined with their immediate families, utilizing technology can be especially helpful when indulging in nostalgic activities. Junior Joseph Freedman, who grew up in Puerto Rico, is currently staying with his extended family in Long Island. Although he cannot physically see his friends in Puerto Rico, they have organized group video-chat sessions to watch “What’s New Scooby-Doo?” together, one of Joseph’s favorite childhood cartoons. Being able to connect with his friends, some of whom he has known since eighth grade, has helped Freedman get through this difficult situation.

 “It brings me joy and peace of mind, which are two important things in this time,” said Freedman.

Although these past few months have kept us busy with schoolwork, the upcoming summer gives us an opportunity to rediscover old hobbies with friends and family. With warmer weather approaching, maybe it’s time to dust off your old baseball glove or go for a ride on that bicycle you haven’t used since high school. Although some parks remain closed, taking a safe trip outside to a park you loved as a child is a great way to enjoy the sunshine. Whether it’s binge-watching “Drake and Josh,” playing Candy Land for hours or having a catch with your dad–my personal favorite! –let’s use this time to remember our childhoods and stay optimistic.