Eckerd’s motto “Think Outside” has never been more applicable than during the global pandemic. The majority of the world has been encouraged to go outside to find enjoyment during COVID-19, but after almost a year of quarantine and lockdown, what do we do outside?
This question has been answered dozens of times but here is the Eckerd version of exciting things to do outside of a dorm room, even while in the middle of a pandemic.
Manhunt, Ghost in the Graveyard, Flashlight Tag
Being in college doesn’t mean that we have to neglect our creative roots from elementary school. Many of the suggestions I was given for this article included childhood games like the ones listed above, which only require yourself and your few close contacts.
One of the major perks of living on campus means that we are secluded from the bright lights of downtown St. Pete. More often than not, stars (and planets) are shining vibrantly in the sky as long as there are no clouds. There is a large, grassy field right next to Lewis House in the back of campus that provides an open, dark space perfect for stargazing during the night.
This fun activity does not have to end with the TikTok trend. Turn your plain old clothes into colorful pieces with a Tie-Dye kit, which is available at stores like Walmart and Target. Don’t forget to grab a towel, gloves and a mask, and be careful not to dye anything besides your clothes.
Grab a few friends and pick the most random, unconventional topics to discuss and make PowerPoints to present to your friends. Bring your presentations, separate blankets and have a snack-filled night with laughter and fun. Everyone is able to sit outside socially distancing and still present their slides to a group of your choice.
Painting on canvas
For those who aren’t fans of vigorous activities or have a more creative taste, painting outside is easily a good option for peaceful fun. You can paint by yourself or with whoever you want in the Florida sunshine. It is easy to find any type of canvas, brushes and paints at a close store such as Walmart. Use nature as a guide or take creative control and spend time relaxing and creating something beautiful.
Does your friend group have a mom friend? If you do (or even if you don’t), then you’re in luck. Grab someone with a little bit of ambition and organizational skills and set up a series of riddles to solve. You can have small gifts at each new location to surprise a friend’s day or host a competition to see who can finish the riddles fastest to win the prizes. Either way the positivity that comes from this is something that comes highly recommended.
Frisbee + Spikeball
Almost everyone already knows how popular either of these activities are on campus and by high demand; these two were brought up consistently when asking Eckerd students about fun outdoor activities. Most students already own the Spikeball set or a frisbee and if you happen to not have a friend to lend you one they can be found online as well as in stores in St. Pete.
Something simple yet effective that can bring someone back to their roots is tree climbing in the low branches of the Palm Hammocks. The sturdy, low trees provide a quiet cove to explore while also being active. Sit and read a book on your own or have a group discussion with friends and enjoy the nature of Florida.
Tea party/ picnic
Gather a few close contacts and make your best desserts, sandwiches and drinks and have a picnic or tea party on the grassy area of Kappa Field or at any picnic table found on campus. Whether you dress up or dress down, spending time connecting with friends over shared food is something that can always brighten a weekend.
Basically any of the activities I’ve listed above can be turned into a photo shoot if you add a friend with a camera. Whether it’s with an iPhone, GoPro or even a disposable camera there is always an opportunity for everyone to pause and smile, or catch candid shots as people zoom by. Wider angles make for better pictures anyways.