Vaccines make the world a safer place every day, but COVID-19 changed how everyone thinks about their future. Teens aren’t sure what to expect from their academic, personal and professional lives now that life has turned upside down. This guide explains how teens can plan for their post-COVID future and why their parents or guardians must help them think of new possibilities.
1. Practice Better Hygiene
Even when COVID-19 is no longer a public health threat, everyone should remain aware of their hygiene. Teens can continue to practice frequent hand washing and using hand sanitizer to prevent illnesses. They may even wear masks during flu season if it makes them more comfortable in a post-pandemic world.
Viruses will remain an annual concern, like the yearly flu. Staying mindful of their hygiene and how they could spread a current illness to others will make any person a better member of society and a healthier individual.
2. Form New Friendships
People quickly discovered the importance of friendships when they began to quarantine at home. Teens should seek opportunities to make new friends and find ways to keep in touch virtually. They’ll always have people to rely on when times get tough. Interpersonal connection makes any difficulty easier to manage because they’ll have a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.
3. Build Their Savings
Even if your teen didn’t have a part-time job before the pandemic, they likely took the skyrocketing unemployment rate to heart. Talk with them about building their savings gradually so they always have a nest egg to fall back on.
Once your teenager gets a job, they can use the 50/30/20 method to divide each paycheck into needs, wants and spending money. They’ll take this positive financial habit into adulthood and make wise decisions with money throughout their lives.
4. Find Reliable Technology
Everyone relied more heavily on their technology during the pandemic. Video calls, emails and virtual work became the priority for most people. Your teen can evaluate their future apartment based on which rental communities have the best high-speed internet. They can also get new phones or laptops that promise durability over flashy trends so they always have virtual access to the world.
5. Explore Virtual Careers
Virtual jobs became a pandemic norm. Even though many are heading back to the office, the future of workplaces everywhere will likely stay online. Teenagers can explore virtual career opportunities to discover how to utilize their digital skills. Whether they want to become a tech genius, a writer or even a photographer, there are many new avenues to do so online.
6. Expand Their Resumes
Any young person who’s worried about potential layoffs should start expanding their resumes. While there’s no foolproof way to guarantee that they’ll never lose their job during something as extreme as a pandemic, a broad range of experience means they’ll more easily pick up something new elsewhere.
Teens can get customer service, retail and hands-on experience through jobs and internships. Encourage your teen to plan for their post-COVID future by exploring what they can do with their current interests. The ever-changing workplace will need people with multiple skills, so they’re more likely to keep their job if they have more to offer.
7. Talk About Retirement
Teenagers aren’t concerned about retirement, but starting to save for it in their twenties will give them more financial freedom when they want to quit working. They’ll also be able to afford in-home care, which could save their life if a future pandemic plagues nursing homes like it did in 2020.
Go to your local bank and discuss retirement saving options with them, like opening a Roth IRA or 401(k) when they turn 21 or graduate college. Your teen will feel reassured that they know how to plan for their future before it becomes too late.
8. Manage Their Mental Health
Taking care of your mental health is always a good idea, especially in a post-COVID world where it’s easier to fall back into bad habits. Work with your teen to start self-care habits and emphasize listening to your body. They might start going on evening walks or pick up a fun hobby to vent their anxiety.
You can also talk about burnout symptoms so they know when they’ve pushed themselves too hard. If they ever experience a pandemic-like career without a commute or an office, they could overwork themselves because they’re at home all day. Once they know what burnout is, they can use their self-care techniques to rest and recharge.
Teens Should Plan for Their Post-COVID Future
Even though life is getting back to normal, teens can plan for their post-COVID future with helpful tips like these. Work with them on developing their resume, building a friend group and even starting a savings account. They’ll feel prepared for whatever might come their way and have the confidence to get through anything.