SPOTLIGHT: Staycation or Vacation?

People usually associate weekends and breaks with adventuring outside and spending time socializing with friends. However, this is not the case for some. SCHS students have a wide variety of plans for the time spent off school, and a portion of them enjoy spending their time at home. Often stereotyped, these homebodies cherish their home time like others cherish going out.

Junior Ethan Cheng is one of the students who generally prefers to stay at home and believes that people who stay at home get stereotyped.

“I just prefer to be on my own, in my own safe space,” Cheng said. “I feel comfortable when I am alone, and just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I feel lonely.”

Freshman Ashika Sugali also prefers to stay at home. Sugali has a lot of social friends so they enjoy going out, but she finds the time spent with herself more valuable.

“I like to spend time at home because I don’t have to worry about anything,” Sugali said. “I can just chill and relax, and I don’t have to worry about what I’m doing, who I’m talking to, or keeping a conversation going”

Planning can be a crucial part of one’s day because it can affect the time they spend doing things. Although Cheng and Sugali both prefer staying at home, their opinions on planning vary. Cheng believes he is an overthinker, so when planning something, he accounts for numerous possible factors.

“I just consider a lot of things when making decisions,” Cheng said. “My social battery isn’t that large, so I prefer easy going activities”

Sugali, however, said staying home allows her to spend her time more freely, meaning she does not have to plan because she just goes with whatever she feels like doing.

“I don’t really like to plan anything, which is one of the good sides,” Sugali said. “I stay at home and just do whatever I feel is right for that time and decide what to do, going with the flow.”

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in restrictions, causing individuals to spend more time at home. This affected many people, but not all in a bad way. Many, such as Sugali, found ways to enjoy staying at home, and now they still choose it.

Sugali believes that spending more time at home with her family not only changed her perspective on staying at home, but also her family realized they enjoyed the time. She liked the fact that she could value her time with her family.

“I personally preferred staying at home either way, but it was nice to have my whole family at home with me,” Sugali said.

Cheng noticed the change in lifestyle that influenced his preference was affected by the pandemic.

“The pandemic made me seek more for outside activities, but even though I explored it, my preference didn’t change to going out,” Cheng said.

People who stay at home are often stereotyped with misleading thoughts linked with being lonely or having no social skills, stigmatizing those who choose to spend their spare time at home. Cheng agreed that this can especially affect introverts like himself since he becomes more conscious about how others perceive him for his preferences.

Sugali believes that the stereotypes are silly and only people who stay at home should not be associated with them because there are people who enjoy spending time outside more that can easily be stereotyped as well. Sugali said that preference does not matter and people should stop stereotyping others.

“I know there’s a lot of stereotypes that we must not have friends, or we don’t have anything to do with our lives, but the same thing could be said to people who would like to go outside and are more extroverted,” Sugali said.“I don’t think either way anybody should make these kinds of stereotypes of people because at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter whether you like to stay at home or go out.”

Cheng said that others think all staying at home people are loners, nerds, or people who choose studying over partying. He believes stereotypes are meaningless and should not dictate what one does because what is important is the individual’s preference.

“So what if you love spending all day on the couch, or spend more time outside your house than inside? Just do you,” Cheng said.