/Things you can do to stay occupied during quarantine

Things you can do to stay occupied during quarantine

By Anisha Parida

As the world communities continue in their efforts to slow down the spread of the novel Coronavirus, finding ways to stay busy at home has not been an easy task. News feeds are flooded with inspiring stories of how healthcare workers, delivery men, teachers and everyone who is still obligated to continue working during this time are showing true acts of kindness and selflessness. All they ask in return is for everyone to stay at home and continue to practice social distancing. But as this virus continues to spread, the days seem to become longer, screen time seems to have gone up by hours and, for some, daily routines have begun to collapse. It seems as though there’s no point in making an effort to wake up at a decent hour, continue to exercise, eat healthy and stay sane. Despite all of these feelings of uncertainty, however, there are a myriad of activities and hobbies that we can pick up to keep ourselves busy- activities that can not only cure our boredom, but can ultimately benefit both you, and those around you. 

While online classes have picked up these past few weeks, a lot of students are able to finish the work for their classes in just a few hours- leaving the rest of the day free. But for students who want to continue to practice their academic skills, there are plenty of options outside of course work that you could be doing. For example, a lot of underclassmen could begin to start studying for standardized tests such as the SAT or the ACT. Now seems like a more perfect opportunity than ever because of all this new time we have available in our schedules. Sources like Khan Academy offer remarkable, free standardized tests courses with material supplied by the College Board itself. By just practicing for just 15 minutes a day, you could be well on your way to success on standardized tests in the future- not to mention it is a great way to refresh on math or writing skills. 

Perhaps studying for the ACT is not the ideal way you would like to spend your time right now, but maybe you are still looking for an academic activity. Learning a programming language is an excellent way to spend your time. While you don’t have to be building websites or apps anytime soon, knowing just the basics of computer programming is a skill almost everyone can benefit from, and it doesn’t have to cost money. Programming promotes logical thinking and problem solving skills, and there are a variety of websites that offer free courses on languages such as Python or JavaScript. Some websites, including Code.org, offer fun ways to engage in language learning too — with video games, puzzles and more. So, if at first glance coding does not seem like an enjoyable way to pass time, consider giving it a try. You may surprise yourself with how fun programming can be.

This time in isolation has also opened the door for us to revisit old hobbies we once enjoyed. For some students, they’ve begun to pick up old instruments. Others have started to reread old classics such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and countless other book series. There are also ways to keep yourself occupied with items you probably have laying around in your house. Perhaps you went rummaging through your closet and found a box full of friendship bracelet cords. Or maybe you’ve found a stack of cardstock paper in your house- consider making monster bookmarks or picking back up the art of origami. When it comes to crafts, the possibilities are endless.

We are all aware of the increasing issues that threaten our environment. While we cannot go outside and pick up trash around the beach or park, we can take this opportunity to become better educated on the issues that face our planet, and see how we can help at home. Now is a perfect opportunity to make sure you are properly recycling; you can even take this time to try and  decrease the amount of single- use plastic in your own lives. Continuing with efforts to help our planet will prove to be worthwhile, and it all starts at home. 

A big aspect a lot of us are missing during this period of self-isolation is the company of friends. With technology available at our fingertips, however, it is much easier to communicate with friends than it would have been even 10 years ago. Many students are utilizing Zoom outside of the classroom by chatting with their friends, sharing screens to watch movies, and even playing online games like Wizard 101, Checkers, and Webkinz. Friends and family have also utilized the Apple Imessage feature of online games, including the infamous “eight ball” game.While nothing can replace the face to face interactions with your friends in school or at practice, we still have countless options to continue to stay in touch.

Through social media posts and new outlets, it appears almost everyone around the globe is improving their cooking and baking skills. Trying out new recipes is always exciting, and now that we have a lot more time to make home cooked meals, and there are less options for take out, it seems that we all have the capabilities of becoming the next Gordan Ramsey- or maybe not quite yet. Regardless, the possibilities are limitless when it comes to food, and it is always a fun challenge to see what creations you can make with just the food you have in your pantry. Disney has recently released some of their famous parks recipes, including “the grey stuff” featured in the movie The Beauty and the Beast. In addition, recipes for seemingly any food concoction imaginable have been posted on websites like The New York Times Cooking, Buzzfeed Tasty, and FoodNetwork.

As we are all experiencing the same feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and restlessness, it is important for us as a global community to look out for each other and to protect those whom we love, and even strangers we’ve never met. By following social distancing rules, we seem limited in our options, but there are likely activities we haven’t even thought of doing that could help pass the time. So, perhaps this list of activities or hobbies will open the door for a few more options on how to spend our time.