Video and Written Feature by Hayley H., Concordia Applied Journalism
One thing that all of us have experienced during this time of quarantine and isolation is boredom. With all of our activities, classes, and projects canceled, staying occupied has become a challenge. For Concordia students with schedules that are usually jam-packed, the sudden absence of activities has been a bit of a shock.
Many of us have been turning to unique ways of entertaining ourselves during this time. Personally, I’ve been focusing on layout editing and Photoshop to keep myself occupied. I found myself dedicating much time throughout the quarantine period to the Zeitgeist magazine, which is where my love for graphic design started to grow.
While people like me have adopted a new hobby, some have picked up long lost ones. Senior student Kaitlyn T. started knitting again during quarantine, a skill she learned from her grandmother when she was younger. “I haven’t really been able to pick it up until now,” she says thoughtfully. “I had a lot more time during the quarantine part.”
While Kaitlyn has been knitting for years, she has recently realized that by staying at home, she was able to focus on the skill much more than if classes had continued as normal. “I had a lot more time on my hands to explore different designs or patterns,” she says. Without school, Kaitlyn has been able to spend between an hour to two hours everyday knitting, as compared to a small amount of time before bed on school days. “I do it a lot because it’s stress relief,” she says. “It’s really nice to just listen to music or a podcast and just sit down and chill.”
For some, deciding upon a new hobby is more spontaneous. “I saw someone playing the guitar on Youtube and it looked really fun. So I bought a really cheap one on Taobao,” says David H., also a senior student. With little planning involved, David found himself ordering a 150 RMB guitar online. “They gave me the strap and everything, so I just bought it,” he says casually. However, it seems that this particular quarantine hobby might be short-lived. When asked if he would continue with the hobby as school starts, David boldly replied, “No, because I stopped playing after two days.” It seems the cycle of inspiration and lack of motivation in quarantine has no mercy for anyone.
However, those that can overcome procrastination and fatigue can accomplish some great things with all the time they have. A tenth grader named Alexis S. noticed something missing in the Shanghai community and decided to use her time during quarantine to develop Shanghai’s first cookie dough company, “DOUGH-licious.”
Although she came up with the idea during the first semester, she didn’t have the time until her other activities were canceled. “Because we had school and other extracurriculars, I wasn’t able to start it,” she explains. “But in quarantine, since I wasn’t really doing anything, I took it as the opportunity to start it.” This time in quarantine has allowed Alexis to devote more time to a project she visualized months ago.
While some have been successful and others short-lived, each of these hobbies born out of quarantine is a reminder to us all that life continues even when society shuts down. Each of us has the opportunity to use this time to think creatively, building upon our passions and goals. By learning about each individual’s story, I have been able to reflect on my own productivity during quarantine and I have been inspired to make the most out of the extra time that I now have. There are lessons to be learned from each of these students about dedication and resourcefulness, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.
Hayley H. is a student of Concordia Applied Journalism