Two months in: Entertainment and activities to pass the time

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With more time spent at home, students now have the opportunity to explore a variety of hobbies, subjects, and activities to pass the time. After being in quarantine for nearly two months, we have compiled a number of recommendations to make your quarantine worthwhile.

With an abundance of content available online, you can easily learn something new about a subject you find interesting through TED talks, forums, and professional journals. This can help keep your brain active during what can turn into a boring, repetitive routine.

Sometimes we need to take a break from reality. Drift into a fantasy world–– watch some films or TV shows that you never got around to! Classic favorites like The Wizard of Oz, The Office, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Rebel Without A Cause, The Breakfast Club, Grease, The Devil Wears Prada, Napoleon Dynamite, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants never disappoint. 

Junior Pehal Singh has been watching her favorite Netflix movies with her family. She said, “Recently Netflix decided to put some of the [original] classic hit Bollywood movies, specifically the ones from my childhood. So, I started watching them again with my family and it just gives me so much nostalgia. Some of my current favorites that are on are Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham, Chennai Express and more.”

Art can also often bring relaxation and peace during a time of such chaos. YouTube is filled with various tutorials for beginners. For example, Bob Ross has beginner level natural landscape painting tutorials on Youtube, and all you need is a paper and pencil, or paint. Junior Lauren Chin took up a different form of art— making bracelets. “I have recently started to make friendship bracelets, which I have been meaning to learn for a while,” she said. “I also find that it is very calming and helps me destress after working.” 

If you’re not a fan of creating art, music might be your escape. This is the perfect time to discover new artists and genres. While you’re at it, create a quarantine playlist with the newest songs and albums––despite the crisis, many artists released new music this month. Junior Megan Chang, for example, has been listening to Autumn Orange’s relaxing lo-fi music during this time.

If you want to get your thoughts out, you can use a bullet journal to keep track of your daily moods or a journal where you write down your feelings about this uncertain time. Express your thoughts through short stories, poems, or start that novel you’ve been waiting to write. Try setting up a calming workspace: a chair in the range of fresh air, a cup of coffee or tea, and an inchoate idea. Still need some inspiration? Remember that book series you started reading last summer? Now’s the perfect time to pick it up again and dive into the fictional worlds of literature. Harry Potter, The Call of the Wind, and Alice’s Adventures are sure to sweep you away into an alternate reality. 

Art not your cup of tea? Make an actual cup of tea and get cooking. Cooking or baking can be time-consuming, but it is the perfect quarantine activity to stay productive and kill time. You can make anything from a sweet treat like cookies to a full dinner, and you get to try your own creation once you’re done.  

You can even do many of these activities with friends and family online. Whether it’s FaceTime, Skype, online gaming, or Netflix, Harrisites have been able to reconnect with their friends while adhering to social distancing rules. For instance, junior Xu Dong said, “I usually watch anime and play collaborative games like Terraria with friends over video call. It’s really fun, even when I can’t be with them physically.” 

Staying connected online helps us maintain relationships and avoid complete isolation. Sophomore Aimee Wadolowski said, “Staying in touch… distracts us from the reality of recent events. It’s how we cope.” Lauren said, “I do miss seeing my friends, but being able to contact them has been helping a lot.” 

Ultimately, virtual hangouts seem to suffice for many students. Junior Annie Yi stated, “The Internet helps me talk to my friends. When I FaceTime my friends, I show them what I’m doing because I know [if we had school] I would have told them what I did the night before… the next day.” Senior Joie Ning similarly said, “I’m staying in touch with my friends through FaceTime, Messenger calls, Discord, and even Zoom. Whatever platform that we’re on we’ll try to call just so we can see each other’s faces and hear [about] something… other than our families or the news.”

With these uncertain times and no end in sight for this quarantine, taking up a new hobby and filling our time is the best way to keep our minds occupied while we await school’s reopening.