Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Chapel Hill chapter.

Now that I’ve been in isolation for several weeks, my time on the internet has shown me hundreds of ways that people are keeping themselves occupied during quarantine. From what I’ve gathered, people are playing Animal Crossing, trying out new hobbies and voraciously watching Tiger King

In search of something to do, I recently decided I wanted to try playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. A couple of Google searches later, I realized that this wasn’t a feasible hobby for me; the game alone costs $60, not to mention the Nintendo Switch that is required to play, which costs another $300. 

Once I realized how expensive it is to play Animal Crossing, I started noticing that a lot of the activities that I’ve seen online marketed as “fun quarantine pastimes” are not accessible for many people. Even watching Tiger King requires a subscription to Netflix, which costs anywhere between $9 and $16 a month. That price might not sound like much, but in a global recession in which millions of people are losing their jobs, a Netflix subscription feels like a luxury whereas it used to be seen as necessity.  

It feels like every time I check social media, I’m bombarded with pictures and videos of people documenting their newfound (read: expensive) hobbies. Articles everywhere are telling us to learn a new instrument or try a new hobby, but these suggestions are unrealistic and disheartening for a lot of people. Not everyone can afford to start their own clothing line or buy an instrument “just for fun.”

Obviously, hobbies are a superficial example of how coronavirus has affected people in different ways. It’s important to remember that black Americans are dying from COVID-19 at a much higher rate than white Americans, while poverty is exacerbating transmission of and death from the virus; these issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Although our quarantine hobbies are not nearly as important as things like access to healthcare and racial equality, I think it’s important to acknowledge the fact that social media has begun to promote this idea of the “perfect quarantine”.

Not everyone can afford to try a million new hobbies, and that’s okay. Right now, there is no wrong way to cope, so don’t worry if you can’t spend your time in a way that could get you TikTok famous. We’re all doing our best, and that’s more than enough.

A first-year at UNC-Chapel Hill, Isabelle is double majoring in Advertising and Public Relations and Dramatic Arts. In her free time, she enjoys reading, painting and watching Derry Girls.