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A year ago, if I’d been told that my mid-semester break had been extended by a week to a month and a half, I would have been ecstatic. Today, not so much. We are living in unexpected and extraordinary times and none of us thought we’d be spending the end of our college terms inside the confines of our homes. While government protocol requires everyone to be self-quarantining, it’s harder than it sounds. Other than the sense of dread and loneliness that creeps into your brain, it’s also extremely likely that you’re going to be bored. However, every person’s contribution counts in order to fight this pandemic. So no matter how monotonous your day seems, stay inside and don’t participate in the spread of Covid-19. There are many ways in which one can stay occupied while secluding themselves, and since so many of us already spend the majority of our days on our phones, I’ve compiled a list of Apps that will help you while away the time.

a bottle of clorox, hand sanitizers and a container of lysol wipes sit on a wooden table
Kelly Sikkema | Unsplash

If you’re looking for inspiration- Pinterest is the perfect place for you and your love for planning. Whether you want to redecorate your room, learn the underrated art of handmade gifts, or discover what your summer outfits will look like, you can find ideas for that and everything else under the sun. If you aren’t really in the frame of mind to embrace your creative side, then just use Pinterest to plan a future trip or maybe even your future home, because what better time than now?

If you love to travel- Airbnb is one of my personal favourite apps to kill time on because I get to browse through beautiful homes all over the world and plan my trips around them. I believe where you stay while travelling greatly impacts how your vacation turns out. Just because you’re at home right now doesn’t mean you will be forever. So go on to Airbnb and find a home that suits your tastes and budget, and start dreaming about your future holiday.

If you want to cook- Tasty is a food app where you can search for recipes according to your preferred cuisine and the amount of time you happen to have on your hands. It’s easy to navigate and has a video alongside each recipe to aid you in your cooking process. If you’re anything like me and would probably set even water on fire, then try out Tasty for their simple, beginner- friendly recipes.

If you miss your friends- Houseparty is a group video-chatting platform that allows you to miss your friends a little bit less. This app has been around since 2016 but has become extremely popular in the past few weeks, with more and more people using it to have virtual gatherings with their friends. It’s a great way to stay in touch with your friend circles while self-isolating.  

If you like news, quizzes, and lists- Download the Buzzfeed app if you want to know how the world’s political climate is doing but also want to stay in touch with the latest celebrity news. From everything important to everything trivial, Buzzfeed will keep you informed. They also have lists of books, TV shows and movies they recommend and now is a better time than any to take a look at those. Another benefit of the app is its quizzes. Nothing is more fun than sitting in your room, munching on a bag of chips, and trying to figure out when you’re getting married, based on the type of food you like.

If you like trivia- Speaking of quizzes, QuizUp is a trivia app where you have multiplayer games against your friends or random people around the world. It’s an excellent way to test your knowledge of topics or themes you’re passionate about and it also doubles as a healthy outlet for some friendly competition.

If you want to read- One of the disadvantages of quarantining is you can’t go out to your favourite bookstore, pick a novel and take it home. One of the advantages of quarantining is Amazon Kindle which offers a selection of over a thousand free eBooks. Spanning across all genres, with both fiction and non-fiction options, the Kindle app is an ideal virtual library that will keep you company during this lonesome period.

If you want to date-  Hinge is a dating app that is more oriented towards relationships rather than hookups and matches you with people that you probably know or know of. This app is preferred by some people as it’s safer and doesn’t carry the same hook-up culture stigma that Tinder does. While Tinder follows a swipe-upon-seeing-picture technique, Hinge asks you to state facts such as your religious beliefs, whether you smoke or drink, and so on. If you want to spend your time getting to know someone before going on a date, now is a better time than any.

If you would like to learn a new language- Being at home without any classes to attend can leave you feeling guilty for how unproductive your days have become. Try getting rid of those feelings by learning a new language on Duolingo. It’s designed for English speakers to learn a language through reading, listening, speaking and writing exercises. It offers over 30 language courses such as French, Chinese, German, Spanish and more, all for free. While it might not make you a scholar in any of these languages, it’s still a fun, interactive way to learn and will teach you enough for you to be able to say you acquired a new skill.

If you enjoy photography and editing- PicsArt is an image-editing app and social media platform that allows you to alter your pictures and share them for other people to view and admire. It’s the editing app I prefer to use as it has an incredible number of features and effects to choose from, is easy to operate, and allows me to directly upload my images on to my different social media apps.

If health is a priority- Cure.fit is a health and fitness company that describes themselves as an “integrated platform for food, fitness, and meditation”. The cure.fit app offers free videos of workouts that you can do in the comfort and privacy of your own home. You can choose from different packs such as Strength and Conditioning or Weight Loss. There’s also an option to join live classes led by qualified professionals. Staying at home and staying fit doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive!

At the end of the day however you choose to spend this time is ofcourse up to you. But please make sure you stay indoors and stay safe. The sooner we adhere to protocols put in place, the sooner we can get on with our lives. In the meantime, pick an app, keep yourself busy and don’t put yourself or your loved ones in harm’s way.

Ahalya Bahuguna

Delhi South '20

Ahalya's hobbies include napping, eating pasta and looking for puppies to play with. She hopes to travel the world someday and do her bit in changing it. She also hopes to come up with a less clichéd bio sometime soon.
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