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Why You Shouldn’t Forget About That Hobby You Picked Up During Quarantine

It’s weird to be reminiscent of the infamous 2020 quarantine, a time full of uncertainty and undeniable loss. A time where the world stood still, and we had no clue when a semblance of normalcy would resume. Amongst this standstill between the world and COVID-19, many of us had A LOT of free time. As we have been transitioning back to “normal life,” the leisurely time granted to us by quarantine has become scarce once again.

From binge-watching Tiger King to learning TikTok dances, we passed time during the pandemic in our own unique (and endearing!) ways. Some dabbled in the art of tie-dye, baking, jewelry making (me!), or painting, and the list goes on. However, as life has begun to resume, we may have lost that passion for our niche quarantine hobby. We no longer had the time to sit around and bake banana bread or craft a scrapbook. But I’m here to remind you of those projects, and the sense of stillness they offered you as it felt like the world was falling apart.

The descent into quarantine was pure chaos. We no longer had to physically attend classes, social events were canceled indefinitely, and it seemed like time truly ceased to exist. With our schedules suddenly open and cleared, we were faced with the challenge of passing time while it seemed like the world was ending. The hobbies we devoted ourselves to proved to be stabilizing, even therapeutic, moments of mindfulness despite external ongoings. I found taking the time to do a puzzle, create art, or bake goodies helped me get my mind off the existential dread we endured every day.

The peak of quarantine was difficult for everyone. But look at you now, you’ve come out triumphant! Of course, uncertainty remains as COVID-19 manages to mutate despite our efforts. However, we are better equipped to handle it. The same goes for us with our own personal battles. We learned we are more resilient than we previously believed. We learned we are more talented than we thought our potential was. (Thank you quarantine arts and crafts.) We learned that we can prioritize ourselves.

I urge you to translate this mentality into your current routine. Life is still chaotic, it will never not be chaotic. But that does not mean we should allow ourselves to be bogged down by particular circumstances. Seek solace in prior moments of peace amidst the uncertainty. Take time for yourself, and continue that hobby for your own sake. Remember how you handled that shift into quarantine, and apply that into the forthcoming chapters of your life. As the winter season approaches and seasonal depression begins to loom, apply the strategies you accrued over quarantine to overcome this next obstacle.

Plus, by the time you have grandchildren, you’ll be the cool grandparent with a bunch of niche hobbies they picked up during the notorious pandemic! Who doesn’t want to be the cool grandma that can tie-dye really well, craft necklaces on the spot, or even make whipped coffee to the perfect consistency? Who wouldn’t want their grandkids to brag that their grandma knows how to make banana bread without needing to measure any of the ingredients? Or that their grandma has been making her own jewelry for the past 50 years? Consistency is powerful. Do it for yourself. Continue your quarantine hobby for your past, present, and future self.

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Nora Donovan

U Mass Amherst '23

Nora is a junior majoring in Communication and Sociology, with a minor in Economics. She is passionate about art, writing, and working out.
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