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Staying at home helps to discover new hobbies, some students say

Rylee Brown, a sophomore communication major, and her partner, Hassan Ahumada take a break from boomeranging at East Sandy Elementary school April 7. Taking up a hobby like boomeranging is the perfect quarantine activity because boomerangs will fly back and not hit anyone, according to Brown. (Photo Courtesy: Rylee Brown)

In between online classes and spending time with the people they’re quarantined with, students say they have discovered new hobbies in their free time.

Whether it’s a newfound passion for art or learning the basics of coding, some students at Westminster College say hobbies are a good distraction to have while in quarantine.

Staying at home has encouraged some students to learn a new language, according to Rylee Brown, a sophomore communication major, who is currently living with her boyfriend’s family. 

“My boyfriend’s mom does not speak English,” Brown said. “This has given me a great opportunity to work on my Spanish. One way I practice and a fun game we play is called ‘Loteria.’” 

Loteria is similar to Bingo but instead of numbers and letters, it’s Spanish words like, “la escalera” (ladder), according to Brown.

Other students say they have revisited old hobbies. 

“I am teaching myself how to play the guitar again,” said Carlie Hiatt, a sophomore neuroscience major. “It’s definitely keeping my mind distracted and busy throughout the day.” 

Staying at home means having a lot of time to play video games and watch television shows on Netflix, according to Hiatt.  

“I have played lots and lots of video games,” Hiatt said. “I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve played so many video games I am starting to get sick of them.”  

Some students say the Nintendo Switch video game, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” has helped them get through the quarantine.

“I have been playing ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ a lot,” said Madison Covington, a sophomore communication major. “I am finding that [the] game is keeping me sane. I enjoy playing it because I get to escape the reality we are all living in today.” 

Rylee Brown, a sophomore communication major, celebrates the completion of the embroidered sign she made for her mother’s upcoming birthday. Having hobbies like embroidering helps get her mind off the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Brown. (Photo Courtesy: Rylee Brown)

When it comes to doing outdoor activities, some students say they have to think outside the box in order to follow the social distancing guidelines. 

“My boyfriend and I took up the odd sport of boomeranging,” said Rylee Brown. “This is because the boomerangs fly back to you, so it’s best to play in a big empty field so the boomerangs don’t accidentally hit anyone.” 

Some students say they don’t have to go too far out of their way to do outdoor activities.

To spend time with family, going in the backyard and jumping on the trampoline helps to pass the time, according to Covington. 

In order to maintain a healthy mentality during the COVID-19 pandemic, some students say it’s important to stay busy with activities.

“I do think it’s important to find hobbies during quarantine,” Hiatt said. “I think keeping your mind busy during this hard time is good. It keeps you distracted and because a lot of us cannot work, it gives us an opportunity to learn a new hobby.” 

Some students say finding hobbies helps them to grow.

“[Finding hobbies] has helped me get my mind off things when I start feeling sad or anxious about the pandemic,” Brown said. “Plus, it’s a very enriching feeling to see yourself get better at an activity, no matter what it is.” 

Some students say taking up a hobby leads to positive habits.

“If people find new hobbies, then they will be more likely to keep doing them to pass the time,” Covington said. “Hobbies are important and they allow people to try new things.”


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Cat Taylor is a junior communication major with a minor in art. For a year and a half, she worked as a communication coordinator for the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion where she co-created the social media campaign, “We Are Westminster” that discussed unconscious bias. In her free time, she can be seen drawing, playing video games and drinking a significant amount of coffee.

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