Art by Gabby DiGiovanni
As students finish their semesters remotely due to Pepperdine’s switch to online classes, some students are now faced with ample downtime between classes and schoolwork. With extracurriculars and in-person socializing no longer an option, students are taking steps to find joy, peace and self-expression amidst the uncertainty.
Without access to fitness classes or art studios, students are finding creative ways to spend their free time. Freshman Cassie Hewett has started practicing yoga — she especially enjoys YouTube yoga instructor Yoga With Adriene.
“In the morning, to not be so lazy, I work out and then do a little yoga,” Hewett said. “It’s nice and calming. I think I’m going to start doing the Zoom yoga that Pepperdine is offering.”
Other students are finding new ways to stay in shape during quarantine. Senior Alexa Birt has used exercise as an opportunity to get some fresh air to break up time spent indoors.
“I got back into running on this trail I used to run on really often and I forgot how beautiful it is,” Birt said. “I’d like to start getting into those online workout videos, but I’m still building up the motivation.”
After returning home to Texas, freshman Kelli Brickner has found spending time outside with her family to be one of her newfound favorite activities. With five siblings together in their family home, playing frisbee in their local park has been a way to spend time together.
“In this time of such uncertainty, it is so important physically and mentally to get outside and find different ways to avoid feelings of boredom and restlessness,” Brickner said. “With five kids at home who are all on their own schedules during the day, it really has become a way for the seven of us to take time to intentionally be together, laugh at each other, run around — and we stay six feet apart the whole time.”
Freshman Brandon Rubsamen said in addition to eating lots of ice cream, biking is one of his most enjoyable quarantine activities.
“Besides keeping Ben & Jerry’s in business and homework and Zoom, I’ve taken up biking again,” Rubsamen said. “I’ve found it’s a great way to take a break from the house, from family, and from all the crazy coronavirus stuff.”
From painting to songwriting, students are additionally exploring their artistic abilities during the quarantine. Currently in Santa Barbara, freshman Haley Hoidal practices embroidery to pass the time.
“I was bored one day and saw that I have a lot of string,” Hoidal said. “I grabbed some string and tried [embroidery]. I looked up some videos on YouTube — it’s really fun just to practice designs on a cloth.”
In between classes, junior Kara Tyler uses her watercolor skills to reflect and meditate while at home.
“I’ve been working on staying creative during this time, which I think has helped me adjust greatly,” Tyler said. “Leaning into my hobbies — like writing, painting and yoga — has helped me maintain a sense of normalcy in the midst of all these changes and chaos.”
Freshman Addie Whiten rediscovered her passion for video games after returning to her home in Dallas, Texas.
“When I was growing up, I played video games for so many hours each week on my Playstation 2 and my Nintendo DS,” Whiten said. “As I got older, I had less time for it and just kind of grew out of it. Now I’ve got so much time and it’s a perfect way to turn my brain off for a while and just have fun.”
YouTube and Pinterest are just a few of the platforms students can explore activities to try out while stuck inside. For inspiration on how to fill time during the transition back home, check out @PepperdineRISE’s Instagram page for daily tips about staying active, staying social and taking time for self-care.
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