Right now, students around the world feel the painstaking combination of restlessness and anxiety. The expectation of being a full-time student amid a pandemic is a substantial weight. Many students return to homes that are financially unstable, mentally oppressive or isolating. Without school as an escape, these unprecedented times create a lack of control and stability.
If the circumstances permit, picking up new interests can provide a much needed outlet during quarantine. Investing time into learning something new has psychological benefits that can structure time and help cope with stress while bringing a sense of control.
Although it may seem as if being outdoors is illegal, it is beneficial to get fresh air — but remember to remain six feet apart from others. A walk around the neighborhood or yoga in the backyard under the sun is revitalizing after sitting inside for hours at a time. Many online workout apps are also offering free online classes during quarantine.
To hone the culinary craft, people have started filling their time with baking homemade sourdough bread. This is, of course, a cry for help, but isn’t that every hobby that’s picked up when the world is temporarily shut down? Baking bread is a great way to learn early on that being a baker is not your calling, but in the meantime, it is a thoughtful way to connect with friends by dropping off a fresh loaf at their doorstep.
If it sounds tempting to risk a trip to the understaffed emergency room — with hospital workers risking their lives daily during a pandemic — learning to skateboard or rollerblade might be a great new skill. Being on a set of wheels will both get people outside and get their adrenaline up, especially when you finally nail that first ollie.
On the more relaxed side of things, this is the perfect time to digest media that the busyness of school and work have previously prevented.
Turn on an episode of “Cheer” on Netflix or hang out with your friends via the newly released Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch. Make a TikTok (or don’t — maybe don’t). Read the book that has been sitting on the shelf and waiting to be read for the past three years.
There is endless entertainment to be consumed during all of the chaos, but the most important thing to do during quarantine is to recognize that there is no way to do it right. Pepperdine students, who tend to be overachievers, can utilize their pent-up energy toward creative endeavors amid school work and Zoom classes.
There is no model for how to get through Zoom classes without motivation or how to get off the couch for the first time in 12 hours. No one knows how each day should look, and no one will. These hobbies can be a great way to invest time during the day into something that is meaningful, and it will look different for everybody.
This is the time for students to do one of the hardest things there is to do: have grace with themselves. Celebrate the small things — and right now, they might be miniscule. Give grace when there is struggle, ask for help when it is needed and take each day as it comes.
There will be a day soon where we can comfort each other with hugs and spend time around the table with friends. Until then, let us continue to socially distance ourselves and flatten the curve for the sake of those around us.
Email Lexi Scanlon: email@example.com