The last thing anyone expected in their lifetime was to be quarantined for six months due to a global pandemic. The levels of boredom have reached new heights for most, if not all. Hundreds of thousands of internships, jobs, summer vacations, and graduations have been canceled across the world. It has been a tough time for everyone trying to adapt to this new and uncertain way of life. There are only so many times you can binge-watch a show on the thousands of streaming platforms, re-read your favorite book or start a new book before you are over it. 

With all this being said, over the past few months “quarantine” has been associated with not being able to go out, not being able to spend time with friends, not being able to travel and not being able to party. It has been terrible, annoying and lastly, it has been draining both mentally and physically. 

Oftentimes in life, we forget that we can take whatever is going on and transform it into something better. The only way to get through something that is new or challenging is to go through it with a different perspective. Because of course, different perspectives lead to different outcomes. Quarantine should be looked at as a time to grow because there is so much personal time devoted to you and only you. It is the time to pick up a new hobby, reflect on yourself, start the blog or Youtube channel you have been dreaming about, pick up new hair routines and so much more. 

After interviewing a few students and polling them on their favorite quarantine hobby, cooking and baking took a strong lead. 

Nia Anderson, a junior at The University of Alabama, said “I loved cooking over quarantine. I did it almost every day. It was great because I am now able to cook for myself and my roommates in our apartment.” 

Some simple yet tasty meals to make are chicken parmesan, rasta pasta, fried rice, a seafood boil or bake, shrimp and grits, and tacos. You would be surprised what you can whip up just by googling a few meals you’ve always wanted to try. While these may seem easy to some, others have absolutely no basic cooking skills. Even if you are already a “pro chef” there is always room for improvement. Learning new cooking techniques allows for more dishes at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinners. 

Another fun hobby to take up during quarantine happens to also be one that is rather important: hair care. For the newly naturals or long time naturals, moisture training is a very important skill to hone. Since quarantine is simply days on end in the house, what better time to moisture train your hair? It allows for your curls to achieve the ultimate level of popping. Remember not to look at the type of hair you have, but the hair porosity. 

For some, making a wig has always looked interesting. Time in quarantine allows for the trial and error of making your first wig or even just learning how to put one on. Weave ponytails are a simple and quick hairstyle to master with some help from a few youtube videos. Learning how to do cornrows, twists and braid outs are more trial and error hairstyles – but there is no better time than now to invest in perfecting your hair. 

After scrolling through Tik Tok, DIYs became a fun hobby almost everyone tried to pick up, while attempting to become Tik Tok famous. 

“I actually learned how to make some candles over quarantine. It was so easy and pretty fun actually,” said Mallory Westry, a junior at UA. 

Cloud mirrors have also become popular over the past few months. They can go well with any themed room, especially light and airy rooms with a few plants here and there to add a nature vibe. Over the door mirrors from Walmart or Target that are cheap and easy to fool around with before the final project. 

While on the topic of room decor, changing a bedroom or living room around is good to do every now and then. Since quarantine and social distance pushes many people to fall back into their homes, switching things around allows for better vibes and flows of energy. The feeling you get from switching a room around is equivalent to the same feeling you get after a good day of cleaning. When all is said and done, you can light your DIY candle and illuminate your reimagined living spaces.

There are several other activities to do during times of quarantine and social distancing. Getting dressed up and hanging out with friends is still possible. Once everyone is feeling good and looking good, meet up at a park, rooftop, parking lot or even create space in your home and have a mini photoshoot. Officially ripping off the band-aid and starting that YouTube channel or blog is a great investment of your time. Similarly, journaling and gratitude books open the mind and soul and are also great to reflect on how far you have come or where you want to go.

Being in quarantine can be no fun. The constant anticipation and anxiety over when will life return to normal can be overwhelming. Looking for those hidden gems and hobbies can not only go a long way to pass the time, but it can also improve the quality of your life. Remember, life is full of the unexpected: it is what you take from those moments that allow for you to be the best you that you can be.