Quarantined at home right now, students (and the general public) are essentially toggling between two pastimes: school or work and Netflix. After some time, watching movies and shows is going to get boring and you’re going to need another activity to distract you from schoolwork. Here are some other ideas for things to do while you’re at home for a while.
Resurrect an old hobby
Maybe you tried crocheting when you were younger but thought it was too difficult. Or maybe your house has a keyboard that you never learned to play. Use some of your free time to learn a new skill or take up an old hobby again. Learning something fun on your own is a nice break from learning strictly school subjects. Many hobbies are creative too, so you’ll get a chance to express yourself and make something new. Once you’ve got the hang of your new hobby, you can teach it to your housemates. You can sit in a circle (six feet apart from each other of course) and knit together, share stories you’ve written or show off your artwork.
Tidy your space
At the risk of sounding like your mother, you can use all this time at home to clean up your room and other areas of the house your stuff might be hanging around. Clear the clutter in your space to prioritize room for things that you actually need or use. Clean off your desk so that you have space to work and organize the drawers of your desk so that they aren’t just filled with random junk. Go through the clothes in your closet to get rid of what you don’t wear anymore. Now that you’re home when you never thought you would be, it’s also a good opportunity to reconsider the design of your room. Maybe make plans to repaint the walls or get some new decorations once stores reopen.
Pick up a book
Maybe in all the clutter you clear from your room you’ll discover a book to read. You might think it would be difficult to find a book to read right now with libraries closed, but libraries often have digital resources that you can access from the comfort (discomfort by now?) of your own house. If books aren’t your thing, try subscribing to a magazine — many are still being delivered to your mailbox, or you can pick one up in the grocery store. Reading will keep you entertained and allow you to travel without leaving your house.
Learn to cook
Now that you have access to a kitchen, you can learn how to prepare healthy meals for yourself and your family. Think of this as some time to grow your culinary expertise before you start living on your own. Help whoever’s cooking dinner each night to learn family recipes or cook a new dish. If you find that you have a lot of extra time on your hands, try meal prepping: Talk to your housemates to find out what they want to eat this week and then make a grocery list for all the ingredients. If you’re more of a casual cook, get your feet wet by preparing a side dish for dinner every night or by baking a treat for everyone to enjoy. You could even make some snacks like roasted chickpeas, granola bars or trail mix!
Grow a garden
If you’re looking for another way to get outside while you’re at home, you can start a garden. It’s simpler than you might think, though your plants will require your care for the season. First decide if you want to grow a flower garden or a vegetable garden: Flowers can provide a nice view, but fruit and vegetable plants will return your care with edible produce. Pick a sunny spot of land in your yard and start planting. It’s that simple! Make sure to water everyday (or however much is required by your plants) and to pick vegetables when they’re ripe. Bonus: If you also learned to cook while quarantined, you can use some of this produce in your recipes!
Stephanie Santillo is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.