Bored in Quarantine?

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Vanessa Le (10) has been baking in her free time during quarantine. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Le.

Ashley Kim, Staff Writer

   School, Spring Break, weekends: the previously well-defined borders of life are now blurring together.  Every day has become a haze of obscure schedules and tasks.  Milestones like waking up and eating lunch are beginning to lose their structure.  In short, quarantine has given us so much time and so little to do.  We’re left with a big, blank space of emptiness, unsure what to do with ourselves.

   We’re used to filling our lives, packing each and every second of every minute of every hour of every day―what’s the next school assignment to complete?  The next YouTube video to watch?  The next club meeting to attend?  But as COVID-19 has swept the nation, we’re left in our homes, sentenced to months of doing…nothing.  There’s a void: lives that were once brimming with activity are now filled with empty space.

   But on the other hand, we finally have time to do the things we always meant to.  We’re high schoolers, and our lives have been busy.  Remember pulling all-nighters to finish homework?  Remember wishing you had more time?  Those days are now behind us.  Before us is an expanse of time and opportunity, no matter how limited it is.  We didn’t have this before: this space between pieces of life, this time to spend doing purely nothing, this freedom from obligations to the world.

   “The best part of quarantine is probably just having time,” Shruti Penumarti (10) said.  “Despite not doing anything valuable with it, it’s nice to have the opportunity to stop schoolwork midday and just lay on the bed for a second because you’re so tired.”

   And if you’re still bored in quarantine, there are plenty of things to try.

   Vanessa Le (10) has taken up baking.  She’s not alone: there’s a reason why flour is in demand and recipes are circulating the internet.  Cooking and baking are both enjoyable and productive skills to cultivate.  There are tons of easy, accessible recipes perfect for curing boredom.

   Le said, “So far, I made banana pancakes, cookies, and Japanese soufflé pancakes; just simple stuff.”

   Isabella Santana (10) keeps herself busy with a variety of hobbies focused on improving her health and mindset.  “I exercise and stretch to keep my body healthy,” she said.  “I’ve also picked up reading again and I’ve been keeping a journal/planner where I just write down some of my thoughts and also write my to-do lists.”

   Others have enjoyed reviving old hobbies.  Penumarti added, “I’ve been picking up books I used to love and watching new movies because why not?”

   And finally, for many of us, free time simply means more time to spend with family.  Life has a tendency to drag us away from our loved ones and get in the way of quality time.

   Abby Newhart (10) said that the “best part is being able to spend time [with] my family a lot more.”

   In particular, Shrutika Ezhil (10) remarked, “Quarantine made me realize how important it is to spend time with my family before college.”

   Social distancing doesn’t have to be painful.  Though we may be far from friends, prevented from going outside, and bored at home, quarantine has given us breathing room: a space to grow, a space to live a better life.  Think about all the things you want to do, the hobbies you want to try, the interests you’ve never been able to cultivate.  You don’t have to fill your time with a strict schedule.  Just appreciate the time given to you.  After all, if time is money, we’re all rich.