Stuck at home? Students share creative activities and advice

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Paige Matthys-Pearce

A compilation of the features organized like a Zoom meeting.

Since the stay-at-home order began at the end of March, people have had more time at home. Here is how four students have decided to spend their time, and their advice to those that are looking for something to do.

Freshman Hannah Choi

Sewing machine whirring, freshman Hannah Choi creates homemade masks to donate to the community. Choi began this project with her family at the beginning of the quarantine. “It just seems like the right thing to do because I feel like a lot of people need help right now, and the least we could do is help them out and make the masks,” Choi said. (Courtesy of Hannah Choi)

How are you spending your quarantine?

“We’re making masks to donate to hospitals.”

What inspired you?

“My mom mentioned it to me and I was just like, ‘why not?’ It just seems like the right thing to do because I feel like a lot of people need help right now, and the least we could do is help them out and make the masks because they’re running out of supplies. My sister and my mom helped me, we all do together. So we all take turns, we do it whenever we feel like it so if I want to do it I just take a couple hours. We all work together so it doesn’t take too long.”

How has quarantine helped kickstart this project?

“[Without the quarantine], I don’t think I would be [making masks], because if we had school I probably wouldn’t spend half my days making masks.”

What advice do you give to students looking for something to do?

“Take advantage of the time you [have] with your family and just hang out with them or spend time on a new hobby, something you want to try.”

Junior Sara Albarcha

Junior Sara Albarcha constructs a shed for her pet bunnies. Working on the project has given Albarcha more time to be with her family. “I think it’s really fun to just be with my family, especially since my dad is always at work,” Albarcha said. “It makes me happy knowing that we can bond over doing that.”(Photo by Summer Albarcha)

What have you been doing in quarantine?

“I’ve had bunnies for about two years now and they really haven’t had a place to be in my house. So my dad was like, ‘okay, since we have so much time, we might as well just build a shed for them because we’re all home and it’s nice to put them outside since it’s their environment.’ So we started buying wood and getting paint. We built everything from scratch. We actually cut out each piece and then drew up a design. We’re still not done yet. We saw a few finishing touches that we need to do, but so far it’s been outside. It’s cute.”

How has quarantine helped kickstart this project?

“[My dad] had this plan for a while and he drew up the design a few months ago, but we kept pushing it off because we never had time to do anything with work and school and everybody never being home. So we’ve just started from there. I think it’s been since around late March.”

How do you feel when you’re working on this?

“I think it’s really fun to just be with my family, especially since my dad is always at work. With being in quarantine, I’ve had time to hang out with him and build stuff with him. He’s really interested in building things. So I think he’s having fun with us too. It makes me happy knowing that we can bond over doing that.”

What advice do you give to students who are looking for something to do?

“If you’ve been thinking about trying out new things, or starting a new hobby, right now is the perfect time to do it. Don’t be scared that you may not be good at something. There’s always no harm in trying.”

Sophomore Brinda Ambal 

Cooking on the grill, Achyuta Ambal and his sister, sophomore Brinda Ambal, prepare vegan burgers. Since the stay-at-home order began, B. Ambal has experimented with vegan cooking to find ingredients that work as substitutes for the more common ones. “I definitely don’t think I would’ve physically had the time to do this if we weren’t in quarantine,” Ambal said. “Quarantine has given me an opportunity to revisit some of my hobbies that I like to enjoy solely for myself, just to have fun.”(Courtesy of Brinda Ambal)

What have you been doing during quarantine?

“I’ve done some experimental vegan baking. I think it’s really cool to find ingredients that work as substitutions for conventional baking ingredients, and then learn about why they work chemically. For example, theoretically, you can make macarons without eggs by using aquafaba instead. I tried this once, and it only half worked, but I will keep troubleshooting until I figure it out because I’ve got nothing but time. I’ve also been inventing my own recipes, using healthier ingredients. I can’t claim that they’re entirely healthy though.”

What inspired you to start this project?

“I was inspired to bake mostly because I had nothing better to do and I wanted something delicious to eat.”

How has being in quarantine helped spark this project?

“I definitely don’t think I would’ve physically had the time to do this if we weren’t in quarantine, just because I’d have school and then practice and then homework and by that point in my day I’d just be so tuckered out that I just want to go to sleep. Then I’d do it again the next day. Quarantine has given me an opportunity to revisit some of my hobbies that I like to enjoy solely for myself, just to have fun.”

What advice do you give to students who are looking for something to do?

“I think it’s important to take the time that we have on our hands right now and explore what you like to do. This is your chance to take a break from the frenzy of the real world and set aside some time truly for yourself.”

Freshman Tristan Caudill

Flipping backwards and upside down, freshman Tristan Caudill performs a back tuck on his airtrack. A competitive gymnast, Caudill had to move his practice to his home due to the stay-at-home order. “It is really hard for me to get back into gymnastics after taking such a long time off,” Caudill said. “I didn’t want to have to start all over from the basics, so I decided to continue to train with what I have at home.”(Courtesy of Tristan Caudill)

What have you been doing in your workouts?

“My workouts consist of working on standing tumbling skills, Backhandsprings and back tucks, and connecting skills together [like the] Backhandspring back tuck. Then I do some running tumbling in the grass or on my airtrack. My friends and I have been doing virtual gymnastics workouts together and we have been maintaining the basics of our sport.

What inspired you to do this?

“I decided to start doing this because it is really hard for me to get back into gymnastics after taking such a long time off and I didn’t want to have to start all over from the basics. So I decided to continue to train with what I have at home.”

How has quarantine affected your practice?

“I have to improvise with just doing short series and mostly standing tumbling, I don’t have the equipment or space to do my usual eight-skill passes.”

What advice do you give to students who are looking for something to do?

“My advice would be if you have something you like to do or something you want to start doing, start doing it now. There is no better time to pick up a good hobby than when you are stuck at home until the quarantine is over.”