Having taken piano lessons at a young age, I’ve always been a fan of self-expression at the piano. It was a chance to be distanced from the bustle of everyday life and connect with myself. I found that even at the most anxious and stressful moments, I have always found solace in playing a tune. For other musical AU students, the quarantine period can be a great time to polish your musical talent. I found one way that kept motivating me to continue practicing my piano pieces was recording them for friends and family. For myself, having a dedicated Youtube channel means posting weekly content to help viewers stay engaged.
As you may have guessed from the “Not-so-Starving-Student” column, I’m a huge fan of creating my own recipes and experimenting with ethnic cuisines. Setting small goals such as preparing one new dish every day will not only teach you small tricks around the kitchen but also help keep your schedules interesting during quarantine. The entire process can feel like an adventure especially when you scout for the best ingredients in grocery stores to finally taste the fruit of your labor.
Needless to say, writing is one of my part-time passions. Despite not having a journalism degree or a Major in English, I found that creating writing and blogging can be a hobby for anyone. Especially during quarantine periods when stress and anxiety levels can be high. Writing is a way of voicing your thoughts in a constructive way. Moreover, from my personal experience, the more I write on a regular basis, the less often I experience writer’s block.
Early during the quarantine, I invested in a good quality microphone to record my music covers, but also experimented with making podcasts for the first time. I find that this hobby helped me learn a lot about video and voice editing which can come in handy for a variety of projects. Podcasting can also be therapeutic at times. There are many instructional videos that teach beginners how to make quality podcasts for free. I found that unlike some other hobbies, podcasting takes time to learn and given the abundance of time during the quarantine, learning to podcast can be highly rewarding.
Despite the closure of gyms and public workout spaces, there are a few healthy options to keep ourselves fit during the pandemic. While I follow Youtube body building enthusiasts for at-home exercises I can attempt, I found that with the warmer weather jogging outdoors was becoming more enjoyable. Having become more out of shape recently, I had to slowly increase my jogging capacity by a few extra minutes each day. Rather than tiring myself out quickly, I decided to aim for consistency each day.
[Of course, many of the articles over 2020 talked about dealing with COVID-19. This one, however, was probably noted for inclusion as part of the Best of 2020 because of the combination of personal and practical advice. Not just someone telling you what you can do, but a student exploring her options and letting you get a peak into what’s been done.]