Psychology major Madelynne Avila singing in her room. | Photo by Madelynne J. Avila

Students Find Creative Ways to Pass Time in Quarantine.

An inside look at how Humboldt State students' are staying busy with pandemic hobbies.
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An inside look at how Humboldt State students’ are staying busy with pandemic hobbies.

Just because life has begun to resemble a sci-fi movie, doesn’t mean students aren’t having fun. Abiding by COVID-19 protocol, students are cooped-up indoors more than usual. While video games, Netflix and sleeping becoming more common in the household, others have chosen instead to spend their time creatively.

Rebekka N. Lopez, a music education major at Humboldt State University, was the drum major for the Marching Lumberjacks in the spring. When classes were brought online and health-guidelines were put in place, the Marching Jacks’ season was cut short and they remain on the bench this semester. Undeterred, Lopez continues to practice through quarantine.

“That’s what I did almost every day this quarantine,” Lopez.

Lopez enjoys practicing as a hobby and intends to pursue a professional career in music. Recenty, she’s been learning to play new instruments.

“I play a couple, I play the flute and the saxophone mostly and, I’m still learning other instruments like ukulele, guitar, clarinet and piano,” Lopez said. “It’s my job to know even more than that so I’ve got a long way to go,” Lopez said.

Hobbies are not only great outlets for self-expression, they can also make it easier to co-exist with the anxious attitude of the difficult times we live in. HSU psychology major Madelynne J. Avila uses some of the extra time she has during quarantine to practice singing.

“For me personally, singing has always been an outlet for you know relieving stress and just kinda getting my mind off of whatever may be going on right now,” Avila said.

Along with singing, Avila also enjoys volunteering. In the spring, before quarantine, she volunteered at her local animal shelter and at a local wildlife rehabilitation hospital. Once quarantine started, volunteer opportunities were no longer available. She was able to transfer into the education department at Lindsay Wildlife Experience and continues helping those in need.

“Volunteering has been something that I’ve really wanted to do for a while, and really kinda just go all into it,” said Avila.

Jared Schroter, a sophomore at HSU, is an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, the highest rank earned by completing various tasks and demonstrating expert survival skills. Schroter is also a leader in the Venture Scouts program, composed of male and female scouts between the ages of 14 and 21.

“I started to make a crew when I was 18 because I aged out of Boy Scouts,” Schroter said.

As the president of crew 200, Schroter continues to plan and hold meetings over Zoom, keeping him more or less occupied most days. Schroter also enjoys outside activities like golf to fill in gaps during the day.

“I’m horrible at golfing but I’ve become somewhat decent at it now,” Schroter said.

Being stuck inside for long periods of time is not healthy, so for students willing to follow social-distancing guidelines, like anthropology student Scarlet Chapman, they can still experience the joy of nature.

“I’ve been getting out a lot, spending a lot of time in nature,” Chapman said. “Been trying to put my phone down more.”

One of Chapman’s new quarantine hobbies is drying flowers. She got inspired to spend her time more creatively when she saw friends posting their hobbies on social media.

“I saw a lot of gardening on Instagram,” said Chapman. “And I was like ‘oh that looks fun’, so I’ve been adding to my garden outside,” Chapman said.

Quarantine can be an opportunity for personal growth for those willing to work for it. Finding the silver lining and keeping yourself on track will help repel negativity and boost morale.

“Just to know that even during quarantine you’ve improved on something or you’ve like gotten better at a certain skill, I think that’s really great for personal morale and you can only get so much from watching a show,” Lopez said.

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