Students acquire new hobbies over long quarantine months

Besides vegetables, Hogan has also planted herbs such as basil, oregano, and rosemary in his garden.

Photo courtesy of JP Hogan

Besides vegetables, Hogan has also planted herbs such as basil, oregano, and rosemary in his garden.

From harvesting cucumbers and eggplants to engaging in virtual battles to the death, new hobbies were one of the few benefits of 2020’s year-long quarantine. 

As the seasons passed, nature’s gifts were used to the student’s advantage to help bypass the boredom.

 “The new hobby I picked up was gardening,” recounted sophomore James Hogan. 

Besides the actual digging around in the dirt, “purchasing soil, getting seeds, and tending to the plants every day” were steps of the process Hogan had to take to ensure a successful harvest. 

Gardening wasn’t the only hobby that required working with your hands, with other students choosing to get crafty instead. 

 “I really picked up crocheting, I previously very vaguely knew how to crochet but I really started truly crocheting over quarantine, said senior Annabelle Wu. 

Along with the great outdoors, the great indoors was also utilized. 

“I started reading actual books again,” explained sophomore Ella Martin. 

Going with indoor activities, new video games were also freshly acquired.“I picked up a video game called ‘Valorant’,” said junior Paul Kim. “You fight people, it’s a first-person shooter game. For fun though, definitely not real.”

Students were also able to further interests they previously held. 

 “Reading these types of books definitely inspired me to draw and sew and spend more time creatively,” said Martin, who is already an avid artist. 

 “I brushed up on my crocheting skill and started with very generic plain colored beanies, but then those eventually turned into fun characters and creations,” said Wu. 

Barriers previously held up by hours spent at school were knocked down by isolation, allowing more time at home. 

“I had always wanted to garden, but I always had school,” explained Hogan. 

These newfound pastimes also helped ease the hardships Spartan’s experienced.  

“It helped with quarantine, by helping something grow, it made me feel more productive, and I was proud of the result,” said Hogan. 

Video games provided Kim with a way to bridge gaps with friends without leaving the house or breaking CDC guidelines. 

“It provided a cool new hobby through which I could spend time with friends without contact,” said Kim, highlighting how he overcame social distancing challenges. 

Hobbies didn’t just stay with students at home. Wu in particular was able to expand her skills into the community. 

“Over quarantine, I wanted to help give back since the news really highlighted how much this was affecting everyone like emotionally, physically and mentally,” explained Wu. “I mainly crocheted teeny tiny little hats for Reston Hospital’s NICU unit, but I also made some other things for fun.”

While quarantine is long gone and social distancing measures have been relaxed, the benefits reaped from student’s isolation discoveries still benefit them to this day.

 “I quit trying to read popular or important books, and started reading Audubon society guides and biographies of great artists, compilations of ancient fairytales, and just whatever I wanted to read,” said Martin. 

Besides hobbies, students also gained an important life lesson. The uncovering of new joys and taking part in them will always bring true happiness, any time of the year.