Newfound Interests, The Silver Lining Of Being Stuck At Home

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Caitlyn Keiter

State High sophomore Caitlyn Keiter took up biking during the pandemic as a way to get outside and get some exercise. Keiter (right) and friends came to use their bikes on a regular basis during quarantine.

Quinn Colburn, Staff Writer

While the pandemic and quarantining have brought several hardships upon just about everybody, many people took it as an opportunity to try something new. Ever since lockdown started, boredom began to set in for many. To keep occupied (and sane) during these unprecedented times, several students took it upon themselves to find different ways to remedy this. 

Quarantining and social distancing can inflict boredom on many different aspects of everyday life, and bored of her usual fashion sense, sophomore Grace Lippincott used this time to improve her sense of clothing style. 

“I was bored with what I was wearing and I decided to change it up,” Lippincott said. She added that this improvement brought not only a boost in style points but a boost in confidence as well. Now, one burning question that comes with any newfound hobby during current circumstances is wondering if you’d still have taken part in said activity with no pandemic. However, for Lippincott, she feels she would have done the same. 

“I probably still would have tried to improve my fashion sense,” Lippincott explained, “but just to a lesser extent.” While many prefer using these extended periods of free time to try completely new things, others, like Lippincott, use this time to expand upon activities that they inevitably would have done in the future anyway. As for anyone who may be interested in improving or changing up their style, Lippincott believes it to be pretty simple.

“Just find what you like,” Lippincott stated, “what you look good in.” 

Sophomore Caitlyn Keiter used her extra time a little differently. Starting in the beginning of April, Keiter started to go on routine bike rides. Bored and needing to do something, Keiter decided to bike to various places around town. 

“I thought it was interesting because I could have fun while social-distancing with friends,” Keiter explained. 

Since she got into this activity in the midst of the lockdown, biking became a safe yet enjoyable activity allowing her to get out of the house for a bit. Keiter added that she got the chance to explore new parts of State College that she had never seen before. While Keiter enjoys biking during her newfound free time in the pandemic, she believes that she would not have found interest in it otherwise. 

“I would have been really busy with sports and school so [the pandemic] gave me the opportunity to try something new,” explained Keiter. Her simple yet important advice to anyone who rides a bike regularly is to always wear a helmet. 

While the pandemic may have been a time for some to focus on a singular interest or two, others took this time to explore several, like sophomore Sage Newman. Similar to many others, Newman tried her best not to let boredom get the best of her, taking part in several new activities. Just a few of the activities Newman tried out were: long-distance running, cake-making, cooking, sewing, knitting, and binge-watching TV-shows including “The Office” and “Schitt’s Creek.” Out of each of these, Newman valued one above the rest. 

“I’d say running because I think it’s the most useful one. Everything else, I kind of knew how to do already, and just redid it,” Newman said. 

Adding onto this, Newman believes distance running would have been the only activity she wouldn’t have taken part in had there not been a pandemic. Like Keiter, she believes she just would not have had the time. Newman commented on a few tips and sentiments on the skill she believed to be the most worthy of her time during COVID-19.

“Running–it’s painful at first, but as soon as you’re in shape, it doesn’t hurt anymore, and it’s very calming,” Newman explained knowingly. “If you don’t reach that point, it’s the most painful, dreadful thing you will ever experience. So if you have the resilience and you want to be better, do that.”

The result of quarantining has left many with newfound free time that they generally were not accustomed to in the past. With all of the stress the pandemic has brought on, the extra downtime to explore new and different things can be seen as the bright side to having to stay at home.

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