When it comes to day to day life for many students and teachers during this pandemic, it’s all the same. Teachers guide students through academics and after that, they have to grade work. Students have to sit through lectures on a screen and after that, do homework and complete assignments.
But what about when there is spare time or a little break needed after the long and suffocating hours of working at home? Is there anything you like to do to ease the tension and stress after yet another routine day? Do you paint or draw? Do you read or write or sew? Hobbies are very important to have, especially during such a distressing time like now.
GCHS French teacher Jennifer Beckett expressed, “I feel like we have them (hobbies) because we need outlets that let us focus on our growth and happiness, and not just on making money or getting good grades or whatever. It’s something that lets us focus on something different.”
On top of being a French teacher, Beckett is also a mom and her hobby, poetry, allows her to have a change of pace and direct her focus onto herself.
“So often, my job is about helping other people, so a lot of the time my focus has to be on helping other people. And the same is true as a mom. I want to be there for my family. I want to be there for my students. But when I’m pursuing my hobby, it’s something I’m doing for me.”
Hobbies provide a multitude of different uses other than providing a distraction.
Brandon McQueen, a junior at GCHS, plays the guitar. McQueen uses his hobby as a mental getaway, and as a way to get focused prior to doing his schoolwork. “For me, it distracts me if I’m really overwhelmed with work. Having a hobby distracts me from everything that’s going on at the moment. It also calms me down and helps get me in the mindset before I start doing work or an assignment.”
For Roselyn Corona, a junior with the hobby of SFX makeup, getting her mind off things like the pandemic isn’t the only thing her hobby provides help with. “For me, personally, it helps me with my skills, since I still don’t know what I wanna do when I grow up. So for now, it kind of gets my mind off of things like the pandemic and like everything else that’s going on. When I do SFX makeup, I feel very happy, and I feel like I’m doing something that could hopefully in the future become something big or greater for me,” Corona declared.
With many students and teachers working from home due to social distancing, it’s presented the opportunity to spend more time on and further build on existing hobbies.
Beckett revealed, “Since quarantine started, there have been times where all I wanted to do was write and there have been other times where I didn’t feel like I could write at all–like there was a block there, and it was just too much. That’s another cool thing about pursuing a creative hobby and that is learning to listen to yourself and to know when to push yourself and when to let go a little bit.”
Beckett continued, “It brings me a feeling of accomplishment and for a lot of people, myself included, motivation has been challenging and different than it is in normal day to day life. One, it was harder to get motivated to write, but two, the writing helped me be motivated.”
McQueen utilized this time to practice more on the guitar and can see the benefits of the practice. “I was obviously home a lot more so I had more time to myself to practice some new things that maybe I wasn’t so good at and to overall learn some new songs. It helped me broaden the music that I can play.”
More free time has allowed Corona to consume more media that plays into inspiring her makeup. She revealed, “The pandemic has definitely made me get more into and given me more time in doing SFX makeup. With quarantine, I’m really bored at home so I have nothing fun to do. But since I’ve started seeing more horror movies and playing more horror games then I’m like dude, I should probably try this or that out with makeup, it’d look so cool. So I usually get inspiration from games and movies so because I’ve had more time to myself during all of this, I’ve found more outlets of inspiration.”
Like Corona, quarantine presented Beckett with the chance to reflect on what was going on at the time and that plays into what she writes.
“Quarantine has definitely given me more time to focus on poetry, it’s let me process other things too, that I wouldn’t have necessarily taken the time to process like social issues that I’ve thought about a lot because I had the time to do it. Thinking about my role in helping to create the world that I want us to live in and that definitely factors into what I write about,” Beckett said.
Hobbies also present us with the ability to escape stress and focus on our own wellbeing all while still being connected with those around us by sharing an end product with friends and family.
“And during the pandemic, I posted some of them on Facebook just so like friends can see and we could talk and interact. So for me the hobby is sometimes about doing things that makes me feel happy. Sometimes it’s about connecting. It’s totally okay to do something just because you like it and not because it makes you money. But even if you only do it because it makes you happy, that is worth doing it,” Beckett affirmed.