Photo Credit: Giulia Bertelli via Unsplash
Trying out new hobbies in quarantine has given me a creative outlet and a way to escape from the world
Demetra Nikolakakis, The Mike Staff Writer
I’m not what you’d call a creative person. Before the pandemic, most of my time at home was spent watching Netflix or playing video games. While I’ve dabbled in baking and photography over the years, I never really stuck to any hobbies and my art skills are basically nonexistent. I’ve always wanted to try things like painting and pottery, but between clumsiness and always being busy, I never actually started.
As covid restrictions started to limit my everyday activities, I was bored but managed to keep busy between finals season, Netflix Parties, and scrolling through Tik Tok. It wasn’t until the summer that the monotony really started to get to me. To keep busy, I started revisiting old hobbies and skills. I poured hours into my old Skyrim world, sewed custom chair covers to rejuvenate a room in my basement, and got back into reading. I never managed to stay on any one hobby for too long though – it was more of a nostalgic two-week trip before moving on to the next hobby.
Eventually, I decided so I wanted to try something new, so I started playing around with 3D animation, following countless Youtube tutorials and torturing my computer by forcing it to render tiny useless details. In the following months, I also tried gilding the pages of my hardcover books, making tiny trinket dishes out of air dry clay, and painting. Side note to all the English majors: a thin coat of metallic acrylic paint on the sides of a hardcover book is an absolute game changer. I found most of the hobbies through recommended Youtube videos – whatever caught my eye would become my obsession for the next few weeks, and I would be delighted with my ability to create something new.
While I didn’t necessarily get good at any of my new hobbies (and I’m now the owner of way too many little clay trays), they’ve all given me a creative outlet and a way to destress when school and the news become a little too intense. While working on these hobbies, the issues of the world fade for a little while as I enter my own little realm, and when I come back to reality, I get to keep a tiny souvenir. It may not be very good, but it’s something that I made, a cute little trinket that used to be a pile of wet clay, or a bunch of coloured liquids, or even a random sequence of 0’s and 1’s.
To be honest, I probably won’t regularly continue most of my new hobbies after the world goes back to normal. As fun as they are to start, I find it difficult to maintain interest in any one hobby, and normal life is pretty busy. Still, I’ll definitely be making a habit of trying new things – the experience of trying something new, even if you have to follow a Youtube tutorial, brings the pride of seeing what you accomplish and the acknowledgement that it’s okay to make mistakes, which we should all be reminded of more often. First on my list when things open up again? Pottery classes and horse-back riding lessons.