Lockdown gives teens extra free time

Community members start exploring interests, hobbies

By Will Burns, Senior Reporter

Members of the school community have been finding new hobbies and exploring interests to fill their time while maintaining social distance.

In their newfound solitude, students have taken up new athletic activities they can do on their own, as well as mindfulness practices to help relieve pandemic-related stress and lack of social interaction.

“I’ve been trying to learn new things over shelter-in-place,” junior Jean-Luc Desnoyers-Piña said. “I started to skateboard and I’ve begun to cook more, and I’m trying things I wouldn’t have been able to try if quarantine hadn’t started.”

Learning meditation and mental practices to help clear the mind also has helped with stress, according to Desnoyers-Piña.

Not everyone is keeping busy by pursuing new interests, however, as some are instead further developing existing skills.

“I have always enjoyed playing golf,” junior Joe Shea said. “Prior to quarantine, I didn’t have many opportunities to play. Shelter-in-place gave me the opportunity to reignite my affinity for the game.”

Aside from finding new hobbies, students have also found time to grow as individuals as they navigate the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

“Lockdown made me more dependent on myself,” Shea said. “I see myself as more capable of being able to carry out tasks on my schedule, rather than relying on that of my school or family.”

Students say the pandemic has altered their perspectives on life and has made them more grateful for the everyday things they used to take for granted.

“I remember back in March when schools first closed, and my friends and I were looking forward to online school because it was an interesting new thing,” senior Aidan Villaseñor said. “Now we’re at the point where I want to go back to school because of the lack of social interaction. I took it for granted, and now I know I appreciate it more.”

With uncertainty surrounding the reopening process, students still have time to embrace guidelines, find new hobbies and explore new forms of entertainment.

“While we can’t see our friends that often and we’re stuck at home, we can still try to find joy in places we normally wouldn’t,” Desnoyers-Piña said. “This is a very special moment in our lives, and if you’re not sure what to do, go outside, maybe take a walk. Find something that you really want to do.”