Pandemic hobbies and how we pass the time

With all the free time the COVID-19 pandemic brought, it’s opened up lots of new ways to spend that time through new hobbies.


Graphic by Faith Hill

All This Time: The pandemic created some freedom around time, and we pass this time by getting into hobbies. New hobbies popped up in students’ and staff members’ lives. “I had just had a baby and decided I wanted to get into better shape for myself so that I could play with my kids and have more energy,” German teacher Malorie Wolk said.

Humans always want to be doing something, something that interests us, or things that allow our minds to wander. We fall back on these human instincts when the world changes and we throw every routine off-course.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful, the first quarantine brought fear and freedom. It’s this influx of personal time and a sudden change in the environment that we’ve seen a worldwide trend of discovering hobbies. This is alongside the increasing rise of popular social media platforms, such as TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. Individuals of all ages are finding things they enjoy and sharing them, either online or with friends and family.

During the Great Depression, people relied on making time for themselves. Schools and businesses would employ specialty clubs and organizations, and media outlets diverted their attention to hobby activities. People changed the way they spent time, creating a boom in interest-focused productions, such as shows and articles. Although defining what makes a “hobby” can cause confusion, there’s no doubt that there was a surge of mass participation of hobbies in this era. Compare this to modern-day, where everyone is on social media, with the ability to share and talk to like-minded people even amidst a global crisis.

This phenomenon did not avoid the students and staff of Lake Stevens High School. In fact, the environment we create only allowed this trend to flourish. We’ve made interests here varied from person-to-person, from creative to health-related, from popular to niche, LSHS has it all.
One way a student used her time was learning to make her own clothes. Senior Sofia Taghouti took time over the quarantine to hand-sew her own wardrobe, especially shirts and jackets. She dedicates days and days’ worth of hours working on just one piece.
“I’ve always loved fashion, since I was a kid, and pretty things, so I wanted to make my own pretty things,” Taghouti said.
But sometimes you don’t have that realization of finding an interest.
Junior Gabby Dacar never ‘got into’ computer gaming. They had always been into playing games with their family their entire life. It just so happened that at the same time the first quarantine hit, their brother gave them a custom-built PC.
“Minecraft has to be an all-time favorite game… also binge playing Terraria. I also like games like Call of Duty, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” Dacar said.
Malorie Wolk, a German teacher, was interested in betterment of her health and the health of the planet.
“It’s not about my health so much as it’s about the environment. I’m driven by doing what I think is right for the world,” Wolk said about beginning a workout routine and attempting a more vegetarian lifestyle. “I really like it. I’m motivated to do it. It’s a healthy hobby, ‘cause like, during the pandemic lots of people put on a lot of weight because they were home baking bread, and I lost a lot of weight and toned up a lot,” Wolk said.

This phenomenon has roots in improving our mental health. Doing an activity you enjoy taking part in improves your overall mood. This also distracts your mind from stressful situations, whether those are mental or physical. It’s healthy to partake in things you enjoy, divulgence isn’t a bad thing, especially when dealing with escapism.
COVID-19 has placed a great deal of stress on students and staff here at the high school. It’s no surprise there’s a desire to escape it for just a moment, to take time for yourself to enjoy something. It could be as simple as watching a movie, listening to music, or reading a book. Or, it could even be more complex. Maybe you’re creative and make art or music, or you focus on your health and the environment. Hobbies come from a plethora of sources. Maybe it’s from a friend recommending it, maybe you saw an interesting video from a professional, maybe it’s good for your mental health, or it just seems cool, something you’d enjoy. Taking care of yourself is a top priority, and it requires lots of understanding of yourself and how you operate.