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Looking on the Bright Side

During the spring quarantine and the extended period of isolation afterwards, many people, especially students with little to do over the summer, picked up a variety of hobbies to stay busy.

Some students, such as senior Emerson Fry did not begin any new activities, but rather, spent more time on old hobbies that were formerly pushed to the side because of time restraints.

“I didn’t really start any activities because of quarantine, but having the down time certainly gave me the push I needed,” Fry said.

Fry cited writing, drawing, sewing, and planning as some of the activities she used to keep busy during the summer months. Many other Gahanna students found comfort in creative expression as well.

Other students, such as junior Madison Shook said the quarantine was the direct cause of some of these new hobbies, creative or otherwise.

“I've gotten into drawing and letter writing. I used to draw a few months ago but I stopped working on things once life got busy. I never wrote many letters until quarantine though. I didn't think of doing it until I saw examples online and the idea popped into my head,” Shook said.

Not every Gahanna student saw the extended period of isolation as, if not completely, mostly positive.

“Having more time is both a blessing and a curse. On the plus side I can do a lot more things like painting or sleeping. On the negative side, I also have more time to procrastinate,” senior Samantha “Scout” Stone said.

For many Gahanna students, however, filling the extra time gleaned from the quarantine has been helpful for mental health during a particularly stressful time.

“My hobbies have really helped me grow emotionally. I struggled with perfectionism for a while and those tendencies mainly impacted how harsh I was on myself for my more creative hobbies,” Shook said. “I've had a lot of time to focus on becoming aware of those tendencies and working to stop them.”

Whether or not students used their time at home to learn a new skill or express themselves creatively, many agree that finding something to fill the unstructured months was something especially important this year.

“Now I have time to actually do things I love to do,” Stone said.

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