Arts and Entertainment

What to Do (in Quarantine) When…

Here is a list of activities you can do while you’re bored in quarantine.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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By Sammi Chen

Now that school has moved online for the rest of the year, it looks like we are going to be spending a lot more time at home. It’s probable that some of your daily routines now include waking up at noon and binge-watching eight or more hours of Netflix. And as enjoyable as that is, there comes a point when you begin to speak using only emojis and forget what day of the week it is. So, we’ve compiled a top-notch list of other activities one can do whilst quarantined, to remind us of the world we once lived in and to keep ourselves busy and optimistic!

Welcome to your personal guidebook for what to do…

When you’ve forgotten what the world outside of your apartment looks like, here are some movies to remind you of beautiful vistas, grimy subway rides, and the peculiar sensation of sunlight on your face.

When you want to remember more of New York City than the square foot you can see outside your window, watch the classic ‘60s crime film “Taxi Driver” (1976) to get a feel for the more questionable parts of the city that will make you feel lucky to be inside. Alternatively, watch “Frances Ha” (2012) to remember a more modern and vibrant NYC.

If all you crave is the social, urgent feeling of a city, watch “Chungking Express” (1994) set in Hong Kong or “Heat” (1995) set in sunny Los Angeles.

Perhaps it's something beautiful you crave: a lush meadow, glowing beaches, or a humble daisy tilting in the wind. If so, try “Call Me by Your Name” (2017), an aesthetically pleasing romance set in ‘80s Italy, or “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012), a colorful depiction of New England coastlines.

Maybe you’re bothered by your parents, infuriated by your siblings, and just need to escape to a world with little human interaction. Try the sentimental documentary “March of the Penguins” (2015), or the more disturbing and isolating film “Into the Wild” (2007).

If fiction and escapism are what you desire, watch the classic sci-fi film “The Matrix” (1999), or rewatch (hopefully) the Harry Potter series and revel in a world with entirely different problems from your own.

And if for some reason you find yourself missing the bustle, stress, comradery, and occasional embarrassment of high school, indulge in a few classic high school films such as “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (2012), “Lady Bird” (2017), “American Pie” (1999), “Jennifer’s Body” (2009), or “Dead Poets Society” (1989).

When you realize you’ve been in bed for days and have started to go cross-eyed from watching TikTok endlessly, here are some low-effort activities guaranteed to keep you occupied.

For starters, why not have a dance party? Make it a bedroom disco, and just dance your heart out to your favorite tunes (or the A&E playlist)! Alternatively, if things feel really overwhelming right now, try doing a little yoga and meditation to calm yourself down.

There’s no better time than now to pick up a new hobby! Whether it’s learning or practicing that instrument you’ve always wanted to play or picking up a pen and paper to start some sketches, you might as well give it a shot. You can even call your friends and make it a social event. Perhaps take up group knitting. One can never have too many sweaters anyway.

And if all else fails, try redecorating your room. If you’re going to spend all day there, you might as well revamp it. This is the perfect time to start all the things you’ve wanted to do before, but never got around to doing! Though we’d advise taking caution when it comes to hairdressing—just because you had an existential crisis one night and no one will see you for the next month, doesn’t mean that people can’t see the uneven bangs or overbleached hair over Zoom calls…

When you’ve listened to the same songs about 10,000 times, and they’ve all just blended together into one long, meaningless string of nonsense, here are some new artists from every genre to revamp your playlists!

Rock: Paul McCartney! Not many people are aware that after his time with the Beatles, he went on to pursue a solo career and is still making music to this day.

Hip-hop: The Weeknd! While his new song “Blinding Lights” is very popular today, he produced many hit songs during the 2010s that a lot of people forgot about.

Indie: Bastille! While this band is mainly known for its album “Bad Blood” (2013), they created other albums in later years that are just as great.

Classical(-ish): The Piano Guys! These brothers take classical music to a whole other level, playing popular songs from artists like Adele and One Direction, but only using the piano, string instruments, and drums.

Folk Music: Cat Stevens! While most of his music was created in the ‘70s, he remains one of the best musicians to listen to whenever you’re feeling down.

Country: Garth Brooks! He was a country legend back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and while he turned into more of a rock/pop artist over the years, his older songs are how people remember him today.

Disco: Listen to Donna Summer, the “Queen of Disco,” to feel like your parents when they were young! In a good way!

Or try something completely new! Google “Danger Music” or “Schranz Music.” We dare you.

When you’ve eaten every “experimental creation” your younger brother has made, every egg-white-and-spinach omelet from your mother, and have enough empty chip bags to build a house, here are some low-effort recipes to help you take back your kitchen!

Easily make and customize your own cookies: cake mix, vegetable oil, and eggs.

Heavenly pull-apart bread: sliced bread, melted butter, and eggs.

Baked Fruit: Literally just that! Pop some fruit in the oven, and wait for the magic to happen. It’ll taste like candy, minus the guilt.

Alternatively, freeze fruit and yogurt! When it gets warmer, you’ll be glad you have a cold treat to indulge in.

Miss your morning deli bagels? Make your own: water, flour, oil, and yeast.

Make a smoothie! Throw in any old fruit, yogurt, and milk, and blend them right up. Or if you’re one of those healthy people, you can use vegetables too.

We hope you give some of these a try the next time you’re in search of something to do, quarantined or not!