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'I kind of needed something to do': Picking up new hobbies during social distancing

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Diana Godoy, a sophomore from Cornelius, N.C., said she now has more time to craft embroidery projects she received in a kit for Christmas during this period of online classes and social distancing. Photo courtesy of Diana Godoy. 

Whether you spend more of your waking hours on Zoom, eating quarantine snacks or getting out of the house for some socially-distanced exercise — there's a good chance working from home has still left you with a little more time on your hands than usual. 

Some students have put the extra hours to use by picking up a new hobby and finding creative ways to spend time at home.

Yoga and reading 

Sophie Holt, a junior from Elon, N.C., said she's trying out yoga and re-reading the "Harry Potter" series. 

“Both my parents work, so I was basically sitting at home all by myself all day. I decided I kind of needed something to do so that I didn’t go crazy, besides watching TV all day,” she said. “Gyms are closed, so that’s why I leaned towards doing yoga, and I’ve always wanted to reread the 'Harry Potter' series, but I just have never had enough time.” 

Holt said she practices yoga by watching DVDs she found in her house. She said she was looking around in cabinets for games to play and happened upon them. 


Diana Godoy, a sophomore from Cornelius, N.C., said she now has more time to craft embroidery projects she received in a kit for Christmas. 

“I have done three embroideries since I got the kit in December. School got really busy so I haven’t been able to use it since early February," she said.  "Now, I actually have time to start a new design." 

Godoy said she has a new design in mind already. 

“Right now, I’m going to be making one that says ‘You are enough’ in the middle, surrounded by leaves and flowers on the outside," she said. 

Going beyond coursework 

AJ Moore, a sophomore from Cary, N.C., said she's enjoyed spending more time on an activity that was once just required homework for one of her classes. 

Moore is taking a Spanish literary translation class this semester. She said she found a short story to translate for an assignment, but thought the whole collection was fascinating, as well. Now, she's translating the rest in her own time. 

“We got to choose a piece of contemporary writing we wanted to translate ourselves and so the assignment was to only translate 2,000 to 3,000 words of a short story or piece,” she said. “The one that I found that I wanted to translate was a fairly longer short story, so I’m working through that one right now, but the collection that it’s in is a really awesome collection. I really like how the stories thread together so now, on my own time, I’m translating the other ones.” 

Making music 

Nori West, a first-year from Raleigh, North Carolina, said he has been dedicating his time to creating music. West said he hasn’t been able to record any new music, but is fine-tuning his skills nonetheless. 

“I’ve been working on my writing and production,” he said. “I’ve been keeping in touch with my favorite artists who go to UNC to create new sounds.”

West, who goes by the stage name Yung Shaggy, is a rapper and was able to drop his EP, “Taco Truck,” on music platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music during this time of social isolation. 

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“Nobody has anything to do — why not give them some music to listen to?” he said.