Bright-er Side: Too much free time has led to new hobbies

The pandemic still sucks but now I have new skills

ILLUSTRATION: Siloam Yeung / The Peak

By: Meera Eragoda, Editor-in-Chief

This pandemic has undeniably brought isolation, uncertainty, stress, and precarity for many — and still continues to. While none of this should be downplayed, for some of us privileged enough, the extra time we had to fill pushed us to try new hobbies.

People were making sourdough and dalgona coffee, gardening, and biking. I was no different. At first, trying new things was a way to help with the monotony and to take care of my mental health. Then, it helped me become more creative and adventurous.

I hadn’t really ridden a bike since I was a kid and didn’t own one, but like many, I bought one last summer. Riding it around the city helped me feel freer, like there were still new ways to break out of the mundane. Being able to bike down streets lined with chestnut trees on a sunny day or bike to Pacific Spirit, watch the sunset, and then bike back on a warm summer night made me fall in love with biking again. This summer, I have plans to go even further and do some multi-day trips. Without all this time to fill, I might never have discovered this side of myself.

I also got really into cocktails last summer and had a great time experimenting. Those fancy drinks that previously seemed too complicated for anyone other but bartenders turned out to actually be pretty easy. Heck, I’ve now even made a cocktail with bell pepper (thank you, TikTok). 

While this and the embroidery skills I picked up aren’t things I plan on doing every day, they have been new creative outlets that I would not have otherwise attempted and that has been affirming.