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How the Virus Has Impacted Students’ Free Time

By Joanna Kang and Jessica Nguyen

Ever since the emergence of the coronavirus in early March, most individuals have been forced to stay home. As a result, they are changing their lifestyle accordingly. Students throughout the county have given the Young Hearts insight into their livesspecifically, how students have been keeping themselves occupied.

Students have started to pick up new hobbies during the lockdown, such as painting, performing home workouts, embroidering, completing puzzles, baking, rewatching shows, junk-journaling, and most commonly, readingthe list goes on. And because students now have more free time from asynchronous Mondays and shortened extracurriculars, they are taking advantage of the extra time by squeezing in more hobbies.

Although lockdown has given many students the opportunity to discover new hobbies and use their time efficiently, over fifty percent of the students have frankly replied that their lives overall changed “for the worse”. Their responses have culminated into a singular reason: the monotonous repetitive lifestyle and the endless free time has extracted their motivation to complete schoolwork. However, because many individuals are experiencing a “slump”, students have pitched in their favorite pastimes for the Young Hearts Community to help cope with the boring and unproductive days!

What to Read: Pachinko, 1984, Circe, Infernal Devices Series, Ender’s Game, The Twilight series, Caraval, Six of Crows duology, Eleanor and Park, The Lovely Bones, The Book Thief, Fahrenheit 451

Shows to Watch: The Queen’s Gambit, The Good Place, Santa Clarita Diet, New Girl, Never Have I Ever, I Love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, Dead to Me, Grand Army, Gilmore Girls, You, Brooklyn 99, That 70’s Show, The 100, Gossip Girl, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, The Haunting of Hill House, The Great British Baking Show

Movies to Enjoy: Knives Out, Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter Series, Get Out, The Breakfast Club, A Silent Voice, The Half of it, The Willoughbys, Just Mercy, Hidden Figures, Parasite, It’s a Wonderful Life, My Sister’s Keeper, The Shawshank Redemption, Dead Poets Society, Interstellar, The Notebook

What are our Young Hearts Officers up to?

Jessica has just finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and is currently reading Fahrenheit 451. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a semi-autobiographical novel written by Betty Smith about a fictional girl named Francie Nolan. The novel follows Francie from age of 11 to 16. There isn’t any real “conflict” or “events” that happen in the book. The story is entirely based on the character development of Francie and her family and leaves you resonating with the characters well after you’ve finished the novel. This book is similar to Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It is a similar story structure however this book follows four friends from when they are straight out of college to middle-aged men. For someone that loves the thrilling action in books like The Hunger Games and Maze Runner, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn serves to be a slow-burner book that has deemed itself as one of her favorites reads in 2020.

Over lockdown, Joanna finished the Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo and is currently reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. The duology takes place in a fantasy world, the city of Ketterdam, and follows six outcasts at their attempt of pulling off an impossible heist. For readers who typically enjoy reading fantasy novels such as Harry Potter, Divergent, and A Court of Thorns and Roses Series, The Six of Crows is a wonderful novel to dive into where the audience can follow the cast from undergoing dangerous and deadly adventures as well as getting a slight escape from reality. Furthermore, with an audience who loves Greek mythology, The Song of Achilles is the perfect novel, where we follow Patroclus, a young prince exiled from the kingdom of Phthia during the age of Heroes.

Jacquie has started to pick up unconventional hobbies such as taking care of her sister’s hedgehog now that she’s home from college and relearning the guitar. Currently, she has been reading Virginia Woolf’s books such as Mrs. Dalloway. The most interesting takeaways from reading Mrs. Dalloway are the underlying feminist themes in the book, especially coming from a predominant feminist of the early 1900s. Jacquie also mentions how reading from a different period and culture is a “good overall activity that has kept [her] brain stimulated during the lockdown.”

Yenna has started watching Criminal Minds which has been very entertaining especially the dynamic relationships the characters have, her favorites being Hotch and Spencer Reid. Yenna states that “Hotch looks like an American version of Benedict Cumberbatch."

This month, Lydia Falardeau has started reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and recommends the “easy to read classic” because of its “feminist values..that were considered “outrageous” for its time.

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