By Nolan Johnson
This global pandemic has resulted in society having an excess amount of time on their hands, which is something I nor the rest of society is used to having. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, many people who once had busy schedules now have nothing to do. But, with all this time, there are so many things that can be done.
For example, learning a new hobby could be a great way to spend this quarantine. Of course, there are the traditional ones like crocheting or hiking, but there are a multitude of new things to do. You could go outside and start a garden with seeds bought from Amazon, or purchase fish and raise them in an aquarium. Get into woodworking (if you have the tools and know how to use them) or take up writing. Woodworking can produce not only beautiful pieces, but highly functional ones, as well. Start with something easy, like a bird house. Then, once you have confidence, which only comes from practice, try something more difficult (but cooler), like a chair or a clock. One of the ways I have been passing the time is by listening to podcasts. There are a near-infinite number of podcasts to listen to, so find one that interests you or one you can learn from.
For any athletes, practice your sport. Do what you can at home if you have a hoop or a goal. If you don’t have anything to practice on, get into shape. Run sprints, jump, and eat healthy. Or learn a new skill, like whip-cracking or how to use power tools. There are a great many things to learn, and most skills can be used later in life. Whip-cracking may have no use (other than looking awesome), but using power tools certainly does. Being able to use power tools to fix a broken board or sheet metal may not be necessary now, but when you become a homeowner, those skills will be invaluable.
One of the most productive hobbies during this quarantine would probably be typing. Learning how to type well and fast can save you so much time, especially since everything we’re doing now is online. But there are so many hobbies to look into, and most of them are very affordable and easy. If you are going to get into one, play to your strengths. If you like to be outside, find a hobby that is outside, like gardening, bird-watching, or fishing. Or find a hobby that will help you grow; maybe you don’t like to be outside, but you want to. Then try an outdoor hobby. They are a great use of your time and while they may not give you applicable skills later in life, certain hobbies can teach you lessons, like taking care of your possessions like plants or a pet, or discipline you in having to keep to a strict schedule.
Now is also a great time to fix things, in all areas of life. If there’s something broken in your house that you know you can fix, try to fix it. Not only will you have solved that problem, you now have valuable experience that you can expound on later in life, like that one doorknob that’s always a little loose. Just tighten it down and revel in your accomplishment. Now, maybe there’s something broken that you don’t know how to fix. For starters, try asking one of your parents. It will be a good bonding time for them to fix something together with their child. If your parents are stumped, try Google. A cliche Gen-Z answer, I know, but it’s amazing what you can learn from Google. Some problems, however, should only be undertaken by a professional. Don’t try to fix a broken wall socket by yourself.
Maybe your home is free from mechanical issues. Now is a great time to look into your life and determine how you are doing. It’s also a great time to examine your walk with Christ. Maybe you feel that your faith is too shallow, and want to fix it. While I can’t prescribe a “one-size-fits-all” solution, there are some things you can try. For instance, prayer. You should never be too busy to pray at any time, but now you really have no excuse. Try talking to God, but also, try listening. There’s nothing, no distractions, no franticness, to pull you off the path of talking and listening to God. Also, try reading. Yes, reading! There is so much knowledge contained in books, put there by theologists way above our level, but that’s the great thing: they are experts at dumbing it down for us. They can take difficult doctrines and make them so the ordinary layman can understand. Try The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer, or, if you are new to the Christian faith, try Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. Or reading your Bible! There is so much in there, and not just in the “popular” books like Matthew or Romans, although those do have some of the most key doctrines in our faith. Try some of the smaller New Testament books like 1 or 2 Timothy or 1 or 2 Peter.
Bottom line, try to do productive things that will help you grow as a human. We have to be on technology so much because of online school, so counter that by not being on technology during your off time, too. There’s a whole world out there to explore, so go out and learn something new.