I’ve thought about this a few times, but hopefully I will not need a list like this much more in the future. We have gone into “lockdown” quite a few times now, and each time I am looking for things to do that can help me safely pass the time. In my recent return to campus, as classes began online for the first two weeks of the semester, I felt like a bit of an expert dealing with the question that we have all been faced with over the past two years; How can I keep myself entertained.
There were only a few criteria for what would make a suitable activity. It should be safe, so that I am not putting myself or others at unnecessary risk. It should, of course, be entertaining, because why would I be doing whatever it is if not. It should be repeatable (for the most part) because good ideas are rare and there is a lot of free time to fill. That being said, here are a few things I came up with for the past two weeks here on campus.
Over winter break I was able to get my hands on an Oculus Quest 2, one of Meta’s new virtual reality headsets. I had a few days to play around with the system back home, and knew immediately that I would be bringing it on campus. The portable console, of sorts, allows you to enter completely immersive universes like a world where time only passes when you move, and a cartoon landscape where catching fish is your only objective. I have been able to play games where I am sent running all around my room, as well as some that I can just sit back and relax just moving my hands around whatever digital world I have joined. Of course this category applies to whatever game you are familiar or comfortable with, like on a traditional console, mobile phone or on your computer.
Working out is a simple way to stay active and moving around either in your room or outdoors. I mostly take this as an opportunity to go and get some fresh air, opting mostly to toss a baseball around with my roommate or just walk around campus. Sometimes I’d skate around campus and put my legs to work, a little. Whatever the choice is, while a much different experience than the first recommendation, moving around seems to always make my day seem a little brighter and feel like I was more productive.
If you shouldn’t be leaving your living space that often in a scenario like this, you will most likely have to do this last option whether you really want to or not. Thankfully I find myself mostly enjoying making, and eating, my own food so this works for me. With the extra time cooped up, it is enjoyable to find new recipes online and try my best at recreating the amazing photos of the meal that are associated with the instructions. Whether I do a good job or not, is up for debate, but also doesn’t really affect my overall experience.
To reiterate, hopefully we can move past the need to brainstorm for these situations, but just in case…these are my thoughts.