Hello September. As we head into the Autumn semester, the first lockdown seems like a distant memory now. What isn’t a distant memory, however, are the ridiculous number of new hobbies I tried throughout the last year and a half. I think we’d all love to say we used our time in lockdown productively and I am not exempt from this.
Being quite an unartistic person, it was ambitious of me to think that lockdown would be the moment where I became the new Picasso. Regardless, this didn’t stop me in my attempt to pick up a paint brush, and create something beautiful. This was unsuccessful. So instead, I ordered a paint-by-numbers off Amazon and spent the occasional afternoon or evening painting. I also started a cross stitch (enforced on me by my mum) which still lies half unfinished in my bedroom drawer. Since we’ve come out of lockdown, I haven’t picked up a paint brush or a needle, and honestly, I probably won’t anytime soon. But in hindsight, the afternoons I spent doing these activities were not wasted. At a time when I needed a distraction, they were the ideal artistic activities to do, and both relaxed me a lot more than I would have anticipated.
It’s a given, being a Literature student, that I have always loved reading. My childhood was filled with books and I had never found finding time to read problematic. This was up until I started my A-levels, where reading became a chore for my academic studies, and less of something I enjoyed.
One afternoon, bored and restless in lockdown, I picked up the first Harry Potter novel, which had sat on my bookshelf untouched since I was probably nine, read a few chapters, and put it down. By the end of the week, I had finished it. I felt a bit silly at the time, enjoying what are considered children’s books, but by the end of lockdown I had finished all seven of them. I’d also managed to read a number of other novels including Great Expectations which I never thought I’d have the motivation to read.
When I started my second year back at university, I found it much easier to read for my course, and for enjoyment too. The first lockdown gave me an opportunity to remember reading isn’t just for my learning, it’s also an activity I love to do.