Students develop a variety of new skills during quarantine

Since the quarantine has provided hours of alone time to students, many have taken up new and interesting hobbies to keep busy


Skyler Conley

Students have taken up new hobbies during the quarantine, such as senior Joey Briggs, who has taken up embroidery these past few months.

   With many people stuck in their homes since March due to COVID-19, some have taken it upon themselves to either further develop a hobby of theirs or even try something entirely new.

   One such person in particular, senior Colby MacMillan, has taken on the task of perfecting his own cold brew coffee.

   “I really love coffee, I’ve been drinking it since freshman year,” MacMillan said. “I didn’t really know how to make it so I’d spend a lot of money buying it from Dutch Bros or Starbucks.”

   After losing his job like many others due to the pandemic, MacMillan decided to begin making coffee of his own to save money.

   “It was a lot of researching different recipes because people make it very differently,” MacMillan said. “I also looked into different roasts and flavor profiles that I thought would taste good.”

  According to MacMillan, making the coffee is the easiest part. The tricky part is trying to make it taste good.

   MacMillan plans on continuing to make his own cold brew even if he one again finds a job.

   “It’s actually really soothing to make (…) which surprised me,” MacMillan said. “I’ll (…) maybe try out more niche (and) expensive coffee grounds (in the future).”

   While MacMillan has been developing his newfound barista skills, others such as senior Maddie Jenkins have taken time to hone old talents given the newfound time alone.

   Starting when she was about 14, Jenkins has been enjoying crochet for several years now.

   “I was looking at a lot of pictures on Pinterest and I thought ‘Wow this looks so cool,’” Jenkins said. “I decided that I wanted to start making my own projects.”

   Although Jenkins didn’t begin crocheting over quarantine, the free time did allow her to begin selling the pieces she’s made.

   “I’ve posted a few (pieces) I’ve done and my family and friends told me that some of (them) were worth selling,” Jenkins said. “A lot of people were asking me if I could (crochet) for them and I thought ‘Oh maybe I should start giving people the projects that I love making so… they can have a little piece of my hobby with them!’” 

   Although it’s only a hobby right now, Jenkins hopes to turn her crocheting into a business.

   “I was hoping I could (…) make a set up thing in the Fountains,” Jenkins said. “I’m trying to build up to that (point) where I can sell some of my products there or hopefully turn this into a lifetime business (that would be the dream).”

I was looking at a lot of pictures on Pinterest and I thought ‘Wow, this looks so cool!’ (…) I decided that I wanted to start making my own projects.

— Maddie Jenkins

   For now, Jenkins sells products such as crocheted tops, scarves and hats. She has been attempting harder projects such as stuffed animals as well.

   Similarly to Jenkins, senior Joey Briggs spent her quarantine doing work with needles and yarn, though on a much smaller scale. Lately, Briggs has been exploring the art of embroidery.

   “I wanted to learn a new medium and embroidery isn’t really (…) known,” Briggs said. “I wanted to learn how to do it to use on some later pieces of art.”

   Briggs made the decision to begin working on embroidery after watching videos online of realistic embroidery pieces.

   “The first thing I embroidered was an Animal Crossing character on my sweater, it came out pretty good,” Briggs said.

   As time has passed through the pandemic, Briggs has continued to develop her skills by embroidering flowers on a pair of pants as well as beginning a project embroidering the Sanrio character, ChocoCat.

    While quarantine may have gotten many down, it has also managed to become a motivator for people to try new things and explore their horizons to fill the free time.

    “It’s pretty easy to learn and it’s fun to do if you’re bored,” Briggs said.

   For those who find themselves going insane at home, perhaps a new hobby might provide an ounce of sanity until students go back to campus.