After four weeks of staying indoors, it finally happened. My TikTok feed is now an arts and crafts channel. The algorithm somehow picked up on the fact that I was itching for new skills to learn. Now I am plagued by videos of people cross-stitching flowers onto their jean pockets, tie-dying everything in sight or turning their photos into graphic cartoons.
And while it appears that the “creatives” have spun into overdrive, what has everyone else been doing? I have heard murmurs of “Animal Crossing” addictions and overconsumption of sourdough bread. I was hoping that asking the Edit team what they have learned so far would make me feel better, but nope. Overachievers are everywhere.
Iman Balagam, Writer
In a mission to adopt a more crunchy granola vibe, I decided to start making my own oat milk at home. Plus, my dad refuses to let me go to the grocery store nowadays, so this has been somewhat of a necessity. The recipe is super clean with no artificial sweeteners or strange chemicals you can’t pronounce. All you need is a ½ cup of rolled oats (I had a ton lying around from my short-lived oatmeal phase), 1 ½ cups of water, a pinch of honey and cinnamon. Just throw everything together into the blender, strain into a large bowl with a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and voila, homemade oat milk. When life gives you oats…
Lauren Hitzhusen, Fact-Checker/Proofreader
Like many of us who grew up in the MySpace era, for a good portion of my teen years, I had an unhealthy addiction to eyeliner. I would ring my eyes thickly with a $3 pencil from Target, giving myself the raccooniest eyes possible. But, much like we grew out of MySpace, I eventually stopped doing this to my eyes and then… Never picked up an eyeliner pencil again? I never had the time to teach myself how to do eyeliner for real (that is, nicely and not like I should be rooting around in the garbage). Enter: the quarantine. No outside human contact for weeks on end and nothing but time to experiment with eyeliner. I am determined to emerge from this dark time having mastered the most delicate of cat-eye flicks. I’m watching every video, studying all the articles and slowly expanding my eyeliner collection from zero to one of each kind I can find.
Briahna Roberts, PR/Editorial Assistant
When I was a kid, art class was my sanctuary. There was something about creating from nothing that made my grade-school hands ready to work. As I got older, I slowly lost that spark for art. I doodle in my notebooks every now and then, but I haven’t created anything with art tools in years. Luckily being in quarantine has changed that. I found a box of canvases, acrylic paints, and brushes in the garage and figured, why not. I started off small, and I looked up a painting on Pinterest and decided to re-create it myself. The final result? Not bad. Decades later and painting still gives me that giddy feeling I felt when I was young.
Sofia Medina, Social Media Manager
After having spent nearly four years in Italy, I recently moved back to the States and have yet been able to find one of the things I miss the most: the food! Sure, Italian restaurants are still offering curbside pickup and takeout. But no matter how “Italian” the menu claims to be, I’m never left as satisfied as I was living there. Unfortunately, the current situation leaves us with uncertainty as to when we will be able to travel back. The good news? I married an Italian, brought him back with me and he’s taught me how to make pasta from scratch with simple ingredients we already have in our kitchen (flour, water and sometimes egg!) without having to use fancy tools like a pasta maker. It’s been our quarantine “hobby,” picking a different pasta shape each week — it’s what I look forward to all week long. We could open up a small restaurant with all the pasta we make on a weekly basis! Any pasta fans out there?!
Mylan Torres, Creative Producer + Interim Deputy Editor in Chief
It may not be like many typical quarantine skills and hobbies, but I have actually taken this time to learn some self-acceptance. As a first-generation American, I have been hustling since elementary school and was always taught not to settle; you can always do better. While this has (mainly) fueled my career ambitions and has been the main propeller of my success, it is a slippery slope and may not always bring positivity to my life. After all, you will always be your own worst critic. Cue: self-acceptance. The concept seems simple enough. “The act or state of accepting oneself,” according to Merriam-Webster. And yet, it requires quite a bit of mental energy. You have to come to terms with your abilities and limitations though this does not mean you can’t achieve your goals. It merely means that you have to realize that you can’t be perfect, and that is okay. The pandemic has put so many things into perspective for me, as I am sure it has for others. Being kind to yourself is one of them.
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