Pandemic prompts new pastimes for students out of school


Photo courtesy of Kolton Laytimi

Kolton Laytimi plays his guitar — one way to pass the time while schools are closed. Classes are to resume online at the end of the month because of the spread of COVID-19.

By Arien Roman Rojas and Sarah Farhat

Because of the closure of schools, restaurant dining areas and other public places, students are left with little to do to keep them busy while stuck at home. 

Some students like sophomore Drake Khatib try to make the most of the extra time they now have by completing schoolwork. 

“Throughout the week, I have been trying to stay productive in keeping updated with recent news topics, exercising, doing usual chores around my house, hanging out with friends and working on Mr. Beckerman’s homework,” Khatib said.

Photo courtesy of Jesse Self
Jesse Self poses with his guitar, which he is playing more often as students are told to practice social distancing and schools are closed.

During this time, junior Daniel Sikes and sophomore Jesse Self have tried to keep up with their classes.

“I’m trying to be productive, review what I already know and just get stuff done,” Self said.

Along with schoolwork, students are pursuing hobbies and undertaking new activities. 

Senior Mayson Quartlebaum thought of having a meet up after quarantine cleared up for students to present new talents they’ve learned.

“I just think it’d be really cool to learn something new because we have so much time on our hands.” Quartlebaum said.

At the mention of this, senior Saul Reza said he wanted to learn American Sign Language.

“I really want to learn to be able to connect with and talk to more people and maybe even help someone else in public if it does come up,” Reza said.

With his time, Quartlebaum is also going to brush up on his cooking skills by learning how to cook lasagna from his mom.

Sophomore Kolton Laytimi spends his free time watched documentaries and YouTube videos, exercising, cooking and learning languages. 

“I’ve been polishing up on my Chinese, Korean and German through apps and homework. I also have been getting into singing more,” Laytimi said.

Both Laytimi and Self are dedicated to playing the guitar during this unprecedented time.

“My favorite coping device is just sitting back and playing my guitar,” Laytimi said.

Students like junior Donnavan Dillion and sophomore Vivian Podrebarac found other ways of keeping busy by doing things like re-decorating their rooms and cleaning their houses.

In the course of this time, some students said they found more value in the time they share with their friends and family.

“My mom works at the hospital so she’s had to pick up more hours so we get closer trying to support each other through it all,” Griffin Northrop said. 

 Northrop hopes that once panic goes down, parents will be willing to let their kids hang out with their friends. 

Regardless, sophomores Northrop and Sam Lopez have been finding virtual ways to keep in touch with their friends.

 “It’s definitely hard for me to go without seeing everyone. We’re constantly talking/texting,” Lopez said.

While he is still able to text and contact his friends, Lopez found the change unexpected.

“I think it’s definitely a drastic change and something we weren’t prepared for or expecting,” Lopez said. “It’s really weird to see Lawrence slow down since it’s such a lively town, but I’m trying to make the best of it.”