Making your free time worthwhile


Staff Writer & Copy Editor

Since the coronavirus pandemic has changed many of our daily routines, most of us are finding ourselves at home, searching for ways to fill the time. To help resolve your boredom and keep you from wasting away refreshing social media, here is a list of ways you can spend your quarantine in a fun and productive way.

Become bilingual

It is now, more than ever, easy to become lazy and sleep in until noon, right? But why waste hours of your day asleep or eating breakfast at lunch time when you can be learning or polishing up a second language?

Duolingo is a free and easy app for your computer or mobile device which allows you to select from over 30 languages and learn basic terms and phrases at your own pace. Duolingo, which is extremely easy to use, also has two podcasts available in Spanish and French. The podcasts offer stories in either language to be paired alongside your daily lesson.

 Many of us can easily set aside 30 minutes to an hour per day to learn a lifelong, useful skill. Taking on a new language or polishing your skills could also allow for more opportunities down your career path or result in higher wages. The time is now to learn that new language you always wanted to!

 Learn how to use Adobe

Learning how to use one of the many software programs offered by Adobe is another great skill to pick up. Adobe is offering free at-home access to its Creative Cloud for students and educators through May 31. Otherwise, Cal Poly Pomona students can purchase a one-year subscription for $30.

 Some of the more common programs are Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. These programs are very helpful for individuals who wish to create and edit content for their own personal or professional use. Some of the more advanced programs like Audition and Premiere Pro are tailored toward people pursuing a career that involves audio or film editing.

The thought of learning an Adobe program can be daunting, but the reality is you have to start somewhere!

Luckily for students, LinkedIn Learning provides hours of content that teach you everything from the basics to advanced skills. Many videos also offer downloadable material that will allow you to follow along while watching.

 Stay active

Those of us who frequent the gym have lost access to the Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex (BRIC) or our local gyms, but this doesn’t mean you can’t exercise from home.

 There are several exercises that can be done inside the comfort of your home. Exercises like planks are a great way to strengthen your core and upper body. You can also get creative and find household items like water gallons to do weighted squats or bicep curls. Using things like your school backpack can also be a good way to create a weighted vest.

 If you are unsure of how to start an exercise routine, the Los Angeles Dodgers head trainer Brandon McDaniel will be streaming a 30-minute workout on Mondays and Fridays at 8 a.m., which can be found on the official Dodgers YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Finding an exercise routine that works for you is key, but most importantly, find a program that you can create into a routine.

 According to Harvard Health Publishing, exercising regularly is one of several ways to strengthen your immune system. Even though we are at home, it is still important to keep your body healthy and strong.

Learn how to cook

As college students on the go, many of us are accustomed to eating out because it’s fast and easy. Why not use the time at home to reacquaint yourself with your kitchen? 

Learning how to cook, or even trying out a new recipe can be a great way to pass the time in a productive way. While certain ingredients may be hard to come by during this time, there are plenty of meals you can whip up with what you have on hand. The free “Allrecipes Dinner Spinner” app allows you to input ingredients you have at home and gives you dozens of recipes based on your selections. Now is the perfect time to experiment with new ingredients that you wouldn’t normally think to pair together!

Watch a documentary

Without a doubt, many of us have turned to our tried and true Netflix favorites like “The Office” or “Schitt’s Creek” to kill time throughout the day. As an alternative, try checking out a documentary on a topic you’ve been wanting to learn more about. 

For those having baseball withdrawals, “The Battered Bastards of Baseball” on Netflix is a fun choice. The film details the story of the Portland Mavericks, an independent minor league baseball team established by actor Bing Russell (father of Kurt Russell, who was also the team’s designated hitter) in 1973. The motley crew of ballplayers held their own in the league for only four years, but definitely left their mark.

“Tiger King” on Netflix is another quirky documentary that has taken the world by storm. Joe Exotic, an Oklahoman zoo owner, is the main character of the series who is surrounded by controversy in the “big cat” world. While it might not sound like a topic you’d normally be interested in, the seven-part series has all the elements required for an entertaining story — wild animals, crime, murder, drugs and even polygamy. 

“Every episode ends on a cliffhanger, which makes it so addicting to watch,” said April Chiu, a second-year apparel merchandising and management student. “It was just so strange and different from the other shows that I normally watch.” 

No matter how you are spending your quarantine, make sure to stay safe and healthy during this time!

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