Given the current circumstances, I've had a lot of free time on my hands. I'm not the type of person to cut my own hair during the quarantine. I'm definitely not the type of person to ignore the social distancing rules.
So what else does that leave to entertain myself?
Surprisingly, it leaves a lot. I went to a high school that required every student to have an iPad, whether it was rented from the school or bought personally. Mine was bought personally, which means I still have it. I haven't touched it since I graduated high school in 2018, but I looked at it a few weeks ago, and it was very nostalgic.
There were pictures of friends I don't talk to anymore, doodles from my friends and I when we were supposed to be taking notes, and so many games I forgot existed.
After spending the better part of an hour going through the iPad, I decided to go a little further than that. My new quarantine goal was to revisit hobbies that I held in high school to see if I was still good at them and if I still liked them.
The first hobby I chose to delve into was playing “Minecraft” with friends. I had a great time, but the thing about not playing a game for so long is that you miss a lot of updates. “Minecraft” has bees now, which is probably my favorite update. “Minecraft” is reminiscent of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” in the sense that it allows players to escape the current world and dive into a virtual one. In “Minecraft,” there are virtually no rules. It's a great time no matter what you and your friends decide. My friend group is making a castle. I have a pet cat in the game. In the “Minecraft” world, life is good.
After “Minecraft,” I took up the ukulele again. I'll admit: I only revisited this particular hobby as part of a future cosplay I'll be doing. Nevertheless, it's been fun to follow YouTube tutorials and play silly songs from cartoons that I used to watch religiously, like “Steven Universe” and “Adventure Time.” It takes enough focus to keep me from thinking about all of the stressful things right now, but not so much focus that it also becomes a stressful thing.
There are plenty of other small hobbies too. Playing “Overwatch,” making costumes and getting back into “Dungeons and Dragons” all secured spots on the list. I've even been making time to talk to my online friends more often than I'd usually be able to.
People often bring up the concept of nostalgia. It's that almost bittersweet feeling you get when you remember events from your past. It's nice to remember them because they make you happy, but it's a little sad because the event is gone, and can't be repeated. Nostalgia is what fuels this experiment I've been doing. With each new old activity, I get hit with a wave of memories from high school.
My sister and I used to build amazing houses in “Minecraft” when we were 12. My friend group has had plenty of nights sitting around a fire outside with ukuleles being played by at least one person, but usually more than that. My goal for “Overwatch” used to be to get every single skin in the game, which I now recognize is virtually impossible. Making costumes can still be hard, especially without a preexisting pattern, and my “Dungeons and Dragons” skills need a little work again.
What I love about revisiting old hobbies is that it's familiar, but still new. I'm not very good at any of them, but it never takes too long to fall into familiar habits that I thought I forgot. It's the same feeling as whenever you can't remember the words to a song from years and years ago until it plays on the radio. Suddenly, you know every word.
Revisiting old hobbies is a great way to get your mind off of things if everything is too stressful for you. You likely already have what you need, so it's cheap. And who knows? Maybe you'll fall in love with something all over again. I know I did.
My next mission is to find out whether or not I can keep bees as pets in “Minecraft.”