Usually, the BYU-Idaho spring semester consists of students playing flag-football with intramural teams, attending Center Stage performance and concerts and festivities at Porter Park.
Now students are left in their apartments finishing homework or scrolling through endless social media feeds with their only outing being the “essential” grocery trip.
It is clear that there are fewer activities for students to participate in during this warm weather pandemic.
Below are some activities that BYU-I students can do this spring semester as the city and campus wait to fully open up:
Social media is a resource for students to stay connected to friends and family when they are far away. It is also a way to showcase your talents or hidden hobbies you’ve developed through quarantine.
Ashley West, a senior studying communication, started her own Instagram account to showcase her creative side.
View this post on Instagram
•AUTUMN & KIT• I’m so happy with this portrait of my beautiful roommate and her precious doggo. He’s the man of the house – er – apartment, and spoiled as they come. 🐶❤️ Made using @procreate ………………………………… I recently got a used iPad Pro and Apple Pencil (thanks to my incredibly gracious uncle) and Procreate was the first new app I downloaded. I’m still a beginner at digital art, but I love it so far! Any resources for getting better at digital art? 🐢
A post shared by Ashley (@_ashley.creates_) on
“I’ve definitely drawn out my creative side to stay busy,” West said. “I started bullet journaling, doing digital art and started an Instagram account to showcase what I’m creating. My schedule is a lot more flexible than it would have been otherwise because everything is online.”
Hammocking is a common activity in Rexburg. Most people hammock at parks such as Smith Park, Eagle Park, Nature Park, Porter Park and Beaver Dick Park. Residents can also walk, play tennis and volleyball, picnic and more at certain parks in town.
“I started spending more time outside on my hammock or just at the park,” said Natasha Herbst, a sophomore studying child development. “The few people there seem to want to make friends as badly as I do.”
Students can rent hammocks from the Outdoor Resource Center’s website.
With all this free time and the John W. Hart building closed, it might seem hard to work out. Many students though have found ways to stay healthy and fit.
Austin Stecklein, a junior studying computer engineering, spends his time working out, hiking, doing yoga and sports.
“There are no excuses to not put work in right now,” Stecklein said. “The biggest issues that students face mentally can be overcome through hard physical work.”
Students stated that the time they previously spent being at work or walking from class to class is now used to connect with friends and family over the phone, online and in their apartment complexes.
Cierra DeWitt, a junior studying biology, took the time to create her ideal schedule, catch up on hobbies such as reading and crafts, and reach out to loved ones.
“I was checking up on friends and family more often through phone calls or FaceTime,” DeWitt said. “I would stay in contact with them before this, but now the phone calls are longer and even more appreciated.”
Students also expressed that they were not only able to connect with friends and family but with themselves. They were able to work on mental health and self-love.
“I was able to spend time with myself, get to know and understand myself better,” said Rainey Roberts, a sophomore majoring in general studies. “This may sound a little bit silly but I think it’s important to be introspective.”
Through the semester the Counseling Center has been able to provide services for students dealing with stress and wanting to self-improve.
“I do think blessings can be during bad times and there are always lessons to be learned,” Roberts said. “I do think that there were good things that came out of quarantine, especially since I tried to maintain a positive attitude.”
With the help of positive messages and resources online, students felt comforted through the quarantine. Many students were able to make friends, develop skills, and improve themselves.
“Some of my best friends this semester I would have never met if it weren’t for corona,” Herbst said.
So whether it’s expressing yourself creatively, staying fit, or reaching out to loved ones, there is always something to do in quarantine.