As Cabin Fever Settles In During Quarantine, Students Find Ways to Manage Boredom


Reilly Smith

During this time of quarantine, some students have taken to artistic activities, such as drawing or painting.

Maddie Khaw, Editor in Chief

With classes now being conducted entirely online, many students at La Salle are finding themselves with more time on their hands than usual. Without school and extracurricular activities to occupy the greater portion of each day as they normally would, some students find themselves with little to do, while others have found lots of different ways to fill their time. 

Freshman Nathaniel Taylor said that he becomes bored at some point almost every day. When he does, he often gets ahead of his schoolwork and completes DLDs early, and he also likes to create various forms of art.

“For me, art passes the time that I would normally just spend on my phone, but in a more productive way,” he said. 

Similarly, junior Bella Chalmers said that she has been spending more time doing artistic activities like coloring, playing the violin, and singing. 

“My boredom has led me to find my artistic side again,” she said.

Although this time of quarantine and self-isolation can be a challenge, Chalmers said that the ways that she is choosing to spend her newfound time give her the chance to “step away from these hard times for a little bit and focus on my goals.”

“These activities are relaxing for me, so it replaces everything chaotic that’s going on in the world right now and draws my full focus to something beautiful and positive,” she said.

Other students have taken a range of different approaches to manage cabin fever. For example, freshman Emma Buchanan and sophomore Keean Edeline have both enjoyed working out during this time. Senior Sara Biniam said that she has been going on lots of walks, working on finishing her reading list, binge-watching Hell’s Kitchen, listening to music, and even trying to learn Italian.

“If I were to do nothing, my mind would just focus on the negative side of things,” Biniam said. “Instead, I would rather spend my time doing things I could never see myself doing, like learning a new language.”

In the same way that Taylor enjoys the productivity of art and Biniam is learning new things on her own, sophomore Sebastian Gang has appreciated this extra time to touch up his skateboarding skills, which helps him feel productive and active.

“It helps me because it’s fun, I’m working towards goals, and I get exercise,” Gang said.

Senior Christine Bynum knew at the start of all of this that she wouldn’t be able to sit around in her house for long. So, she said, “on the second day of quarantine I applied at Fred Meyer, and was hired four days later.” Since then, Bynum has been working over 45 hours per week. When she isn’t working, however, she enjoys online shopping, cooking, and watching YouTube.

Bynum said that a positive aspect of online school is that it allows her to have a flexible schedule so that she can work at Fred Meyer and make money to save for when she goes off to college. 

Other students express appreciation for the flexible schedule that comes with online classes. Gang and Biniam said that they like being able to wake up whenever they want, in contrast to a normal school day. Junior Vishal Casper enjoys that he is able to work at his own pace, and he said that he often gets his schoolwork completed in about two hours each day. 

Taylor said that in addition to the flexible schedule, doing work from home is more “relaxing” and “comfortable.” Buchanan also highlighted the comfort aspect of online classes. “I can wear my Snuggie all day,” she said.

Even with these positive aspects, digital learning is simply not the same as being at school learning together. Several students expressed that this separation has been a challenge, but that technological aids like Zoom have helped them stay connected with others.

Biniam said that while on campus, she would often convene with her friends in math teacher Mr. Larry Swanson’s classroom to hang out together. And each Friday at school, she and a group of friends used to eat lunch in the science wing, sharing their meal period with science teacher Mr. Matt Owen, also known as “Mowen.”  

“I miss my friends and teachers dearly,” Biniam said. “Every Friday, my friends and I have a Zoom session with Mr. Swanson and Mr. Owen to replace our Friday lunches in Mowen’s classroom. In the session, we catch up on our lives and just enjoy each other’s presence overall.” 

Though most members of the La Salle community are probably wishing that they could be back on campus, students are finding different ways to spend their time at home and make the most of the situation — whether that be through art, exercise, work, or, as Biniam says, “spending eight hours listening to Gordon Ramsey getting mad at his chefs for cooking a meal incorrectly.”