Unconventional Ways to Pass Time in Quarantine

By Gregory B. Johnston

Have you already made too many loaves of banana bread? Do you wish you could make your quarantine routine more efficient? Have you always promised yourself you’d learn an unusual skill during all of your “free time” as a Harvard student? Well, we know we could never get tired of baking or talking to friends via Zoom, but here are some other ways to transform your quarantine into a surprisingly adventurous one (spent at home, of course)!

Needle and Thread (or Yarn)

Our heads are spinning from all this time sitting in front of a computer screen. It’s super important to take breaks from screen-time (and this includes your phone), so grab that ball of yarn that’s been sitting in your basement for years and ask your family if anyone has a knitting kit lying around the house. Desperate times call for some really warm, fuzzy measures.

Duolingo — Do It Right Now

Test out of your language requirement and miss having a language class? Wish you were enrolled in a different language department? Cooking dinner for your family but don’t actually know how to pronounce the name of the dish? Now is the perfect opportunity to refine your language skills. Even though traveling is a big no-no, why not mentally travel to the most vibrant places by learning how to speak another language? Duolingo has got your back.

Singing in the Rain (Your House)

If you ever convinced your parents to buy you an instrument only to give up on learning it after just an hour of practicing, this one’s for you. Grab that guitar that’s been growing increasingly dusty in the corner of your room and get to it. Find your own rhythm. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even start a band with your family and perform for your friends (over Zoom).


Yes, we mean it. Find some Crayola markers and paper, then color your heart out. It’s super therapeutic, and you can even bring your artwork back to school when we (hopefully) return in the fall. Don’t have coloring supplies? Try doing some origami, or maybe even have a paper airplane building contest with your siblings.

Childhood Computer Games

#TBT. We know you remember the good old days of boogieing on the dance floor of the Club Penguin igloos. Not a Club Penguin fan? Then Webkinz is also a great way to re-live some of your best childhood memories.

With these suggestions, we’ll be back on campus in the fall (fingers crossed!) before you can spell Duolingo.

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