Pandemic leisure: How students are filling their free time now vs. two years ago

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: CYANO66
If Netflix continues to be your saviour, it might still feel right to re-watch Bo Burnham's pandemic comedy special Inside.

When the world shut down in March of 2020, it also felt like time had frozen, as we were given “two weeks off” from school. As time went on, trendy activities lifted the spirits of many on how to keep busy during these high stress times.

One of the first widely popular trends that dominated our TikTok For You Pages was the whipped coffee trend. Culturally known as Dalgona coffee, made by hand stirring (or with a blender if you’re lucky) two tablespoons of instant coffee to hot water with added milk was a great time consumer.

It only made sense that a loaf of homemade bread was paired with a glass of Dalgona coffee. Judging from people’s posts online, the bread-baking trend caught on like wildfire as grocery store shelves remained bare.

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The release date for the new Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch was also perfectly timed. There wasn’t a better time to just drop everything, crawl into bed under the covers, and play with your villagers for hours. Socializing with villagers and attending K.K. Slider concerts took up a lot of our time.

Upon entering 2022, we are now approaching the anniversary of the pandemic lockdown. A lot has changed and adapted, especially with how we spend our time, as things shift between a new normal and navigating college life.

TikTok trends to get rid of pandemic boredom have evolved past whipped coffee and bread, and have driven more towards more arts and outdoor activities. A rise in learning how to crochet, paint, and rollerblade as the snow melts away have brought many to relax outdoors.

Movie theatres have bounced between opening and closing, but as it stands, many are open and people are lining up for the new Batman film starring Robert Pattinson. Although, if Netflix continues to be your saviour, it might still feel right to re-watch Bo Burnham’s pandemic comedy special Inside.

Gamers might have traded their time to take care of their Animal Crossing island to play Elden Ring. The new role playing action game has become a household name as many players try to survive the difficult bosses mirroring Dark Souls.

Although there is an odd feeling of nostalgia for trends from early on in the pandemic, it’s interesting to see the growth and change in how we choose to keep busy during these odd times.

An uproar of emotions has flooded social media as many exclaim there were so many activities and interests people felt they had no time to pick up. As weird as it may be to think about, the pandemic has been a transitional time to reflect on hobbies and inner desires to try new things for many people.

Whatever passion you are thinking about doing, whether trending or not, it’s the time to explore and challenge yourself. While there are so many activities to do as the world works towards opening up and get back to the regular hustle and bustle, it is an important takeaway to reflect on being able to take time for yourself in your day.