The last few months have been hard for everyone, but many people have been thinking of ways to spend time together while staying the suggested “six feet apart.” Everyone has missed their friends at school, and found unusually open schedules as social gatherings have been cancelled.  But PA students took on the challenge to maintain friendships and even pursue new (or rediscover old) hobbies while honoring quarantine restrictions.

Evan Flynn watches YouTube after a finishing his school work for the day.

For most people, quarantine has not been the way they would have chosen to spend their time, but for Evan Flynn ‘28 it has been a pleasant surprise.  “I love pretty much everything about quarantine”, glowed Flynn ‘28. “I get to be lazy and I do not have as much school as I normally do.” Flynn does not talk too much to his friends right now, but does enjoy going for walks and spending time with his family. 

Although quarantine has imposed distance between friends, many students have found that quarantine has brought them closer to their household family than ever–literally and figuratively.  William Hilberg ‘27 found this is definitely a plus during what many have found to be challenging circumstances.  “My family and I now spend more quality time together by baking cookies and watching a TV show every night as a family”, remarked Hilberg.

Helen Foley snapchats a few friends after she finishes her work for the day. 

Baking and other hobbies often take a back seat to schoolwork.  Although teachers are as busy as ever creating and uploading lessons, the abbreviated school day frees up time for some students to pursue other interests after completing their work.

“These last several weeks have not only allowed me to have more time to myself, they have also allowed me to enjoy activities I did not have much time for during regular school, such as reading”, concluded Foley.

Although it has been hard not seeing friends and loved ones that live far away, as travel is heavily restricted, everyone has put their heads together to find new ways to connect. FaceTime, the app “Houseparty”, and Snapchat have all been very popular ways in which people are staying connected to their friends right now.  “I have mostly used Snapchat to contact my friends right now, but I will occasionally talk to my friends on Facetime as well”, stated Helen Foley ‘22.  All three apps allow multiple people to see each other and talk at one time. “Houseparty” even allows people to play games while talking to one another.

Quarantine will be long-remembered, and for many, a difficult memory.  But, the intentional pursuit of friendship and enjoyment of hobbies can bring lasting joy from short lived hardship.