The many faces and stories of Harriton students fill up the walls and differentiate our school from the rest.
Many of us bump into each other in the hallways and make friendly conversation, yet we don’t really know each other. During quarantine, this has become even more difficult. The hobbies and activities that fill our days are secret and exclusive to our houses alone. The new instrument we learned to play or the recipe that we tried will never be heard or tasted by our peers.
To offer a glimpse into each other’s lives, we sent out a survey to the Harriton class as to what their quarantine looked like. We polled 55 Harriton students: 22 freshman, 9 sophomores, 14 juniors, and 10 seniors, asking them about common quarantine hobbies to see the most popular trends, before asking who has the most interesting hobbies.
The most popular quarantine activity was reading a new book or watching a new television show, with 48 students checking that box! This was followed by baking and cooking with 36 students, and then picking up a new sport of exercise. Twenty-seven students spent some of their time reading, and almost equal amounts of students learned to play a new instrument or tried a new fashion trend. 5 students also tried their hand at knitting!
Out of all of those polled, though, these twelve Harriton students truly found unique quarantine hobbies!
Most Impressive Hobby:
Jillian Shaw, a Harriton junior, shared, “This past summer I got into yoga. It was my goal to get a good headstand, so for one week, I practiced yoga and my handstand for at least an hour a day. I cannot tell you the number of times I hit a wall (by falling out of my headstand) and had everyone hoping I didn’t break anything.”
Most Inspirational Hobby:
Ben Rosenberg, also a Harriton junior, shared about his family’s daily quarantine walks, and how these benefited his entire quarantine experience.
“During the latter stages of last school year’s coronavirus spikes, it became difficult to find interesting things to do, being constantly filled with boredom and an urge to make up for the empty slots in our typically busier schedules. Finding ourselves needing fresh air and time away from screens, my family and I decided it would be fitting to start going on walks. This began as a tedious, rather unexciting part of my afternoon, but after a few days of commitment, it became a regular part of my schedule. This became even more fun when small gatherings were permitted early in the summer, as well as the new arrival in our home: Toby the mini poodle. I highly recommend Harriton students to at least give it a chance for the sake of their own health and happiness, not to mention the countless proven benefits that we receive from walking and getting fresh air, even for a mere thirty minutes each day, including strengthening muscles, enjoying a longer life, improving sleep, and major mental health advantages. Whether it may be alone, with your friends, or with pets, the results our family saw from this short and easily obtainable activity are undeniable.”
Most Artistic Hobby:
Harriton senior Riya Kumar and Harriton junior Aruna Balasubramanian, tied for our artsiest hobby award. Riya shared two of her quarantine hobbies, saying,
“[I] recently decided to start learning [calligraphy] and since I received some new ‘oxblood’ ink through a stationery and pens swap…. I thought that this would be a great opportunity to learn.”
She also discussed her interest in plants and botany, adding, “Since quarantine began, I’ve been collecting more plants through plant swaps… The only problem now is that I’ve run out of pots and not a single department store I’ve visited has any more normal terracotta pots left. It seems that quarantine has caused everyone to explore gardening and buy out the supply of pots in the stores.”
Aruna shared, “I like to bullet journal and scrapbook! I write in my journal every day and also use it as my planner. I draw out my calendars, lay out my schedule, and recap the month with pictures!”
Sage Torrisi, Harriton senior, also enjoyed being creative in quarantine. She wrote that for the first month or so of quarantine, she challenged herself to make one artistic project every day, and shared that “it was really fun to document all the things I worked on.”
Ponthea Shojain, a Harriton freshman, shared one of our funniest quarantine hobbies, and one a lot of us can relate to when home with our families!
Ponthea shared, “My mom bought 5 pounds of clay and wanted to make a sculpture with me for ‘family bonding.’ We spent four months on it, as we had no idea how to keep it from collapsing. We made a really cute flower pot though, so it was worth it.”
Our second funniest quarantine hobby title goes to a Harriton student who shared that they would “turn on my sink to hot and put ice cubes through the water and watch them melt. It was really entertaining.”
Most Relatable Hobby:
The most relatable award goes to Finn Glew, a Harriton senior. While we are all at home more, that certainly does not mean that we want to spend more time on anything. Besides, some of the fastest things in life are the most delicious! Finn wrote that he spent his quarantine, “mastering the art of cooking fast/snack foods at home,” including, “pizza, cheesesteaks, smash burgers, and guacamole.”
Most Interesting Hobby:
Harriton Junior Anjali shared our most interesting and unusual hobby! Anjali “started learning to be ambidextrous; practicing writing and every day activities with both hands.”
Our sweetest hobby award goes to a Harriton sophomore who shared one very poignant line. This student and her friends “used to have game night over FaceTime every Friday.” This summarizes how we have all adapted in this era of COVID, and continued to do the things, and spend time with the people that we love.
Most Delicious Hobby:
Harriton senior Kaelyn Klatte shared her quarantine hobby, and it’s the most delicious one yet!
Kaelyn wrote, “Over quarantine, my sisters and I decided to try out different kinds of recipes (i.e.: ramen, chicken legs, brownies, etc…). A few times, my older sister combined two cookie recipes into one; we made delicious banana-walnut-oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies and lemon-ricotta cookies in this way. I’m fairly surprised that the recipes worked out so well.”
So, the next time you bump into someone in the hallway, or rather are placed in the same Zoom breakout session, try to share a little about your life outside of school. We, as a Harriton class, will not be defined by a number on top of a test, but rather by the memories and experiences that we share and the friendships and bonds that we create inside these walls. While this was cut short during the quarantine, we must still unite and share our lives with each other.