Students pick up new activities during COVID-19 restrictions

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Malik Jaiteh

The BSM weight room appears uninhabited; students had no access to this equipment throughout the COVID pandemic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, restrictions are put in place to prevent any unnecessary harm. Ultimately, people have had to become more productive with the spare time on their hands, and many here at BSM have decided to pursue new activities and sports such as golf, exercising, or arts and crafts to distract themselves from the negativity surrounding them.

Golf offered people an opportunity to escape the environment of their homes (which they had been limited to for some time due to quarantine) to enjoy a snippet of what seemed like normality in the grand scheme of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Golf offered me opportunities to go outside after a day of online school to be with friends, enjoying life somewhat like it used to be,” senior Jack Dougherty said.

This activity became a favorite among many people, and this rare enjoyment inspired friends and others in their communities to pick up golf. Interest in golf grew immensely, and despite the pandemic, golf courses raked in profits rare in the current economy. “Because everything else was closed, golf was one of the only things I could do,” Dougherty said.

Another activity that became particularly common among people during the pandemic was the desire to better oneself, both mentally and physically, through exercise. “The pandemic inspired me to pick up working out again because I had too much free time,” senior Jake Branton said.

I felt more energetic and fulfilled after I exercised. I became more confident and it bettered my mental health”

— Jake Branton

As COVID worsened and restrictions were put in place, gyms closed and people were compelled to be creative with how they got their exercise day by day – be it by buying weight sets and machines to install at their houses or by going for runs outside. “I originally started working out in my garage with free weights and resistance bands but as restrictions were lifted, I started going to Lifetime more and more,” Branton said.

For many students, daily exercise can take time and energy away from the stress of work or school and redirect it into self-improvement. “I felt more energetic and fulfilled after I exercised. I became more confident and it bettered my mental health,” Branton said.

These activities allowed for a period of partial relaxation and recess from the craziness at work, school, or home. “Getting that little bit of fresh air and being able to spend time with friends has decreased my stress and taken my mind off of school and COVID,” Dougherty said.

Many people took interest in golf because it offered a sport that can be played throughout their lives. Similarly, many people picked up daily exercise to better their habits and feel healthier when confined to their houses. COVID has been an experience like no other, forcing students and their families to get creative in order to manage in this period of struggle. Not only has the period of COVID inspired people to pick up these hobbies, but it has given them incentive to continue performing these activities regularly throughout their lives. “Even when COVID is gone, I will keep working out because of the benefits it has already provided me,” Branton said.