Hobbies

As shelter-in-place continues to affect people’s daily lives and regular routines, one aspect continuing to change is how people stay busy.

While being inside causes some students to turn to video games, watching TV or working out to fill up their days, other Aggies have explored new hobbies to fill the excess free time.

During this time, visualization junior Anna Cooper said she is using the art training she’s received at Texas A&M and her love for drawing the human body not only as a new hobby, but a new business as well.

“Last May, I got commissioned to do a line drawing for someone,” Cooper said. “I had been sitting on the idea to turn my hobby into something more since then but never really had the time. Now that I do have the time, I figured it was perfect to start drawing again because I can fully focus on my work.”

As she continues to showcase her artwork on her new business’s Instagram page, Kiötöl, Cooper said she has gained new-found confidence through drawing during shelter-in-place.

“All of this new free time has allowed me to dive into my drawings and has made me realize that I could continue to turn my hobby into something more and make something of myself one day,” Cooper said. “It is really empowering.”

Another student who has gained more confidence through their new hobby is mechanical engineering junior Nicole Sizer. Sizer, who originally decided to take up painting during shelter-in-place as a way to pass the time, said it has allowed her to embrace her creative side.

“I have absolutely loved painting,” Sizer said. “I never thought I could paint or that I was very artsy so quarantine has been a really nice time to develop those skills and see what I can do once I put my mind to it.”

Not only has painting been a creative outlet for Sizer, but it has also served as a mental release from the realities of the outside world.

“Painting has given my mind a release from all the craziness and uncertainty that is constantly surrounding us these days,” Sizer said. “It has allowed me to keep myself busy during these strange times and gives me a sense of control back over my life.”

While both Cooper and Sizer have taken an interest in art-based hobbies, one student has taken up the art of baking. Political science sophomore Gracia Lou has been baking different types of bread, muffins and cakes from scratch one to two times a week.

“My favorite part of baking during quarantine is seeing my family enjoy the final product and the aesthetic side of things,” Lou said. “It is so much when I post a picture of the baked goods, and my friends ask for the recipes to try it for themselves. It encourages me to venture out even more and bake things out of my comfort zone.”

Along with being a new, fun hobby, baking has also been a way for Lou to relieve stress.

“Baking gives me a way to relieve stress while feeling accomplished in something that I did by myself,” Lou said. “It’s a fun way to see my hard work become a reality right before my eyes.”

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