Lakhiani: Self-isolation? More like self-improvement

Karuna Lakhiani, Staff Columnist

“Are you still watching?”

Those words glared at me from my laptop screen; it was 2 a.m., I had no motivation to watch my math lectures and I was binging NCIS, which seemed never-ending. Yes, Netflix, I was still watching, but I didn’t want to. Boredom and lack of incentive had driven me to this sad moment in self-isolation. 

As much as I hated quarantine at first (don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like it), it has given me a lot of free time that I didn’t have before. I’m trying to make the best out of the situation because this is the only time we (hopefully) are ever going to be required to stay in our houses for the health and safety of everyone. Instead of complaining about something that we can’t change—but can move along a lot faster if we stay home—we should use this time to be productive in ways we haven’t been before. 

One of the ways I want to be more effective with my time is by trying different workout routines. Everyone makes the New Year’s resolution to work out more, and then it falls flat in a couple of weeks. It’s sometimes hard to stay fit and healthy as a college student with midterms, extracurriculars and the constant desire to take a long nap after class. I understand all of that, but now, things are different, and it’s time to get out of our comfort zones. While I normally rely on dancing (I’m on Spartan Bhangra) or Pilates to keep me fit, I am now trying out more intensive cardio and strength training.  

Reading more books is probably another obvious thing to do with our time. In my case, I read too many books (If you don’t believe me, check out the article I wrote on romance novels!), so my goal instead is to write more. I love writing anything from these opinion pieces to fictional stories. However, I haven’t written a single short story since last year. To get back into the groove of story writing, I’ve been doing different writing exercises, such as using a random prompt generator. It gives me ideas like writing about a purple glob in the sky.  

I’m also adopting a dog! As an only child, I’ve always wanted a dog, but it just never happened growing up. Luckily, now is the perfect time to bring one home. Several adoption agencies and shelters are currently open with cautionary measures in place to protect public safety. With fewer people adopting pets, these animals have even less of a chance of finding a loving home. So even if you don’t have the ability to adopt a pet at the moment, please consider donating to a local shelter. 

I understand that it’s hard to do anything at home right now; classes online aren’t quite the same as in-person classes and getting work done seems impossible. But it’s the little things you can do that can make this quarantine a bit better. Try that new cooking recipe you saw on TikTok, or have a Zoom movie night with your friends. Keep your study space separate from your lounging space and spend some time with your family. Learn a new hobby or skill. Adopt an animal in need. There are so many ways we can make use of our forced free time, so let’s make the best out of it and make this quarantine worthwhile.