By Angelina L. ’22, Drawing: Isabella L. ’22
Now that attending school no longer involves traveling to and from 103 Pilgrim Rd, many of us are left with extra time during the day. Personally, I no longer have to endure my hour-long commutes through rush hour both in the morning and afternoon. Other Winsor students are likely to be dealing with a similar situation, so I asked a couple of my peers if these unfamiliar times have inspired them to pick up any hobbies.
While scrolling through many Instagram stories, I stumbled multiple times upon the cuisine-inspired meals and glorious desserts crafted by Evie Wells ‘22. The consistency in her posting seems to be in direct relation to the drastic schedule change. On a regular school day, she spent “more than two hours a day just commuting –about an hour to get to school, half an hour to get from school to crew, an hour plus to get from crew home- so even having that time is kind of crazy.” Isabella Liu ‘22, a Lexington bus rider, also reflected on the change in her schedule, saying, “In the morning I try to get up around 6:00 so I have time to get ready for school before the 6:45 bus. Now I get up at around 7:40 most days, so I get about an hour of extra sleep.”
With the long commutes of many students out of the equation, students can step back and spend more time doing what they love but could not manage to squeeze into their previous schedules. Isabella, an artist when time allows, admitted, “I was interested in sketching before the pandemic; I draw on and off but I’ve had much more free time recently.” Evie told me that she “really just [didn’t] have the time” to cook despite her love for the activity. Now, however, she has incorporated this hobby into her daily routine, as she has been making dinner for her family “pretty much every night” and making breakfast and lunch for herself every day as well. Although social distancing has prevented all of us from being able to spend time with people outside of our family, Evie explained that many people “swipe up” on her Instagram stories about the dishes she has cooked. She added, “people have reached out who I haven’t talked to in a long time and I’ve been able to catch up with them, all because they said ‘oh that chicken looks good.’”
Similar to Evie’s creative usage of social media, Sarah Loose ‘22 posts her original poems on Instagram almost daily. The additional time during the day has largely affected her interests as well. Sarah said, “now that I have so much time I don’t know what to do with, pursuing this hobby has become more of a priority.” The collaboration among poets engendered by the quarantine period has also surprised her: “At first, I was frustrated because I thought that quarantine would take away from performances and workshops that I typically go to, but I have been pleasantly surprised at the effort among poets to turn meetings and open mics virtual.”
While the academic excellence of students at Winsor is certainly among one of the school’s highest priorities, we are often tasked with completing so much schoolwork that the possibility of pursuing our own interests and extracurriculars especially in high school, fades away. The changes instilled by the spread of the COVID-19, as challenging as they are, have allowed much of the individuality of our student body to reappear.