Lewis & Clark experienced a storm two weeks ago that left the walkways on campus extremely icy and precarious, with many roads surrounding campus impassable. Due to the weather and the danger it would put the off-campus staff and students in, classes were delayed day by day and students were forced to find ways to entertain themselves while anticipating the next email inevitably canceling on-campus activities and affairs.
Though the ice has mercifully thawed and classes have finally begun as usual, winter is far from over. Should the storm weather and subsequent closures return, what is left to do with so much free time?
In addition to being an amateur journalist, I am a self-proclaimed “hobby collector,” and all of my favorite hobbies can all be enjoyed from the comfort of my dorm room while wearing pajamas. Whatever you might be interested in, there is a way to indulge in it even while it is hazardous to venture outdoors, where the slippery paths on campus pose a threat to your well-being (and the uninjured state of your tailbone).
The first suggestion I have for an activity is crochet. Most importantly, it is an inexpensive hobby to get into; one hook and one skein of yarn will cost you under $10 (or free to borrow at the Platteau)! Learning to crochet is a lot easier than it seems, and endless YouTube tutorials and Pinterest inspiration will get you started without a hitch. Crochet not only has a fun and soothing production process but also allows you to create a useful result! Being very goal-oriented, as opposed to process-oriented, my favorite part is the completion of the final product.
Many people also enjoy the relaxation that comes with the repetition of “yarning over.” In my time crocheting, I have crafted many clothing items, gifts for friends and family and various plushies, most of which have been successes and all great practice. My favorite crochet piece so far has been a drawstring bag I made for a friend, which she adores and uses constantly. Whatever it is that you end up getting out of the process, it is a skill that is very versatile in its applications and can make you feel productive even while you are sitting cozily at home.
There is nothing better than curling up with a good book and a warm drink. Reading, and I mean for pleasure, not homework, is a wonderful activity to stretch your imaginative muscles and be whisked away from your dorm room into another world. It is an especially valuable activity when school is canceled and you are utterly bored of your own life; books make it possible to visit others’ at the turn of a page.
My personal favorite authors (who I make sure to recommend to anybody who is looking for their next read) are Haruki Murakami for a more serious, science-fiction story, and Marissa Meyer if I want a good young adult read to get lost in. My favorites from the two of them are Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World by Murakami (long-winded title, I know), and the Lunar Chronicles series from Meyer. I have read many books in my time on Earth, and I truly do feel that reading can not only make a person more imaginative and creative but is simply a calming, enjoyable activity, which makes it perfect for a laid-back night in.
Writing in a journal is something I just picked up again this semester, and so far it has been extremely cathartic. Journaling is a great way to vent emotions, set goals, or just ramble away to a non-judgmental audience. I love putting all my thoughts on a page in front of me, and even more than that, I love looking back on it later in life. Writing entries is a great way to track your progress toward your goals, and reading them is an easy way to see your development as a person.
A blank journal allows for writing, but also creative additions such as art, stickers and any form of collaging you please. I love pressing flowers and taping important magazine or article clippings in mine. However you like to do it, journaling allows for a great deal of introspection and is a fantastic way to pass the time when outdoor exploration is not an option.
Cooking (or learning to)
One of the most valuable skills a person can learn is to cook. Whether it is for yourself on a day you would rather not brave the Bon, or for your roommates who feel the same way, it is a skill that can be enjoyed and shared. Over the course of the week in, I spent a lot of time on the internet, an unlimited source of information and experience. I have tried plenty of recipes from the web, most of which have been great additions to my meal rotation.
My go-to easy meal is pasta (of any variety) with either marinara or pesto sauce. To spruce things up, throw some raw veggies into the pasta water for the last few minutes of boiling. This is an easy way to multitask an extra food group into your meal, which is cheap if you buy vegetables frozen or free if you snag some from the Bon. Pasta is delicious every time, in my very biased opinion. If you are enjoying a night in and are almost hungry enough to risk the walk, I would suggest first checking what YouTube — and your fridge — has to offer.
If we experience more weather complications this semester, or if you are just a person who, like me, prefers enjoying life from the comfort of the indoors, I hope I have provided a few options to help you have a cozy, fun time inside.
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