COVID-19 has been a trying time for most people. Besides living in fear of getting sick or having a loved one get sick, we also can’t do things we enjoy, for example, going to restaurants or other public venues. The closures left many people sitting at home. During this time, I found hobbies that would distract me from what was happening globally and give me new skills. I hoped these hobbies would occupy my mind and teach me something valuable. In a year, I developed three new hobbies.

My first hobby was learning how to fly drones. I started with a cheap little drone and eventually worked my way up to a more expensive and larger drone. It took a while for me to get comfortable operating the remote control. I had to work past the fear of crashing the drone. However, as the months went on, I got more and more comfortable. Now I can fly the drone both inside and outside. Drones have many purposes other than just being fun. For example, you can take fantastic aerial photographs, use them for surveillance, and, maybe one day, use them to deliver goods to people.

My second hobby was learning how to play chess. Chess is a great way to exercise the mind. An essential part of chess is understanding how the pieces move and creating a strategy for the game. At first, I played with my sister since she was the one who taught me. Then, I downloaded an app and started playing with people all around the world. The app allowed me to play with these diverse players and allowed me to chat with them and ask them how their country was dealing with COVID-19.

I also got involved in the Social Club at college and launching a photography project. This project involved taking creative photos from your hometown and submitting them to the college. The College would then pick a winner. This project allowed me to grow my social skills and organizational skills. It allowed everyone to go outside and appreciate the beautiful views we have in our hometown. With the pandemic resulting in public places being closed, this gave people a reason to get out of their houses and to do some walking and sightseeing.

Although COVID-19 was, and still is, a very sad and trying time for most people, it gave me the opportunity to develop new hobbies. I plan on doing practical and useful things with these hobbies. From flying drones to playing chess to creating a photography project, I have used this time to further myself and my skills. I encourage everyone to do the same.

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