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How Long Island college students are making the most of time at home 

Joe Thomas, 22, an accounting major at Molloy

Joe Thomas, 22, an accounting major at Molloy College.  Credit: Joe Thomas

With the recent transition from campus to computer, many college students have found themselves with an excess of free time. Get inspired by what these Long Island students have been doing to stay busy and entertained at home.

Pick up a new hobby 

Molloy College accounting major Joe Thomas, 22, knows a trick or two about how to pass time. “Aside from putting more time into my school work, I’ve had a hobby for well over a decade; I’m actually a magician,” Thomas said. “So, I’ve actually been practicing that a lot more now that I have all this extra time.” Thomas, a Deer Park native, continued, “I also play guitar and sing, so I’ve been doing that.”

University at Albany political science major Alyssa Guiang, 18, has used this time to build up her language skills from her home in Mount Sinai. “I’m planning on minoring in French, so I’ve been trying to watch and use some more French media, just cause I have a lot of time on my hands.” She continued, “I’ve been watching more videos and movies in French with French subtitles.”

Get creative in the kitchen

Jeanie Uy, 21, has found a yummy way to stay busy. Suffolk County Community College biology major and Plainview resident Uy said, “I’ve been trying to cook for my family; I'm trying to make Filipino dishes.”

Baldwin resident Melissa Francois, 18, has started baking with her sister twice a week. “We’ve been hungry and bored, so [we’ve done] a lot of baking.” Francois, a legal studies and sports management major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst continued, “So far, we’ve made cupcakes, corn muffins, brownies; we want to make chocolate chip brownies.”

Jillian Bayoneto, 19, said, “I’ve definitely been cooking more and learning how to cook meals for myself, but also for my whole family.” Bayoneto, a University at Albany accounting major from Westbury continued, “I never really cooked before, but this semester, I’m really going to learn how to.” 

Develop your art skills

Adelphi University psychology major Dakota Terenzi, 21, has been getting artistic during her social distancing. Terenzi, who is from Franklin Square, said, “I’ve been doing a lot of painting and drawing; I bought canvases and paints.”

Like Terenzi, Adam Rifas, 19, has also been inspired. “I’m doing a lot of creative writing, like poetry,” Rifas said. “I never really had time to do it cause I’m so busy working.” Rifas, who is an elementary education major at Adelphi University, has been posting his work on his poetry Instagram page (@generationzpoetry).

Practice an instrument

Relearning an instrument has been a goal for Anisha Singla, 19. Singla, an NYIT life sciences and osteopathic medicine major, has been honing her piano skills in her New Hyde Park home for the past two weeks. “I’ve been using YouTube videos to relearn some of my favorite songs on the piano,” she said. 

Bayoneto has developed a similar routine to Singla with the piano and guitar. “Recently, it's been nice getting back into it and having time to play what I want to play, rather than what people tell me to play,” Bayoneto said. “I’ve been listening to some of my favorite songs, and trying to play them on the piano and learning it myself — rather than reading sheet music.”

Connect with family and friends

NYIT communications and media production major Alessia Wilmore, 19, has used this time to bond with her parents and younger siblings. “I’ve been implementing board games with our family,” Wilmore said. She and her family, who live in Bay Shore, have been playing classics, such as “Life” and “Sorry.” “My siblings are 11 years younger than me, so we’ve been teaching them how to play,” Wilmore said. “My family and I have been hanging out a lot more than we used to.” 

Suffolk County Community College journalism major Elizabeth Maldonado, 20, said, “I’m in a group chat with my other classmates where we all talk throughout the day and just try to keep each other in the loop.” Maldonado, a Bellport resident, continued, “[We] help each other with homework, stay positive and in communication with each other, since we’re all stuck at home and kind of have our school on pause right now.”

Utilize social media and apps

Bayoneto has filled some of her downtime by downloading social media apps, such as Tik Tok. “Recently this past semester, I downloaded [Tik Tok] and I’ve been on it for hours sometimes.” Along with that, she also uses other platforms like Hulu and YouTube to distract her from the news. “I find that a lot of things on Instagram are the same — all about quarantining and the coronavirus, so I like to watch shows or YouTube videos that aren’t about it.” 

Singla agreed: “I never really watched Netflix because I never really got the time to. I started watching a new show on Netflix, so just like getting back into things I wouldn’t normally do.”

Exercise and stay healthy at home 

Staying fit has been a focal point among many college students.

Maldonado has taken up at-home workouts while in quarantine. “I tried to pick up exercising at home, just so that I’m getting active since I’m no longer walking around on campus or going to work.” 

“I have an app called Fitbod, so they put workouts together for me,” Thomas said. 

“Honestly, I’ve been working out a ton — two hours a day if I can. I’m trying to do at home workouts,” Terenzi said. 

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