Eight quick hobbies you can pick up this lockdown without having to sacrifice your degree

From walking in the wind to making your own fashion show at home

As the vaccines are being rolled out across the country, the University of Cambridge has entered its third term of online learning. Students are either fed up with their parents telling them to clean their rooms or are on an abandoned college corridor with no one but the bedders as company. Whichever situation you are in, why not start some new hobbies to achieve that lockdown glow up! It might finally give you some material for your dry group chats.

1. Good Old Exercise

Tired of sitting at the desk all the time? Missing the music at Cindies? Why not do a workout to dance playlist and take pictures with your new fabletics leggings? From yoga to aerobic dance, push-ups to sit-ups, you can decide what you want to do, depending on your need and mood. There are plenty of tutorial videos online. Need a workout buddy? Maybe you could team up with your friends on Zoom. If the weather allows, jogging is definitely also worth trying!

What could be more exciting than exploring new jogging routes near your college on a sunny day?

2. Culinary Wizardry

Cooking can be daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be! From pasta to toasties, from Greek salad to Korean pibinbab, cooking different foods is just like travelling around the world. No more burnt pasta in the gyps for you! You could pair it with an aesthetic trip to the supermarket or try out some much-missed Cambridge favourites.

Wait, is that a UFO in the kitchen?

3. New scarf anyone?

Do you get stressed easily? If so, maybe knitting is the right hobby for you. Knitting is incredibly therapeutic and relaxing because it keeps your hands busy yet does not take away too much of your brain capacity. At the same time, you feel that you are creating something with your own hands. There are plenty of online resources including videos or guides and all you need to do is to get started!

My first self-knit scarf a few years ago. I’m all about the bright colours!

4. Scrub-a-Dub Dub!

Washing the dishes, like knitting, can be very relaxing. If you think of washing the dishes as a way to clear your mind, it will not be tedious anymore. Maybe it is also a time to work as a team with your family/housemates after dinner. Washing, drying. It’s that easy. Alone in your household? No problem. Just turn on the music and party in the kitchen!

Dear housemates, please leave your dirty dishes for me to wash.

5. Learning to be James Bond

Fulfil your childhood dream of being a spy and learn shorthand! It looks complicated, but it’s really not that hard. Katie, a second-year History student picked up shorthand during the first lockdown, saying “it’s very aesthetic and has the added bonus of making it quicker to take lecture notes.” You could even invent your own secret language and be extra mysterious!

This is not an extraterrestrial language, I swear! (Photo credit: Katie Thacker)

6. Going out for an ‘I’m the main character in a romance novel’ walk

Yeh I know it’s England and the weather is not sunny and warm every day, but it doesn’t have to stop you from going out. You can walk around with your wind tousled hair, perfectly blushing cheeks looking like the main character. The mist will give you that extra mysterious “who are they?” look and you will never appreciate your waterproof jacket so much. The weather is not the key to happiness; you are.

I’m the main character so this horse is defo a unicorn

7. Dear Diary

If you enjoy solitude and self-reflection, keeping a personal journal is the right thing for you. Your journal or your laptop will be your most loyal listener and will never spill the beans. Writing down your feelings helps you reflect on your days, moments with friends/family/yourself, talks with the supervisors, the dinner you cooked, and much more. It also helps you practice gratitude and relieve anxiety or negativity. You can also make it super aesthetic with a bullet journal.

Dear diary, shhhhh…I’m in love with Daphne Bridgerton!

8. Whistle while you work!

Getting bored or stressed staying home all day? According to research, keeping the room tidy may help you reduce stress and stay fit. And you can absolutely turn your room into the next fashion show runway with the help of a clean mop on your head and your colourful raincoat. I am sure that everyone feels like a supermodel as they walk around confidently and clean the house. No? Just me?

The college is well-equipped with cleaning tools. Cambridge Cinderellas where are you?

Do everything on this list and you will be a mysterious, aesthetic, tidy, reflective, fashionable, and healthy main character in no time! In this very tough time, health is definitely the most important thing, both mentally and physically. Make sure you are kind to yourself and stay safe!

All photos are author’s own unless otherwise specified.

Related articles recommended by the Author:

The Tab’s guide: How to eat more sustainably at Cambridge

Trip to the Gyp: Delicious dahl, hopeless hobs and an ode to coconut yoghurt

Stay sustainable and remain indoors: Our guide to an eco-friendly lockdown