Montclair State Students Stayed Busy During Quarantine


Published September 21, 2020
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The Montclarion
Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 or is showing symptoms must self-quarantine at home for 14 days. Ben Caplan | The Montclarion

Montclair State University students have been left with a lot of free time since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shut down most of the country in mid-March. During these shut downs, students still found plenty of ways to keep themselves busy.

Exercising was a great way to stay healthy during the shutdown.

Aysel Kilicalsan, a senior information technology major, passed time studying, playing video games, reading, meditating and doing yoga during the shutdowns.

“I felt anxious and tired during the quarantine, but working from home as a tech for a software company and doing the activities helped to keep myself busy,” Kilicalsan said.

Kilicalsan recommends that other students also try some calm activities while they continue to stay home this fall.

Reading will [make you] endure more information and keep the brain busy. Yoga [and] meditation helps with self-awareness and being calm.” Kilicalsan said.

Justin Ghansiam, a graduate student earning a master of business administration, put her time into dance and music during the shutdowns.

“During quarantine, I felt scared primarily, but my hobbies helped to ease my mind and make me feel happy during the process,” Ghansiam said. “My hobbies also helped me to maintain my mental and emotional health, which is important for my future.”

Ghansiam also spent time with his friends and family and worked as a graduate assistant at Montclair State during quarantine.

Selin Gunderen, a junior theater production and design major, quarantined with her dad and took up knitting.

“I was trying to learn things for my major but couldn’t do a lot since March, because of COVID-19. Therefore, I had to start reading a couple of things on theory. I knitted a scarf and was drawing during the lockdown,” Gunderen said.

After completing her first scarf, Gunderen started to work on another one.

“I felt bored a lot since we were restricted from so much. The hobbies that I did kept me busy and [kept me] from going completely insane,” Gunderen said.

Michael Vasquez, a senior information technology major, spent most of his time at a private beach and boardwalk. He also picked up new skills such as learning how the stock market works and exploring more programming languages.

“I honesty felt bored and had nothing much to do during the quarantine, but the stuff that I came up with changed my mood about the whole quarantine situation,” Vasquez said. “Learning more about the stock market will help me in the future. Also, learning more about computer languages will also help me to write computer applications.”

Vasquez suggested that more students use the extra free time staying home as a way of acquiring new skills or enhancing some of their old ones, as it could be of a great help to them in the future.

Students like Kilicaslan, Ghansiam and Vasquez didn’t only make the most of their quarantine by learning new skills and other pastimes, but also discovered hobbies that they can indulge in even after things resume back to normal.

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