Despite quarantine and isolation last summer, some Gamecocks made the most of their time by capitalizing on their hobbies.
Ansley Patton, first-year exercise science student, didn’t know how to spend her time once school was canceled. She said she went from balancing eight AP-level classes to having no schoolwork to do.
Patton said she tried painting, but she didn’t want to paint on a canvas, as it makes her feel limited or trapped. After not practicing a hobby for two years, she said she was trying to have a creative outlet.
Inspired by @trippydraws on TikTok, Patton painted a mural on her wall. She began by sketching and then painting shapes in black before filling them in along with white dots to make the black appear less harsh, she said.
“I think that's something really cool that I've done that I definitely wouldn't have done if we weren’t in quarantine," Patton said. "It was kind of nice to just have a project that I was doing for me.”
Another student, Jules McHenry, also found inspiration to pursue hobbies on TikTok.
“When I was younger, I used to make jewelry out of polymer clay, and so then, when I saw them being popular over TikTok and Instagram, I was like wait — I can do this too," McHenry, a second-year marine science student, said.
Over the summer, her jewelry making was just for fun, but over winter break, McHenry began selling earrings.
To make the earrings, she mixes “the clay together to make the pattern, and then I use little clay cutters to cut it out, and then I bake them in the oven," McHenry said.
The designs she makes, which are available to buy on Instagram at jewelry.by.julesm, depend entirely on the mood she’s in.
“Because my audience is, like, broke college students, I tend to have them less than $15," McHenry said.
All items have a flat rate of $4 for shipping, according to McHenry.
Brynnan Frye, a third-year education student, also took the quarantine as a chance to revisit a hobby she loved when she was younger.
After many art lessons in her youth, Frye ran across string art on Pinterest. Originally, string art was a way to pass the time throughout summer, but, "it just kind of grew into something bigger than I thought it would be," Frye said.
To make the string art, Frye outlines the shape of a state with nails and then loops string throughout to fill in the shape.
She sells her art on the Instagram page @studentmadestore, which features around 15 other artists at USC who all make different products. The string art she makes costs $35 dollars plus shipping, and customers have the freedom to design the art to fit their tastes.
"I think that [quarantine] gave me time to kind of get back into art, which, you know, has meant a lot to me for a long time, but it had fallen to the back burner because of school and work," Frye said.
Creating art isn't the hobby for everyone, and streaming might be an easier option than ever.
After Googling "fun things to do when you’re bored," Logan Ingram, a fourth-year advertising student, found YouNow.com.
“The whole point of the website is [to] get on there, and if somebody has content that you like, you can send them likes," Ingram said.
During a live stream, the hosts can have three people join them on camera to talk to with an audience watching. Streamers can also send money to other streamers on the site.
Ingram used YouNow as a way to talk to people while staying safe, but he said he has furthered the online connection to hanging out with people from YouNow in real life, making him thankful for the experience.