Column: What your quarantine obsession says about you


Courtesy Creative Commons "bake" by how lucky we are is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Many people have taken to baking as a hobby during quarantine.

Sarah Olender, lifestyle editor

Time is really weird right now. On one hand, it seems like it was just yesterday we were mourning Kobe Bryant’s death, flying back to campus from spring break and celebrating Northeastern Women’s hockey team winning the Hockey East tournament. On the other hand, all of that feels a lifetime away. 

For most people, quarantine has been filled with consuming too much or too little news, watching TikToks until the sun comes up and rewatching the same series on Netflix until you can quote every single line. No matter how you slice it, the pandemic has left us all in a very isolated state, leaving us to fall into deeper obsessions now more than ever.

Your quarantine obsession might be a deeper dive into a hobby you were already passionate about, or something you would have never expected to fall in love with. Nonetheless, there are quite a few obsessions that seem to consume many of us. Here’s what each one says about you.


Whether you’re a creator or consumer, you’ve fallen into the most average obsession that college students acquired over quarantine. Quarantine TikTokers are very nostalgic and in many instances equally cathartic. Your “For You” page, or FYP, is probably filled with a lot of your interests. That can range from sports to religion to your favorite shows and hobbies, all the way to the warped reality of what some call “Deep TikTok.” There are many different sides to TikTok, allowing many different communities to be represented. Based on your likes, TikTok adjusts its algorithm to show you videos that you’re probably interested in and that satisfy your need for short entertainment with your minimized attention span. It’s a social media platform designed to suit you and your sense of nostalgia when thinking about what life was like six months ago when everything was normal. 

2. Catching up with friends

Quarantine was a relief for you. Finally, some time to relax and reconnect with friends from home and strengthen your friendships at school. You might naturally be a little more introverted than the average person, and when you’re in quarantine, seeing people is entirely optional. If you want to catch up with friends, you can, but if you want to just sit back and nap, you also can do that too. You also probably own a Zoom premium membership, so you can talk for unlimited periods of time with your friends — unless you prefer not to talk, then you might be a big texter or Snapchat user.. 

3. Exercising

If you were one of the people who got into shape over quarantine, you are a very rare breed. You are motivated, well-organized and odds are that in regular times, you are usually pretty busy. Quarantine gave you the time you needed to finally be able to achieve your goal. The sense of routine a regimented workout schedule gives you also probably helped give you some sense of normalcy that the lack of in-person classes or co-op schedules stripped away from your life. Props to you and keep up the hard work. 

4. Starting a business

Did you learn to sew and make masks? Did you learn to paint and start selling paintings? Maybe you started a tutoring business or started editing high schooler’s college essays. Whatever you did, you possess the entrepreneurial spirit, and this break only gave you the time to unleash it. You are super motivated and people often describe you as ambitious. You’re probably the one person in your friend group who comes up with all the ideas: what to do, where to eat and where to go. The idea of staying at home indefinitely and doing nothing sounded like torture, so you took it upon yourself to make the most out of quarantine. 

5. Working a job

You took this break as motivation to save your money. With the unemployment rates rising and many people out of work, you somehow found a job and started making money or gaining experience. You probably aren’t a big baller spender, but you are a big saver who is using this time to prepare as much as you can and to be as productive as possible. With all of the money you’re earning, you definitely feel less guilty about impulse online shopping and you’re always one step ahead in preparing for the future. You are definitely a glass-half-full type of person because you’re thankful that you can’t go out and waste money right now.\

6. Cooking or Baking

You saw “Worst Chefs in America” and made it your personal goal to never make it on to that show. You are really into self-care, and you’re the mom friend who loves to host and take care of people. Cooking was the outlet you needed during this time. A lot of people bake or cook to relieve stress, and maybe that’s true for you, especially in this unprecedented time. But while you may have started cooking to relieve stress, your hobby developed into something more intense than the occasional loaf of bread or neglected sourdough starter. The culinary arts have turned into a passion that only strengthened as the quarantine continued, and you’re ready to tackle the daunting task of the perfect croissant or maybe a “Chopped”-style challenge with whatever’s currently in your fridge. Now, you’re just excited to be able to cook for your friends back at school and show off your new skills with an expertly-curated five course meal.

7. Reality TV

From “Love is Blind” to “Too Hot to Handle,” there is no denying that reality TV had a moment during quarantine. Maybe it was the fact that everything happening was anything but normal, and you craved something relatable. You miss the regular world more than the average person. You’re an extrovert who loves meeting people, and you love going out. With the real-life drama of partying out of the question, you picture yourself as a contestant and wonder how you’d fare with the absurdity of life in a bubble with a group of new strangers. Maybe you laughed at the ridiculousness of the show (we’re looking at you, Jessica from “Love is Blind”), but deep down you love the excitement. Reality TV was the outlet you latched onto in order to cling on to any sort of normalcy that was left in the world and your love for socializing. 

No matter what your quarantine hobby has been, you are probably ready for life to be a little more normal. So remember to wear your mask, be cautious and social distance so that more people stay healthy and safe, and soon, we can all get back to our non-quarantine obsessions.