BY Nina Greenhill

(Captain America Voice) So, you got quarantined. You’re bored. Now, the question is, how are you going to make things fun?

1.    Learn How to Cook

Now that you aren’t spending upwards of $100 per night on drinks and ‘going out’, you can legit learn how to cook for yourself. Woolies and Coles provide delivery for your ingredients so you can stay inside and work on those skills you haven’t needed before now, like boiling water, and meal prepping.

There are tons of easy one pot meals and recipes that require little to no effort on your part, like roast, and toasties. Baking can be fun too, even if it’s a packet mix. They sometimes make the best brownies.

Here are my top meals for easy cooking, easy prepping, and easy vegie-ing:

  • Chilli Con Carne- It requires no measuring on your part. All you need is a packet mix, 500g beef mince, 1 can diced tomato and 1 can kidney beans. Cook in one pot and eat with the potatoes you’ve just learnt to boil.
  • Chicken Roast- Peel and cut up a bunch of veggies (Potatoes that you didn’t end up boiling, sweet potato, carrot? Are there even other veggies? Onions. I’m always crying ‘cause onions taste so good). Chuck them in the oven with a whole chicken. Wait until cooked. Totally low maintenance and you get to have roast for like a week! How good is that? Please follow a recipe.
  • Spag Bol- Okay, so this one is finnicky. Coming from a European family, we made it ahem properly. You can add veggies into it if you want, but I found that this was done by families who couldn’t get their kids to eat veggies any other way. *casts side-eye to Aussie neighbours who put celery and carrot in spag bol* Tomato is the primary (only) veggie that should go in it, and you can achieve this with a tub of tomato paste. My family Spag Bol recipe includes a smidgen (lot) of red wine. Put all the ingredients in a pot and let simmer for a couple hours. Your home will smell like the happiest place on earth and not the cleaning product you’ve been using to sanitize everything.

Here’s an idea, why not make baked beans and use all those toilet rolls that you’ve been hoarding?

2.    Write That Novel

Jks, don’t put me out of work. But in all seriousness, Camp NaNoWriMo is about to start, so there’s no harm in getting ready early. Majority of the Sydney community has a server on Discord, so there’s plenty of socialness and help you can ask for when writing your masterpiece. Set yourself a goal for a word or hour count and get writing. The community on discord is pretty nice in general and real chill. You don’t have to write a novel in your 14-day quarantine. Admittedly each November when Nanowrimo kicks off its really hard to finish writing a novel length work in a month with all other commitments and life that happens, but you’re stuck inside so you’llllllll beeeeee fiiiiiiiiiiinnnnneeeeeeee………

3.    Watch/Play That Series/Game You've Been Meaning To For the Past Three Years

I suggest Halo (but then again, I’m old school and have a dream that I will one day finish ALL the halo games) or literally any of the ones you have lined up on steam from the sales. If you’re looking for a new series to binge, there’s always GOT for those of us who haven’t gotten around to it (hides under desk), or the classics like HIMYM, GG, B99, Seinfeld, MASH, House, Grey’s Anatomy, literally any police procedural that is an acronym: NCIS, NCIS:LA, CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI:NY, NYPD Blue. OH! Buffy! And the spinoff Angel. Binging is always allowed in this case.

Why not take that N64 out of storage and really challenge yourself by playing Mario Kart with the controller that isn’t yours?

4.    Knit

Or start a new hobby. Knitting is fun, don’t get me wrong. Why else would we have a KnitSoc on campus? You can knit yourself a blanket to keep you warm while you’re self-isolating. Or start another hobby, like drawing, or that thing we all used to do in primary with the plastic tubes, or puzzles, or idk, do people still build boats in tiny bottles?

My point is that the ceiling is the limit, and only you know what hobby you want to do.

You could make a scrapbook or photo album of that overseas trip you went on four years ago that you told your family you would show them pictures of but never got around to doing.

Break out that Lego, those Paddlepop sticks, and build that empire across your living room.

5.    Read a Book

I know, they do still exist. Books don’t just come in textbook form. Some come smaller, more portable, and have probably been gathering dust on your shelf for a year or five. If you don’t have enough shelves for your books, get some delivered from IKEA. There’s a project. It’ll take you half a day to figure out the instructions anyway. BAM! 13 and a half days to go.

If you finally find your old copy of The Princess Bride by William Goldman, you can spend the remainder of those two weeks searching online and procuring the original Morgenstern in Florinese.

Odds are your local library has online versions of books like Percy Jackson (just a suggestion) that you can read on your phone/laptop. Heck, you can practice your new hobby of knitting while listening to an audiobook. There are tons available on YouTube, as well as recordings of comedy shows, like John Mulaney’s New in Town or The Top Part, or 8 out of 10 cats, or 8 out of 10 cats does Countdown. Why not check out some of the wonderful talent like Ellie Taylor, Sarah Millican, Katherine Ryan, Daniel Sloss, Jim Jeffries, Celia Pacquola, and Hugo Boss (the artist formerly known as Joe Lycett). Let your funny flag fly.

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