07 May 2020

An alternative bucket list: more things to do while staying at home in quarantine

Well, one thing I can tell you for sure, is that I didn't tick a single thing off this college bucket list since I shared it in March. That's why I'm now making a different kind of bucket list for myself to complete, as well as sharing some ideas for you on how to spend your time at home. 

Here we are - almost two months into lockdown in Ireland. Never knew I'd be experiencing this kind of thing in my lifetime, as everyone says. What's happening around the world feels like a Black Mirror episode, and there's only one word I can describe this time as: weird.

I'm extremely lucky to be in the situation I'm in though; safe at home with my family, able to complete my second year of college online and having an array of things to do to fill my time. 
Yet I still miss my friends and the little things I took for granted like eating out and hockey training.

The sheer difference between the worlds of 1st March (when I last blogged and shared my college bucket list) and today is indescribable. Before the pandemic, I planned everything. I seemed so certain that everything was going to go to plan for me this year. I was going to do all the things I had been meaning to do in my last term at Trinity, but instead I had to say good-bye too soon. And don't get me started on the lists and mood boards (yes, mood boards) I've made to plan my time at Columbia University. Now I have no idea when I'm going to make it to New York.

But plans fall apart sometimes - in daily life, and of course, now during this crisis. There are much bigger things happening; I have to pinch myself sometimes to remind myself that what I see on the news is our reality, that we really are in a pandemic. I feel so small in the whole ordeal, and a little useless. But then I remember Ryan Tubridy's words on the Late Late: 'Your sacrifice through self-isolation will save lives... your heroism through self-isolation will end this terror sooner than it otherwise might end.' Not all of us can be on the frontline, but at least we can do our bit by staying at home.

While it is a bit surreal sometimes, I have become a little used to this new lifestyle, and I've seen a lot of us have. Students and workers in between their at-home desk hours are filling their free time with 5km challenge nominating, Animal Crossing playing and bread baking. We bring some normality into our lives with small scale plans and routines to keep us going until the next step in the lifting of lockdown.

 A lot of time has passed since this lockdown first began, so maybe some of us need some new ideas on how to spend our time. None of the following ideas will be revolutionary, but they are Queen-of-Quirk-tried-and-tested, and will give you a glimpse into how I've been spending my time in isolation.

Quiz and game nights with family and friends
I'm sure every household has done multiple trivia nights, but quizzes have been a big highlight of my quarantine weeks. If you haven't organised a quiz night yet, definitely do! You or one of your family members or friends could host, or you could decide to host a round each. Jimmy Carr also does a daily quiz on his YouTube channel that's great craic to do together.
Another fave game of mine is Skribbl.io, a Pictionary type game which is a perfect companion over a group Zoom call. Also, one time, Robert, Gelsey and I attempted to act out an Elizabethan play together over Zoom... yes, we study English.

Powerpoint Presentation nights with friends over Zoom
This was Gelsey's genius idea, and she was inspired by a TikTok. Over a few nights or weeks, get your friends to pick topics they're passionate about and to give lectures on them - the more cool transitions between slides, the better. Here's some inspiration: geek out over your favourite TV shows or films (I did one on Disney's Descendants series) or teach your friends something very niche and random (Robert taught us about 3 influential citrus botanists). We've still so see what Gelsey's presentation will be on...

Rediscover your inner child with Disney
I'm very grateful that my brother invested in Disney+ for the Star Wars' The Mandalorian series because I've been able to watch some *quality* content recently.

- The Mandalorian is a MUST-SEE for a Star Wars fan. It is a great series with cool music score and exciting action. Plus, Baby Yoda? How could you not love that creature?!

- HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE MUSICAL: THE SERIES!!!! My goodness, more people need to watch this show. Genuinely, it is so brilliant, and I never expected this good a show to come from Disney. It's sometimes heart-warming, sometimes heart-wrenching, and while they put on the original HSM as their school musical, there are also new songs thrown in that are absolute bops! If you're a fan of Glee but also want some Disney nostalgia, this is the show for you.

- I'm a bit too obsessed with the Disney's Descendants trilogy considering I am now 20 years old. I think you can tell I love it since my PowerPoint presentation was all about the films. While they aren't as good in production quality as HSMTMTS, the films have fun plots, killer songs and Kenny Ortega choreography - what's not to love!?

- As a big Tangled fan, I've been in love with Tangled: the Series as well - a lot darker than you'd expect! I'm honestly way too excited for the rest of the series to come onto the streaming platform. Again... I'm 20.

- And for the cherry on top, some Pixar tear-jerkers: Coco and Toy Story 4. I was BAWLING my eyes out by the end of both of these films.

(Joshua Bassett is further defining my 'type' along with the other soft boi actors I'm in love with)

Keep up your fitness with some socially distanced walking, jogging or cycling
I'm a big fan of a jog on a sunny day, and I've become a bit too attached to the statistics on my FitBit - I think I'm being a little competitive with my own jogging!! Also, it had been a while since I cycled and this week I finally got my helmet and bike out for a spin. I'm definitely going to make it a regular thing now when the weather's good. So go for a run, walk or cycle in your 5km radius!

My Dad has shown me the joys of the Irish Times crosswords, which are fun brain teasers if you're a lover of words like me. Anna even gifted me a crossword book for my birthday! 

Become TikTok famous (okay, not famous, but get a kick out of getting 100 views) or just have some fun watching TikToks
If you've been keeping up with my Instagram, or are my friend and have been bombarded with TikToks from my *FYP*, you'll know I've been sucked into the TikTok world and I. Love. It. You can learn some dance routines, rate your favourite musicals and edit together some clips of good looking people into a 'Play Date' montage. Even if you don't want to create anything, there is such great content on the app: Vine-like funny TikToks, creative comedy sketches, Star Wars and Marvel memes, outfit idea videos, and inspiration on even MORE things to do in quarantine on there (like movie / TV show themed dinners and recreations of concert experiences - I'm now very tempted to do these things). Warning: the app is highly addictive. 

Clear out your wardrobe and/or shop from it
I'm sure there are clothes in your wardrobe that you haven't worn in a while that could be loved by another. No need to throw out the clothes - you can donate or sell! I went through my clothes quite early on in lockdown and found lots that I didn't need anymore. I've also decided to plan some outfits with the clothes I already have to see what new looks I can come up with. This is a great alternative if you find yourself online shopping out of boredom - sometimes you may not need new clothes, but just need to reinvent some looks and/or alter some clothes.
Watch Gelsey's fantastic video below on why we need to more conscious as fashion consumers and that we shouldn't just buy clothes out of boredom.

Dress up!
You've got some new outfits put together from your wardrobe - now what to do? You can dress up! I recently donned some nice outfits and makeup for my birthday, for Easter and for the RTE Create Don't Contaminate challenge. You don't need to have an occasion for it obviously - dress up for the fun of it! For me, it feels really good to put on something else other than a tracksuit and to put on some makeup. I think I'll start doing it more, and since I am interested in creating more outfit idea and fashion challenge TikToks / IGTVs, I may have found myself a motivation (despite needing one).

Take part in a daily challenge
Seeing the words 'challenge' may be a bit terrifying, but there are tons of fun challenges on social media that you can take part in. There's that 30 day song challenge that's popular on Instagram which I had a lot of fun with. I also love Yoga with Adriene's 30 day Yoga Challenge from a few years ago. Clóda Scanlon had a month long outfit challenge for April, and I'm sure there are lots of style-based challenges going around. You could just create something new everyday - look to the Create Don't Contaminate challenge from last month for some ideas. Or you could try new makeup looks, taking inspiration from KeilidhMua. If you haven't found a challenge that suits your fancy, make one for yourself! It could be something simple, like to listen to a new educational podcast every day, or to watch a new Oscar-winning film every evening. If it's something you love, it'll be something to look forward each day. 

Dabble in a bit of journalling
No one has to be a Bridget Jones to master the art of diary writing. What's great is that there's so much freedom in journalling - you don't have to write much, or you can ramble on for as long as you like. You can doodle, collage, paint, rip, and leave the journal a day or two. I managed to keep up journalling everyday for about a week at the end of March / early April there and I want to get back into it - even if I don't write everyday, I'd like to do it often. I'm sure what I write is a bunch of nonsense (I don't even go back and read my entries) but it's helping me get my writing flow back. 

There are also a few other things I've been meaning to dp, and since I've more time on my hands with my exams and assignments done, I've set myself a new "bucket list"...

A family painting evening
(inspired by Dina Schneider's techno painting evening in Berlin)

Digital declutter
(Go through who I follow on the socials and my photos)

Scrapbook / photo album making

Use up some notebooks creatively

Learn something new 
(Excel, ukulele, piano, how to draw/paint)

Write short stories / articles

Shop my own makeup collection and try out new makeup looks

Become a Jedi

Organise jewellery and hair accessories

Learn new recipes

Try out some poetry writing...
(Whoops, the English student has arrived)

Watch the Harry Potter movies again

Watch some films / read some books I've been meaning to watch / read for a while

Have a go at Netflix Party

Play the DS / Wii / Playstation and reignite my inner child - again

Plot revenge on coronavirus and/or the wasp that stung me the other day

Step up my blogging and YouTube game ;)

Recreate a concert experience

Have a film / tv show inspired dinner

I hope you are well at this scary, strange time and that you and your loved ones are safe. I also hope you can find solace and happiness in the little things over the next while.

Talk to you all soon,


  1. SO many fabulous suggestions! I think it is a great idea to great a separate at home bucket list. I've been doing my best to be productive and still enjoy this time.
    the creation of beauty is art.

  2. I love finding out what others are doing during the quarantine. I was busy with college so I didn't have time to do some fun things but now I have to find some times to do.

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