College sophomore Sage Levine plays guitar to help soothe her nerves and find calmness.


It has been two months since Penn moved classes online and asked students to leave campus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Stay-at-home orders remain in place throughout many parts of the United States, leading to increased free time as there are no events to attend or people to see.

But positive aspects have emerged from this isolated time, as well. Interests once abandoned for schoolwork have come back into focus. New skills have been learned that may never have been explored otherwise. Self-care and introspection have become more important than ever. In the face of challenge, people have found growth and inspiration. Here is how some Daily Pennsylvanian multimedia staffers have been coping throughout the pandemic.

Credit: Alexa Cotler

"While stuck inside, I've taken up knitting, and it's been a super helpful new hobby. It's kind of lame, but I get really pumped about new projects I can try, and the methodical action of knitting is meditative. It also helps to have a kitty giving you encouraging licks." - College junior Alexa Cotler

Credit: Gary Lin

"Being away from Philly has given me more time to appreciate the finer details of the world, and it has reminded me that the world continues to grow and thrive in the face of hardship. It’s something that we should learn from." - Engineering sophomore Gary Lin

Credit: Son Nguyen

"Being intellectually involved with coronavirus-related research helps me feel more engaged and productive during this time period." - Ph.D. student Son Nguyen

Credit: Maria Murad

"Getting to cook every day has been so fun and therapeutic for me. Having a lot of free time now means I get to try and cook really complicated dishes I never have before. This recipe is from an amazing New York Times chef, Alison Roman, who has simple and incredible recipes." - College junior Maria Murad

Credit: Sukhmani Kaur

"During this unprecedented time, I have rekindled a passion that brings me peace of mind. Each drawing during quarantine will be gifted to the person it reminds me of when I see them next." - College sophomore Sukhmani Kaur

Credit: Amelia Sharpe

"When my brain is saturated from doing so much linear algebra, I play with makeup and do mini photoshoots. A great study break; I'd highly recommend." - Engineering first-year Amelia Sharpe

Credit: Chase Sutton

"Walks during the evening are one of my few escapes from my small apartment in New York City. I put in my headphones and almost always walk the same 25 minute route along East End and York Avenues, giving my mind and body a small bit of respite and freedom." - College junior Chase Sutton

Credit: Melanie Hilman

"I visited my grandfather's tombstone with my twin sister a few weeks ago while grocery shopping for Passover." - Engineering senior Melanie Hilman

Credit: Isabella Cossu

"Having my dogs helps with stress and calms me down with everything going on right now." - College sophomore Isabella Cossu

Credit: Zihan Chen

"This is a food vendor by a pedestrian street in downtown Chongqing, China. Everything is going back to normal, but not really." - College first-year Zihan Chen

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