UIUC Students Pick Up Skills in Lockdown

Senior Fatima Castillo crochets in her apartment on Thursday, March 11th

By: Sabrina Lee

It’s been a year since the country went into lockdown, and University of Illinois students were sent home indefinitely. Classes went online and internships were canceled. Students were left with a lot of downtime on their hands.

For senior Fatima Castillo, the boredom caused her to pick up her crochet hooks for the first time since she was 11 years-old.

“I wanted to do something with my hands,” said Castillo, “I remembered we had all that stuff [crochet supplies] and I kinda wanted to pick it back up again.”

Castillo crocheted and knit everything from basic scarves to cardigans and even stuffed animals. For her sister’s birthday, she knit her a giant blanket.

“I’ve made stuffed whales and bunnies for my friends,” said Castillo.

She does not currently take commissions.

Senior Alexander Bae took to treating his friends to something refreshing. After taking a bartending certification course online, Bae started making cocktails for his friends.

“My friend and I found a bartending course online and thought, why not,” said Bae.

Bae kept himself busy by learning to play chess, catching up on some reading, making jewelry, and learning to live a healthy lifestyle.

“I’d say I benefited greatly from lockdown, it did wonders for me,” said Bae.

This week would normally have been Spring Break for UofI students, but due to the pandemic, the week-long holiday has been replaced with various “Wellness Days” throughout the semester.