These Panthers managed to escape boredom with their new quarantine hobbies

Illustration by Monique | The Signal

The summer is officially in full swing, and this year looks a little different from past years. Georgia State students have used their quarantine free-time to delve into new crafts. 

Junior Geavonna Starr has been working on a novel, tentatively titled “The Network.” The novel is crime fiction, set in a world where the Hollywood entertainment industry serves as a front for organized crime. Starr said the storyline is reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino’s crime film “True Romance.”

Starr has always been entranced with words. As a kid, she would rent out the maximum number of 15 books from the library. With the temporary hold on outside-life, Starr has been able to focus on her writing projects. 

She especially appreciates having time to study other forms of media to draw inspiration for her work. She cites the “Robbers” music video by The 1975 as her all-time favorite music video. She also gets inspiration from the outlaws and gangsters featured in video games like “Grand Theft Auto” and “Red Dead Redemption.”

“Being able to watch movies, play video games and listen to music inspires me,” Starr said. “It helps me create the content, develop the plot and develop the characters.”

Starr appreciates the infinite amount of time she has due to the open timeline of quarantine-life. She views it as a form of meditation.

“Writing is kind of a lot of pressure, but being able to do a personal project takes the anxiety away,” Starr said. 

For her, writing is worthwhile because it serves as an outlet for personal expression, however,  Starr also believes it can be a difficult process.

“If you struggle with perfectionism, that’s a really difficult thing because it’s very hard to get any writing done at all when you’re obsessing over whether or not it’s going to be good enough. Not just for other people, but for yourself,” Starr said. “I’m my own worst critic.”

Senior Malik Galbraith has used his time, stuck at home, to focus on state and nation-wide interests. 

As the spring semester came to a close, Galbraith created a multi-page Excel spreadsheet tracking several elections, including the Georgia Senate and the Georgia 1st-14th Congressional District elections. He checks for new polling information daily, mainly using FiveThirtyEight to gather information. 

He was inspired by “West Wing,” a political drama. In the show, the characters knew specific politicians and elections, a skill that appealed to him. 

As a political science major, Galbraith has a knack for politics. After graduation, he aims to work for Congressional campaigns in Washington, D.C. 

For now, his focus is close to home. As Galbraith tracks Georgia’s elections, the state has become “a potential battleground for the presidential election.”

Galbraith cites the shift in Georgia’s voting trends, the once Republican state has begun to lean towards politically moderate. 

As the national and local elections arrive, Galbraith hopes that voters commit to submitting their votes. While he congratulates the younger generation for its focus on advocacy and online-outreach, he emphasizes the importance of voting.

“I think that it’s becoming more apparent with all the recent events that young people need to get out and vote if we want to change the world we live in,” Galbraith said. “The local elections will really impact your life. If you really want to see change, you have to vote with knowledge.”

He also hopes that the recent protests for equality will encourage more voters to hit the polls.

Junior Jaylan Scott also has a knack for politics and, especially since quarantine, has added DJ to his resume. 

As classes went online, Scott found himself with extra free time. While surfing Youtube, Scott watched a video which advised him to “not cheap out on your hobby.” This message led to Scott investing in a $1,700 DJ set. 

Scott started listening to electronic music three years ago and began studying the unfamiliar art by watching DJ sets filmed at music festivals. Now, he finds himself mimicking the artist’s movements as he watches their videos. 

A few months ago, Scott created a DJ Instagram page under the alias “Governor,” meant to combine his two callings. 

Scott uses his craft to de-stress and sometimes, he envisions life as a musician and professional mixer. 

“The significance of the DJ controller is just for me to dig into my passion, and me loving the music,” Scott said. “I told myself that when I retire one day, I’m going to travel the world and become a worldwide DJ.”

Scott currently holds positions with multiple political organizations, including the Young Democrats of Georgia and Southern Majority. Like Galbraith, Scott isn’t ready to let passive-voters off the hook.  

“Your vote is the first step, whereas getting people elected and holding them accountable is the next step,” Scott said. “[Politicians] do what they want until you hold them accountable. I really want [voters] to feel like their voices are heard, but at the same time, I want them to know the civic value of what it takes to get stuff done.”

Amidst COVID-19, students are creating different realities or they’re tracking the current one, all from their living rooms. Once Georgia State’s campus reopens its doors, students will return with a new party trick or even a new career.