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Editor’s Pick: Content to Fill the Void in 2020

Julia Bonavita

Karina/Opinion Editor-

  1. Folklore by Taylor Swift

So, I’m going to be real, I listen exclusively to the explicit version because it just hits different but there is a non-explicit version as well.
This album features absolute bops such as betty, mirrorball, mad woman, and the last great american dynasty.
I’ll stop myself from listing every track on the album but this is basically quintessential Taylor Swift wrapped in a folksy-alt package as she discusses topics like the pandemic, social anxiety, and being painstakingly aware of the faults within yourself.
Plus… okay, there are some good break-up bops as well even though her relationship is stronger than ever. Put on some headphones, turn off your lights, and cry to this masterpiece. 50/10

  1. Avatar the Last Airbender (the animated series)

I’m about to expose myself- I never watched this show as a kid. I was a ’99 baby but I think I just sort of missed it. That said, I binge watched it (as well as the Legend of Korra) for the first time recently and I am obsessed!
I won’t ramble about the series finale fight between Aang and the Fire Lord- mostly because if I do I won’t stop even though it’s pretty epic!
Rather, I want to point out the stunning animation, the well-written character development, and the tackling of actually important issues… Okay, AND maybe also the super cool fight scenes.
Seeing a kid’s show so well written and animated that an adult can enjoy it is pretty impressive, and more than that, they tackle topics like losing (and finding your home), calling out your abuser (looking at you Ozai), and teaching viewers that you can always make amends for your mistakes. 49/10

  1. Love Island the Game by Fusebox

This one’s kind of silly but I’d be lying if I didn’t throw it in here.
I’ve, admittedly, never watched the actual show but you better believe I’ve thrown more money than I care to admit towards this choice-based game. So, you can play it for free, but then you miss out on special gem scenes and cool outfits, and really- $5.99 is such a small price for joy these days.
The app has 3 seasons as well as some reunion specials and I’m all about creating a character and grafting on every LI in sight… and maybe stirring up some drama as well.
Live vicariously through your pixel character while you do nothing in bed all day- it’s really a win-win. I can’t even say this is a new discovery, I’ve been playing since my freshman year of college. Hi, my name’s Karina, and I have a problem…­­­ 32/10
Jake/Sports Editor-

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  1. NBA Basketball: 

           As someone who lives and breathes sports, when the NBA announced they were resuming play on July 31st,  I took a huge sigh of relief.
My only entertainment in the world of sports was watching the Korean Baseball League, and rooting for the Doosan Bears gets boring after a while. Cheering on my hometown Miami Heat gave me such joy and even relieved anxiety about being in quarantine for four months.
I know it’s privileged to say that I want sports when so many more things are important at the time, but I think at a point in society like this we all need a sense of normalcy.
Now deep into the playoffs, I can’t wait to watch my hometown Heat go compete for the title.

  1. Madam Secretary on Netflix:

Many new shows were watched at my house during quarantine, but none held more validity than Madam Secretary. A show solely based on the daily struggles of the Secretary of State and her staff had me completely encapsulated.
Usually any show that deals with politics would steer me in the other direction, but each episode kept me engaged and wanting more. The story line, the character development, and all of the above could not have been better.
I recommend it to anyone that has an interest in politics or even those just looking for a new show.

  1. Playing Tennis

While sports were on hold during most of quarantine, one thing that kept me active was playing tennis with a best friend from home.
It seemed like every night we would plan to meet up at the court, engaging in competitive matches that would go back and forth. I’d take one game and immediately he’d take the next. It was the sort of competition that I had missed for those first months of quarantine.
Those games became the “Quarantine Open”, and it felt as though we were both going for the title.
Nina/News and Features Editor-

  1. Hate5six YouTube Videos

I watched at least one video a day from this channel while in quarantine, and I still do, to be honest. Hate5six films and archives live music to connect people with various hardcore bands.
With most in-person concerts canceled for the remainder of 2020, Hate5six’s content provided me with a sense of familiarity. Pre-Coronavirus, I attended shows regularly and would even travel a few hours to see an artist.
When that stopped, it was challenging for me to break the routine. This YouTube channel has provided comfort as I watched recordings of my favorite bands throughout the years.
I watched videos of bands play in my home state (NJ), which temporarily cured my homesickness.
Watching their content continues to be a healthy outlet where I get my daily concert-fix.

  1. Skating

I’m going to brag for a second and tell you that I taught myself how to skateboard during the quarantine. It’s something I’ve always wanted to learn but never dedicated the time to practice.
The quarantine gifted me an abundance of free time, so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and learn something new. A few scrapes and bruises later, and here I am! I would take my board out at least twice a week and ride around my parent’s community.
I now feel very comfortable cruising and practice weekly to maintain consistency. I’m going to start learning some simple tricks next.
My goal is to Ollie by the end of the year.

  1. Swimming

I’ve been a swimmer for my entire life. I started competing at age seven and took a recent hiatus due to the Coronavirus; however, I never stopped practicing.
Over the quarantine, I would carve out time for my daily workout. Swimming has taught me so many lessons over the twelve years I have raced. I’ve learned patience, self-confidence, sportsmanship and much more.
Swimming has also taught me to set obtainable goals and positively channel my anxieties. I still use all of the skills that swimming has taught me in my life today.
I knew it was important to continue practicing during the quarantine, or my sanity would be at stake.
Julia/Photo Editor-

  1. TikTok

I was on TikTok before it was cool – back when I had to keep it hidden in a folder on my phone, fearful that people would make fun of me for downloading the “Vine Knockoff”.  However, I really honed in on my inner Charli when I decided to post my first video back in March, and ended up with ninety-thousand views.
Needless to say, I was hooked.
My favorite quarantine activity quickly became lip-syncing to Megan the Stallion and Jason Derulo alone in my apartment, while photography tips flash on the screen. I now boast over ten-thousand loyal TikTok followers – a far cry from the usual internet fame – thanks to the sheer boredom quarantine forced upon me.
Part of me feels like Hannah Montana, living a double life in person and online, but I know being TikTok famous is definitely not resumé worthy.
Oh, and follow me, @juliabonavita13.

  1. Hamilton 

Graduating from a high school of the arts, I was well-versed in all things Broadway – even though I had no interest in musical theatre. Being the history nut and rap fan that I am, I became enamored with Hamilton: The Musical when I was a senior in high school.
When the news broke that Disney+ would be releasing a full-length version of Hamilton in July, I was happier than King George at the end of I Know Him. Every day in quarantine became a one-man performance of the entire soundtrack. I belted out the 2.5 hour show in the car, in the shower, and to anyone who would listen.
If anyone is on the fence about delving into the magical world of Hamilton, consider this your official omen to pull the trigger – in classic Aaron Burr fashion.

  1. My iPhone Ring Light 

To celebrate hitting 10k on TikTok, I purchased a $10 selfie ring light from Amazon.  I stand by my purchase, and would like to provide an unsponsored review of my new favorite device.
I am now the best-looking person in all of my Zoom classes and meetings. The ring light, which conveniently clips onto my laptop and iPhone, provides a soft glow that my usual desk lamp was lacking.
Every online conference turns into an episode of Project Runway, and when paired with the “soften appearance” feature on Zoom, makes me look much better virtually than in person.
Honestly, I could really get used to a world where all of our classes and meetings are online, primarily because I can roll out of bed, flip on my ring light, and feel like the next America’s Next Top Model.

  1. Gardening

So, before this year I had never planted anything before.
I had a few of those cute little cacti that you have on your windowsill, but those somehow managed to die under my care, so I had a reason to think I didn’t have a green thumb.
But over this summer as I was brainstorming a new “project” to work on around the house, I came up with the idea of making my own garden bed and planting vegetables! I can proudly say that I am a plant mom to cucumbers, cayenne peppers, and peas— and I started them all from seeds!
Checking on my plants each morning and seeing their progress is honestly a highlight of each day. It’s so nice to see how they grow and how they are so unaware of the chaos going on in the world.

  1. Fishing

Okay so in my situation, fishing is definitely just a hobby for me.
I spent my childhood fishing off my dock during the Minnesota summers and down here I would just go on a charter with my family on special occasions.
This summer I spontaneously bought a Walmart fishing pole, and I have been having tons of fun fishing off the beach shorelines! The Naples Pier is also a lovely place to go to spend time catching some fish!

  1. Rex Orange County

Yeah, I said it.
If you’re reading this, you probably aren’t all too familiar with Alex’s songs— and that’s okay. That’s why I’m here to tell you to LISTEN.
His songs have helped me so much during quarantine because they’re all just simply relatable. Rex has songs for when you’re feeling confident that you’ll rock your day, or if you’re deeply missing someone you love, and everything in between.
If you are looking for someone who will always pass the vibe check, put his discography on shuffle and you won’t be disappointed.

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