NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Creative outlets help NECC students during COVID-19

Since March of 2020, the spread of COVID-19 has forced NECC students into the isolation of their homes.

Despite these difficult times, many students have found the use of creative outlets to be extremely beneficial for their creativity and mental health. Creative outlets are unique to everyone and can be any interest or hobby that releases anxiety and stress—a break from everyday life.

Isa Grullon, 33, is a journalism and communications major from Lawrence who loves writing poetry, singing alone in her car, and choreographing popular cultural dances for her friends’ quinceañeras. She is also a Features Editor for the NECC Observer. Writing allows Grullon to release all negative thoughts and express her true self. She explained that without writing, her negative thoughts would fester inside, leading her to become an angry person. Having a creative outlet brings her happiness, as she states, “if you’re happy, you get to share that with other people,”

Gyani Wasp, 18, is an international student and film major from West Newbury who enjoys filmmaking, movie-watching, photography, and writing film reviews for critical thinking. He explained how the isolation has affected his movie-watching experience by restricting him to appreciate films alone instead of at a theater with his friends. Wasp has been making films for four years, and when asked about his love for creating, he responded “I want to make people feel the way I feel [while watching movies].”

Lastly, Erik Terrio, 24, is a journalism and communications major from Haverhill who strongly believes in dedicating at least one hour of the day to himself.

“We [everyone] totally forget about ourselves. You need something fun to look forward to in order to be productive,” he said.

Terrio enjoys movies, video games, drawing, painting, and writing in his journal. He describes writing for him as a form of meditation and makes a daily “Gratitude List” of everything he his thankful for despite adversity. Terrio also implores students to spend time with their families.

NECC students’ use of creative outlets have contributed a positive effect on their lives, creativity, and mental health during COVID-19. Isa, Gyani, and Erik all encourage other students to find their own creative outlets, interest, or hobbies, as they feel it will be a beneficial resource for those battling with mental health and struggles of everyday life.