NECC Observer

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

Students find ways to be entertained and creatively inspired in 2021

As we emerge from the year of 2020 — a year of which could be generally described as a global catastrophe and a stressful period for most — the remaining effects have still left many people feeling unhappy in their daily lives, as well as isolated from friends and family due to Covid-19.

The isolation is also having an especially large impact on college students — specifically regarding their current lack of social and live educational experience(s). While the chilling February weather and gloomy skies may also trigger a depressing mood, having a creative outlet and/or source(s) of entertainment may help to alleviate some of this negative energy.

Many NECC students have found various ways to be motivated, creatively inspired, and entertained in 2021.

“I think that covid has helped me to isolate away from people and only think about myself, and the things that I want to do in my life,” said Jeremy Isabelle, 20, a journalism and communications major from Haverhill.

Isabelle began to further express his love for writing and movie-watching as his form of a creative outlet and entertainment. “It feels as though I have a giant canyon to just scream into whenever I get overwhelmed by my daily life. Like if schoolwork is really dragging me down, I start to write down what’s going on with me. Then it starts to feel like I’ve thrown a giant weight off my shoulders,” he said.

Furthermore, he also explained his love for Stanley Kubrick and Christopher Nolan movies, as well as how he draws much of his personal inspiration from the entertainment media. “Stanley Kubrick, Hunter S. Thompson, George Orwell, and Arthur C. Clarke—each of these creatives have their own kind of genre that represents its own portion of my life,” said Isabelle.

Isa Grullon, 34, is a journalism and communications major from Lawrence, as well as the editor-in-chief of the NECC Observer. When asked about her creative outlets, Grullon stated that although she loves to write “2020 made it hard to write about anything aside from covid. I even had a file that I kept called the ‘Corona Chronicles’.”

Grullon further explained, “Because I haven’t been doing all the activities that I would normally do, like going to concerts and restaurants, I’ve been watching a lot of new shows and movies on Netflix.”

Grullon also loves to watch popular Youtubers, such as Bailey Sarian, a lady who tells thriller stories about crime and mystery while doing her makeup. When asked about her motivation and inspirations, Grullon stated, “My daughter and my sense of responsibility to the world are what inspires me to stay motivated — it’s a feeling that comes from within. I don’t really have to search outwards.”

“I love to paint and listen to music. It helps me think about what I am feeling. I also like to think of ways that will make my room feel cozier since I’m in it all the time now,” said Victoria Martinez, 19, a Health major from Haverhill.

She began to further explain that by managing her college courses, it has also helped to keep her mind active and structured during these times. When asked about what she does to stay motivated throughout her life and personal obligations, she stated, “I have a hair, skin, and self-care routine that I do every day to help myself stay positive. I always try to have a positive mindset and make sure that I’m good, even when things go bad.”

Martinez further expressed how she feels that focusing on oneself is the most important and effective way stay productive and inspired. “My mother is what also motivates me, one hundred percent.” says Martinez. “I need to at least be happy and successful for her.”

Writing, watching films, listening to music, and practicing self-care are all valuable creative outlets and sources of entertainment that have helped NECC students. Despite these blue times, students are hopeful for a positive change, and looking forward to a brighter future in 2021.