Upstart lockdown boredom recommendations

14 April 2020

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Bored at home? Upstart's got you covered.

With the pandemic cornering many of us into self-isolation, boredom is bound to creep up. You almost wonder which is worse, the pandemic or the boredom?

By now, you may have gone through an entire list of things to do and maybe even watched some shows on repeat. Never fear, upstart is here! Some of our upstart students have graciously shared with us how they’ve been keeping busy. Below is a list of their lockdown recommendations. Enjoy!

Things to Do

Dalgona coffee with Imogen Howell, upstart writer:
Since I’m stuck inside, I decided I would look at finally trying to get into coffee. I decided to try that ‘Dalgona” coffee, a.k.a whipped coffee that everyone on Instagram and TikTok has been raving about. I have to say I really like it, it takes the bitterness out of the coffee by incorporating a frothy airy texture not unlike a coffee you would get at a cafe.

You Tube:

Childhood crafts crazes with Brittany Carlson, upstart writer:
I have used my time in isolation to fulfil my childhood dream of learning to make scoobies [craft not illicit drug! Ed.] It is a great way to fill in time because it’s methodical, which has a calming effect.


New games with Sam Hughes, upstart writer:
March is usually a crazy month for games and I’ve definitely been spoiled for choice of which game to play during isolation. Animal Crossing New Horizons is a super relaxing escape to a deserted island, Doom Eternal is action-packed shooting nonsense, and Persona 5 Royal has been my personal favourite which has great characters and art style with JRPG gameplay.





Things to Read

High achiever reading with Rebecca Borg, upstart writer:
Take this time to read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. You will learn the ins and outs of success so that once you break free of self-isolation, you can go and rule the world!


Classic YA with Brittany Carlson, upstart writer:

Also re-reading “I’ll give you the sun” by Jandy Nelson for the one millionth time! It’s such a heart warming story that highlights the importance of family, communication and love, all of which are important right now.


Fantasy epics with Gianni Francis, upstart writer:
During lockdown I’ve used the time to read Raymond E. Fiest’s fantasy epic the The Riftwar Cycle. Travel an immersive fantasy landscape and escape the cabin fever of self-isolation.


Classic Austen with Imogen Howell, upstart writer:
I also decided to do some light reading, And at the moment I’m reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, a classic read for sure, and even if romance is not usually the genre you go for, you won’t be disappointed or bored.



Things to Listen to

Before they were famous with Amaal Mohamud, upstart writer:
I started listening to random episodes of a podcast called Imagined Life which takes you into the shoes of a worldwide famous icon before they were famous, the identity of the celebrity is revealed at the end. My favourite episodes are ‘The Student’ and ‘The Bride’.


Funny sport interviews with Bailey Zimmerman, upstart writer:
During isolation I have been binge listening to my favourite podcast Dyl and Friends. Just an ex AFL footballer interviewing one guest an episode and talking about sport, life, funny stories and kissing your dad on the lips. A very fun and wholesome podcast. Dropping new episodes once a week it’s a perfect time to start listening!


Couples therapy podcasts with Madi Donis, upstart writer

I’m using this time in isolation to listen to Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel. The podcast features one-time couples therapy sessions and provides a unique insight into the human condition.If you’re as single as it gets and thinking, “how could I possibly relate to this podcast?”, you’re me before pressing play on the first episode. But don’t be dissuaded, each episode is so much more than couples therapy with a very raw commentary on the behaviours that make us human. It’s the perfect listen for anyone looking for connection during this lonely time.


Things to watch

Asian period dramas with Shaz Gaffoor, upstart Chief of Staff:
Having spent my younger years in Hong Kong, I’d end up watching Asian period dramas because English programmes were scarce. Fast forward to today and to feed my nostalgia, I’ve been binge watching a Korean period drama called ‘The Empress Ki’ which comes highly recommended and also received a score of 8.5 on IMDB.

I’ve just finishing watching ‘The Princess Weiyoung’ which also scored fairly well. If you’re into period drama, you gotta watch these!

The Empress Ki:
The Princess Weiyoung:

Live music hacks, with Phoebe Doyle, upstart Chief of Staff

With concerts being cancelled around the world due to the pandemic, I’m getting my live music fix by watching NPR Music’s Tiny Desk series on Youtube, which features performances by artists such as Harry Styles, Lizzo, and Jimmy Eat World.
The intimate video sessions only go for about 20 minutes each, and feature artists from all genres of music. New performances are still being uploaded as well, with musicians recording from home while they too are in isolation.


Animated comedy, with Giacomo Bruno, upstart writer

During isolation I’ve been watching reruns of The Ricky Gervais Show. It’s an animated adaptation of Gervais’ podcast which he co-hosted with Stephen Merchant and the lovable simpleton Karl Pilkington.

The three meet for what they call ‘pointless’ discussions, as they talk all things about the world and poke fun at Karl’s simple ways. Their discussions maybe ‘pointless’ but they make for a hilarious series.



Article: The upstart team

Photo:Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash