What better time to restart my newsletter than when I'm stuck at home?
|Indra Sofian||Apr 19|
It’s been, what, 7 months since my last newsletter?
I’ll admit that having Twitter as an outlet for my thoughts has been a drain on what I originally intended this personal newsletter to be—a collection of interesting musings that I have that other people might be interested in hearing, along with a few updates on my life and how I’m doing. Also, I’ve been thinking so much about what I SHOULD be writing about—thinking about this newsletter as a content creator and what will drive the most traffic, get the most reads, be the most unique, and the like—I ended up just not writing anything at all.
So, as I learned in my YouTuber days, sometimes the best solution is to just stop caring about the expectations and to just put something out there.
Settling into a routine
I always thought of myself as a bit of a physical hermit, but I’ve realized that I’m out of the house a lot more often than I noticed. Getting groceries, working out of Switchyards, eating out for lunch, meeting up with friends once or twice a week, going to the post office to mail a package, seeing my girlfriend—it adds up.
Just settling into the quarantine, my routine quickly became: wake up, do morning things, eat breakfast, work, eat lunch, work, do some house chores, eat dinner, play video games, do night things, go to bed.
While it’s certainly nice, as most people know it’s easy to get bored and feel the need to just do something different. One thing I miss is spontaneity in my social life. I already lost a lot of those opportunities after I graduated from college, so I definitely appreciated the little I had before the quarantine. Calling up a friend is fun, but even that gets old with little variation in the activity itself (talking).
Doing something different
Fortunately, I’ve found a few things to break up the routine.
Houseparty. God, I never thought I’d actually download this app. In case you’re not familiar with, Houseparty is a social video app where you jump into a video call and basically let everyone else know that you’re “in the house”, prompting them to join you and hang out. Its pitch is basically spontaneity. While I certainly haven’t really experienced that element of its product, I’ve enjoyed some of the games (the free ones) built into the app. Playing a version of Cards Against Humanity, charades, and other random social games was actually pretty fun. It was mainly nice to just have something to when hanging out with friends other than just talking.
Settlers of Catan online. I actually started playing this with friends from college back when we first split up after graduation. The website we use has gotten better over time, and it’s nice to play a fun strategy game every once in a while. It’s even better during quarantine, since the games can sometimes take up to an hour—since no one has anything else to do and are mostly stuck at home, we’re free to play more Catan.
Watching Netflix and other streaming services virtually together. I’ve heard people doing this, but I never really tried it out (why would I, since I can just watch a show with someone in person). But circumstances forced my hand, and, with a little setting up, it can actually be enjoyable. I get my phone for the video call, and then my computer set up for the movie or show. Then I listen using my AirPods and talk to the person on my phone while they’re on speaker. Optimal setup, and mostly the same as before—minus the physical presence.
Lunchclub. This website was normally out of reach for me, since it’s a geography-based service where it pairs people up with similar interests or goals and sets up a time to meet for lunch. However, given the quarantine, they’ve changed their product to pairing people up over a video call. So, I’ve gotten to meet up with a few cool people so far—one entrepreneur starting up a mushroom-based snack company, another entrepreneur running a startup simplifying the clinical trial for research process, and someone who works at a global executive education company. Some people use it to meet potential co-founders, meet with investors, meet people with potential partnerships. But I’ve found it most useful so far for just meeting up with interesting people. I can’t say I’ve made any friends out of it yet, but perhaps it’s just a matter of time.
This isn’t an exhaustive list. In face, it’s a living thing that’s constantly growing and changing. If anyone reading this has any other ideas for breaking up the routine and doing some fun social things while in quarantine, I’d love to hear them!
Fortunately, no one close to me has gotten sick with COVID-19.
I’m fortunate enough to not have to worry about it too much as I stay at home and run my company—a virtual project-based high school, which, in retrospect, turned out to be a great decision to start given the current situation. Sora has actually been doing well, growing in student enrollment and partnerships with companies for internships for our students. It’s kind of surreal to watch other schools flounder as they suddenly are forced to adapt to distance learning. Meanwhile, we’re just over at Sora doing our thing. In the words of one of my students: “everyone else is trying to figure out virtual school and do Zoom, and I’m like, we’ve been doing this for months now lol”
Unfortunately, I haven’t been writing as much. I haven’t been hit with a burst of inspiration for anything longform and well thought-out in a while. Perhaps I just need to come up with a more sustainable way to write. And there’s my usual content creator mindset inserting itself into my personal life again!
Well, I’ll have plenty of time to think about it during quarantine.
As always, if you ever want to suggest any ideas to me or have any comments about this newsletter or my writing, you can reach me through my Twitter.
Or, if you know me personally, just DM me :)