In the kindest way possible, please, just get a hobby already!

Darth Cephalopod, the result of my latest hobby, and my pride and joy.

Darth Cephalopod, the result of my latest hobby, and my pride and joy.

Bianca Ring, Opinions Editor

Everyone needs to get a hobby! With the constant weight of worrying about tests, keeping track of deadlines, and making sure you’re devoting enough time to studying, it’s easy to get swallowed up in the thought that your schedule should include exclusively academics. Most college students have been informed that self care is important, with emphasis on personal hygiene, resting, and maintaining a social life. 

    The self care movement is amazing, but only emphasizing rest can result in guilt over being productive in a non-academic setting. I often get stuck in the trap of thinking, “If I’m going to put effort into something, it may as well be schoolwork!” Many of my friends and I often fall into the mindset that the only valid excuse to take a break from schoolwork is to rest, which can lead to oversleeping, burnout, and a lot of staring at a wall for hours because I can’t justify being productive in non-academic ways. 

    In reality, a healthy lifestyle doesn’t consist solely of working, recovering, and repeating. Even if your job is fulfilling, it’s important to have hobbies. Self care, while it can have wonderful effects on your work productivity, isn’t just a means to ensure that you are a productive worker, it helps you live a fulfilling life. Being good at your job or school is something to be proud of, but having a hobby where you can put effort into something entirely of your own choosing is just as important. It can serve to remind you that your sole purpose in life isn’t to participate in capitalism.

    When I finish an assignment, it usually feels like I’ve defeated a monster. I’m proud of my accomplishment, but I’m relieved that it’s over. When I draw, I actually enjoy the process of creating art. I have friends who bake, which is a fun project that results in a product that can be enjoyed by themselves and the people around them. I have friends who play instruments, which requires time and effort to learn, but a lack of any imposed deadline makes the learning curve less stressful than schoolwork. I myself am learning to crochet and play the guitar, and I’m terrible at both, but I’m having a fun time! 

    Finding the right hobby is just a matter of trying new things and choosing what makes you happy. Drawing makes me happy because I can turn my brain off and just go with the flow. Crocheting, on the other hand, is fun because I enjoy challenging myself with something new. Try a sport, join Concordiensis, make jewelry, get into beekeeping. 

    Even if you love your job, I highly suggest that everyone should have a hobby outside of their career, for the sake of happiness, fulfillment, and freeing yourself from the idea that your worth is based on how you can contribute to the economy. You might not spend as much time perfecting your school assignment, but the time you spend on schoolwork won’t feel like it’s taking up every productive moment of your life. Taking up new hobbies during my time here at Union has made me a happier person, and I am certain that it can make you happier too!