When you think of your life, how do you spend most of your time and energy? Maybe on school? Work? Sleep? How much of your time is spent on a hobby? In a world where our time is stretched far and wide, hobbies seem to be one of the first things we drop from our schedules, but this is usually the wrong idea. I believe most hobbies give more value than classes for the time you spend on them. Of course, there are times where this is necessary, but before you decide to stop spending time on hobbies, there are several benefits you should consider first.
A hobby will be an anchor for you during chaotic times, and they will be a sanctuary for you to de-stress whenever you need it.
Although relaxing seems counterproductive to accomplishing a lot, accomplishing a lot actually does not necessarily mean working all the time.
Making efficient use of your time does not mean stuffing every waking moment with work, studying, or classes. There will be times where you must work beyond your limits, but those should be few and far between. Constantly working at 110% and living a stressful life will result in unmotivated, unfocused, inefficient work and or even burnout. A proper work schedule involves carefully planned out breaks, and hobbies are the perfect outlet for these breaks.
Conversely, just like work, you should make sure you don’t focus too much on your hobbies. Even if you love something a ridiculous amount, it is extremely difficult and taxing to stay extremely dedicated for prolonged periods of time. By working on your hobby slowly over the course of your life, you will slowly progress to mastery over it. This slow but constant progress across your life is a very fulfilling feeling to have. If you constantly switch between things, living moment to moment, you may feel as if you’re drifting aimlessly, not amounting to anything significant.
Accordingly, if you’ve been attached to something for years, you will definitely have a level of mastery far above the skill of the average person. Because of this, hobbies can eventually bloom into something you can make a living off of. As a product of your countless hours of work, you will have many experiences that people will value. In a world as vast as ours, there is certainly a place for any niche hobby or outlandish skill. There may be some hobbies that seem difficult to make a living off of, but there is almost certainly always a way with a little imagination. For example, if you love reading books, you could use your deep knowledge of books to write reviews and recommendations, or you could become a book writer or editor. If your hobby involves making things, you could sell them, and with most hobbies, since you’ve spent so long practicing, you will be qualified to teach others. If none of that works out, you might find great success in sharing your experiences through video sharing and streaming platforms.
If you aren't particularly interested in monetizing your hobby, they may still provide other benefits in your life besides relaxation. Grades and accolades are not the only thing universities and employers look for. Among the masses of applicants, the dedication a well-developed hobby displays will make you stand out from the crowd in a good way.
If you’re looking for a hobby, here are a few ways to get an idea.
1. Try something you’re bad at
The best way to find something new you love is to try something you’ve never tried before. You don’t have to be great at something to enjoy it. In fact, you may find more enjoyment out of an activity if you’re worse at it. The feeling of getting better is arguably more satisfying than actually being good at something. If you’re already really good at something, you may be bored because you feel like you’ve plateaued.
2. Look for Opportunities
Some hobbies are not easily practiced, and it may be costly or difficult to try and invest in them, so you try them out whenever you can to see if it is something you are willing to stick with. For example, you might want to try something like horseback riding, but there are no places to try it near you. When the opportunity presents itself, why not try it? You may not get another chance to try it for a while. If something you’ve already been meaning to try suddenly has a discount, why not take advantage of it and see if it's something you are interested in investing more time and money into?
3. Ask your friends
Your friends might share the same interests as you, so if you ask them what they like to do, there is a high chance you may find a hobby you can be dedicated to. Additionally, you will have a friend to enjoy this hobby with. Having a friend to help you through a new hobby will help you stay motivated as both of you progress through your journey. On the flip side, a new hobby can broaden your perspective and help you connect with more people, which will ultimately lead to discovering more people you love to spend time with.
So, if you already have a hobby and you’re following through with it, keep doing it! If you already have a hobby, but you’re thinking of dropping hobbies to fill your schedule with academics, that’s understandable, but whenever you have the chance, please try and open time for a relaxing hobby.
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