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These Are The Hobbies That Kept Me Going in 2021

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

2021 was a year of challenges and trials. Like many other people, I took the time this year to try new things or just enjoy things I like that I would never have had the chance to embrace if not for the extra time at home. Here is my 2021 in hobbies, old and new. 

Cooking

This year started with a sense of hopelessness as the year changed, but the pandemic situation didn’t. Still feeling stuck at home, I decided to “travel” to a new setting — my kitchen. I never understood the idea of cooking as being more than an obligation or a chore. Although I had helped cook dinner enough times to know my way around a kitchen, cooking something from scratch by myself was a whole different experience. I found the happiness that comes from the satisfaction of making something for other people and having them enjoy your creation. I think the organization and time management necessary for cooking meals are also applicable in a lot of settings. I rate cooking 9/10 because I’ll cook for the rest of my life, but I take a point off because it only truly ends when the dishes are done. 

Painting

I’ve actually had a set of watercolor paints that I’ve kept for a couple of years. With no idea if paints even last that long, I washed an old makeup brush and spent three hours painting a butterfly. As someone who can’t draw for their life, I found painting relaxing as it felt less structured. I went on YouTube and Pinterest to find simple paintings I liked and wanted to recreate. If I’m being very honest, they didn’t always look like the originals I tried to copy, but hours could go by while I mixed colors. I rate painting 6/10 because I was glad I tried it but didn’t like it enough to spend more money on higher quality paper and paints.

Sewing

I had family in town just in time for spring, and my aunt offered to teach me how to sew. Her studies in fashion, however, proved to be insufficient for teaching me, and I struggled to use a needle until the day she left. I’d always wished I could reform my own clothes or even just be able to fix a loose button, but to no avail. My aunt offered to buy me a sewing machine as if it would make things easier, but I knew better and gave up pretty quickly. I rate sewing 4/10 because it was fun to learn about but very hard to do and painful when not careful.

Reading

Reading is something I love to do but never feel like I have time to do anymore, which is why I end up reading more during the summer. Throughout June and July, I made multiple trips to the library and finished a solid collection of various genres, and even found time to read outside this year which is something I had wanted to do. One of the most memorable books I read was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz — a book I think will now come to mind every hot summer day. I rate reading 10/10 because I will never run out of books to read. 

Photography

And finally, this fall and winter, I’ve finally been putting a camera I was gifted last year to use and finding the fun in taking random pictures of everything. The film camera trend also got to me, so I also caved in and bought myself a disposable film camera that I cannot wait to get developed at the end of the year. If you didn’t notice by now, I’m not a particularly artistic person, but I’ve always liked taking pictures, even with my phone, so I think it’s a fun, simple hobby that’s worth investing in. I rate photography 7/10 and highly recommend it! 

In what seemed like both a stagnant and crazy year, I’m glad to be able to say I survived another 12 months of the pandemic. Various hobbies kept me moving and active, and I learned that there was value in each one, no matter how long they lasted or how much I liked them. As for the new year — I have another whole list of things I want to try — here’s to a busy 2022! 

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Lynn is a sophomore from NJ studying Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. In her free time, she likes color coding her notes and watching home tours on YouTube.
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