Finding a Hobby While Being an Online Student

“New Canvas Update” is something I have gotten used to this semester, as they keep popping up. It feels as if once you finish one assignment, you have three more hiding behind it. Trying to keep a steady pace through the semester and not burn out is one of the greatest challenges college students have to face in the midst of a pandemic. Personally, this COVID experience has made me realize I don’t want to keep waking up and repeating the same day, going through the motions, you could say. 

Going through the same motions is a sure way to lose your individuality, creativity and sparkle. Not having a change of flow throughout your days can put you in a slumber, and personally, I went through a setback with my depression. It’s a struggle sometimes to do basic tasks, but changing my mindset into “I have control over what I do today” has helped me. Recognizing that you have control over your life is a double-edged sword because nobody holds you back but yourself; however, sometimes you can’t even understand why you won’t just do something. Creating small goals to accomplish in the morning can help get you on a better start to the day. I turn on my Spotify and throw on LoFi music to start my day because it has a calming effect that makes me feel like I can tackle the day.  

Finding new hobbies has also helped me feel connected to a part of myself that feels overshadowed by constant school and work. You are your own person and how you live your days is all in the decisions you make. Taking the first step to pulling yourself out of a slumber is always going to be the hardest. 

I’m in the Retail Entrepreneurship program here at FSU, and fashion is something that brings me peace, from the aesthetics and order to the creative freedom to make whatever you designed. I’m on the Merchandising track in the program, so I don’t primarily focus on Product Development. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t do it in my free time as a hobby! My mom gave me a sewing machine that was just sitting in our house, and I started thinking about the possibilities of what I could make. 

It was Halloween when I started coming up with ideas on what to make. It’s that common story of a last-minute Halloween costume being needed, but it wasn’t just me but my boyfriend and his roommate who needed one too. We drove to Walmart and tried to find any items that could replicate being a firebender, earthbender and waterbender (shout out Avatar the Last Airbender for an amazing show and inspiration). The best we could find was an oversized shirt for each of the guys, and I had to turn it into looking somewhat like the show. Out of one men’s XXL shirt, I was able to make two armbands, a headband, a belt, a wrist wrap, and I made the cut of the shirt resemble that of the show. I repeated the process and boom they had their costumes! Of course, it wasn’t as easy to make mine because I didn’t find a shirt to create something. Instead, I got lucky, and the day of, I found a red skirt at Target and turned it into a firebender costume. This one skirt was transformed into a two-piece set with arm and thigh bands and pieced with specific jewelry; it was fitting. 

craft supplies on blue table Photo by Joe Szczepanska from Unsplash

Even after Halloween, I still find myself wanting to make clothes for myself or friends and have recently been flipping men’s jeans into streetwear style jeans. While I didn’t know how I wanted to fill my time, once this hobby came along, I gave it a shot and am proud to say I did it. Baby steps might seem insignificant, but every decision you make leads you to where you are, so make decisions that better yourself and that you can say you’re proud of.   

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