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Picking up a Summer Hobby Saved My Mental Health

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Summer vacation for most college students is less than a month away. If you’re like me, summer is a time of relaxation, working your hometown job, planning vacations, and lacking consistency.  

During my fall and spring semesters, I find comfort in having a schedule. Since I don’t take classes during the summer, I lack a day-to-day “to-do” list. I enjoy completing tasks and marking things off my list, but that seems nonexistent during the summertime, and I begin to suffer from boredom. 

Last summer, after my first year of college, I found myself struggling to adjust back to a slower-paced lifestyle. Being from a small town didn’t help ease this feeling, but beyond that, I didn’t know what to do with all the free time I had. My anxiety hit an all-time high during this period of relaxation because I began to lack consistency. My free time felt meaningless and unproductive and the schedule I had was sporadic. My boyfriend suggested that my anxiousness might stem from a place that lacked organization. His solution? Finding a hobby.  

I’d never considered myself a “hobby girl” prior to this, so I was somewhat skeptical about searching for one. Other than the occasional book I read, I didn’t do anything that wasn’t required of me. I spent my free time scrolling on TikTok and sleeping. When asked about my hobbies, I always struggled to answer. 

Learning to crochet always piqued my interest as I loved all things crochet, but I never had time to sit down and learn. I thought, what better time to start than now? It was frustrating to figure out how to hold a hook and weave different patterns. As I got the hang of it, I’d crochet small pieces of work that allowed me to practice each new pattern I learned. My first finished project was a coaster, and I was over the moon about a piece of fabric that was quite literally hanging on by a thread (I’m serious, it was horrible). 

I woke up every day and had something to work on and improve, which refreshed me. When I completed a project, it satisfied my itch to mark something off a to-do list. My hobby revitalized me in a way I never realized it could. Being able to fill my time with something productive not only helped with my anxiety, but also with my headaches and tiredness. It even boosted my happiness! It gave me something to look forward to and made my long shifts worth something. Being able to put my money toward something that I enjoyed doing felt like a treat, and I was only buying yarn!  

I don’t regret devoting my free time to a hobby. I even want to find more activities that are stimulating for my brain, body, and self-discovery, not only to eradicate my boredom but also to provide much-needed consistency. 

This year, I won’t make the mistake of shutting off my brain and watching a show I’ve seen seven times before like I did last summer. Instead, I plan on connecting with nature, redirecting my focus to a crochet project, and entering an alternate reality in a fictional book. I’ll exercise physically and mentally by going to the gym, journaling, and growing my faith through Bible study. I even want to try some new things like axe throwing or playing pickleball for the first time. The opportunities are endless.  

In a world full of technology that consumes our everyday lives, I think it’s important to find purpose in leisurely time to avoid feelings of hopelessness. I plan to do that during my break from school to provide some much-needed consistency.  

To anyone reading this, perhaps you’ll try a new hobby this summer. You never know what you might end up falling in love with doing and how it could help! 

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Mandi Stoyanov is a staff writer at Her Campus Florida State University chapter. She writes campus, lifestyle, and culture-related articles. Beyond Her Campus, Mandi enjoys writing other nonfiction, reading, and crocheting in her free time. She prides herself in the creation of her high school's literary magazine and the publication of smaller yet important works. She has achieved her Associate's Degree in Arts and is working toward a Bachelor's Degree in Arts and Sciences with a focus in Creative Writing and a minor in Communications.