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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

If you’ve been around GCU’s campus, you’ve probably seen little fliers posted by other students advertising their nail services, handmade jewelry, or even offering their photography services for graduation pictures. This is amazing. Side hustles are extremely important, not just because they make money, but because they teach people how to be entrepreneurial. Many people even end up keeping these side hustles long after they graduate college and turning them into small businesses (how often have you heard about someone taking their kitchen-run cake business and turning it into a full-on bakery?). At this point, side hustles are a step that every young adult goes through, and they can bring much-needed feelings of accomplishment and pride (as well as a bit of extra cash). A problem arises, though, when making a couple of dollars overshadows the fact that all side hustles start from the same spot: hobbies.

Everyone has hobbies, from seniors in high school to college students to actual seniors in retirement homes. Crocheting, yoga, drawing, video games, baking, skating, or painting are all creative outlets that can be enhanced and built upon. They are a way for students to relax after taking 16 credit hours a week, working night shifts at minimum-wage jobs, and feeling bloated from eating too much questionable campus food. They can give you a sense of accomplishment outside of your GPA and help you cultivate skills that will follow you well into your adult life. So often, though, hobbies are never allowed to just be hobbies. Now, it seems, hobbies are only allowed to exist as a sort of stepping stone in the path of developing a side hustle. It might be exciting to learn a new craft at first, but sooner or later, the urge to turn it into the newest side hustle creeps in.

While ‘hustle culture’ may not be as popular of a trend on TikTok anymore, the idea of it is still very much alive and well, especially in the lives of college students. This idea that you have to be working and making money all the time in order to be successful lends a huge hand to the commodification of hobbies. After all, why spend hours doing something if you don’t make money off it? Logically, it makes perfect sense. If you’re going to spend $50 on yarn, why not make some of that money back by selling the finished crochet projects? It’s a good idea for sure, and there’s no denying that it might be beneficial. The issue only comes up when this hobby-to-side-hustle pipeline becomes a regular pattern, and the hobbies don’t feel as relaxing as they once did. The half-finished knitting project you planned to sell is gathering dust in the corner. Playing video games used to be a way to decompress, but now it’s become a performance to live-stream in order to collect donations. The time spent at the pottery wheel starts feeling dull because now you’re only making things for other people instead of for your own enjoyment. Suddenly, your hobbies don’t feel like hobbies anymore.

The one thing you could look forward to, the one thing that helped you de-stress from a long day, has suddenly become a chore. A task with a deadline. Work. This new pressure is the last thing college girls need. Side hustles are such a good way to build character and save up for that new Stanley you want, but not every hobby has to be a side hustle. You are allowed to enjoy something without constantly wondering just how much money you could make from your latest project. However, like in many other situations, moderation is key. Balance creative side hustles with hobbies that are, and will remain, exclusively for you. Maybe making handmade jewelry can become the newest way to get a little extra cash while your love for baking can remain the way that you can relax. Love your hobbies and look into cultivating a side hustle to fund your adventures throughout the semester. But remember that moderation is everything, and never let that ‘hustle’ mindset overshadow the things that bring you happiness and peace of mind.

Hello! My name is Anabelle Courtney, and I am a senior at GCU. I am studying Communications with an emphasis in Broadcasting and New Media. My latest hobbies are crocheting, painting, and reading every book I come across!