Getting Back to an Old Hobby

When you were a child or a teenager, did you have a hobby that took a lot of your time? Did you go to football practice many times a week? Did you take painting classes, play an instrument, or study a language for fun? 

Do you nowadays have time for your hobby, or has it become quite... forgotten?

University students often have a lot on their plates. In addition to academic aspirations, one might also be working, volunteering, and trying to maintain a social life. All these things have a habit of getting in the way of one’s own free time – and time in itself is definitely something one needs if they have a time-consuming and demanding hobby.

I ran into problems with my beloved hobby when I started university. I have played an instrument since elementary school: I used to take lessons and practice weekly before I moved to Helsinki to study. My university years have been the busiest of my life, and there have been long periods when I have not played at all. At times, I’ve picked up my instrument, played familiar songs and tried to practice new ones on my own. Unfortunately, those attempts have often ended in frustration over my decaying skills.

A few months back I finally decided to change the course of my hobby (if I could even call it a hobby anymore). I had loved to play when I was younger: I realized I was not ready to give up on something I had spent a long time learning. I contacted a music teacher I had taken a few lessons with earlier. Being guided by someone helped a lot, and together we were able to set realistic goals for my hobby. Going to a lesson once in a while also pushes me to practice. However, what is more important is that I promised myself to start playing at least once a week, even if reserving time for practice in my already busy life would frustrate me.

Having one more thing on my weekly to-do list has not been as gruesome as it seemed at first. Quite the contrary: being able to play again has been an absolute delight! Some weeks I’ve ended up playing even more than once. Maintaining a skill does not take extreme effort, and for the time being I’m satisfied with just that. Maybe someday I will want to develop my skills more and start investing even more hours into playing – time will tell.

Having a hobby helps you take a break from other things in your life and gives you joy. If you are like me and have spent years away from your hobby, you can always start again. Just make sure that you do it on your terms and you won’t be disappointed! Of course, if your hobby does not give you pleasure anymore, it might be better to leave it in the past – even if you used to spend hours practicing. After all, your sincere interest in your hobby is the most important part.