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Having Hobbies in College: Why It’s Important

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

Life can get overwhelming. We go to classes, schoolwork piles up, jobs become stressful and whenever we get some free time, we spend it scrolling on our phones or watching TV.

I think a lot of us can remember a time when we were younger when we had a few hobbies that we loved. Whether it was reading, athletics, drawing, playing an instrument or anything else. At some point, life got in the way, and a lot of us either slowed down or stopped doing these activities altogether.

Having hobbies that you genuinely enjoy is an incredibly important thing, especially for your mental health. A hobby can help you feel more fulfilled with your life. It can help you express your individuality as well. Hobbies can make you more unique and expands your interests.

Personally, when I was younger, I used to be a very avid reader. I absolutely loved reading and would go so far as to read a book a day, just because I loved doing it. Once high school started, I got busy with schoolwork, extracurricular activities and relationships. I almost stopped reading completely. Last year, I decided to try and start reading again and I ended up falling back in love with it. Starting reading again helped me to reconnect with myself. Having something in my life that I enjoyed doing just for the sake of doing it made me feel a lot happier and content with who I was. 

It’s time for us to rediscover these things that we used to love and incorporate them into our current lives. College can get very overwhelming; it’s common for students to experience burnout, so it’s important to have something to do that is low-pressure, you’re passionate about and brings you genuine joy. Having a hobby to look forward to at the end of a long day that will help you unwind is essential to surviving college, and life in general. A hobby can also help to enrich your life and expand your interests. If you have something positive that you’re putting your energy into, you’re likely to feel happier and more fulfilled.

Something that I have noticed happening more and more often is whenever someone picks up a new hobby, they or other people instantly start to think about how they would be able to monetize this activity. When I started crocheting last summer, immediately I had a couple of people suggest to me that I should start selling the things that I create. Although it is great to create a job out of something you love doing, I do not think that it should be considered the end goal of a hobby. Separating work from play is essential, and a lot of times when people decide to make money from their hobby, they end up hating it since they have started thinking about it as a job instead of something to do for fun. If I had started selling things that I crocheted, I do not think that I would enjoy crocheting as much as I do now. It’s something I do entirely for myself; if I started doing it for other people, it would sort of lose its value to me as a hobby.

Doing a hobby that you’re not necessarily good at is also important. In life, people are constantly striving to be the best at what they do, and they put so much pressure on themselves to be good at what they’re doing. If you enjoy doing something, it does not matter if you’re good at it, as long as it’s enjoyable and brings joy into your life. That should be the ultimate goal of any activity you pursue — happiness and fulfillment — as opposed to trying to be the best at it, which can lead to frustration and cause someone to give up or completely abandon the hobby.

A hobby can also be helpful for connecting with people and creating meaningful relationships. In things like yoga classes or book clubs, people come together to share their love of a hobby. It is a great opportunity to create a community around this shared interest and helps to bring people together with similar interests. Hobbies can help you find people to create significant relationships with through this simple act of mutual love for an activity.

If you feel as if you do not have an activity you truly enjoy doing, I would encourage you to look for something. Maybe try out biking, journaling, baking or hiking. There is a large variety of options out there and it’s all about what works for you. Find something that you’re passionate about and make a habit of doing it often. It can make such a big impact on your mental health and make you all around a happier, more fulfilled person.

Addison Foreman

Kent State '24

Addison is a journalism student at Kent State University. In her free time she loves to read, write, listen to music, and cuddle with her cat.