The Importance of Making Time for the Things You Once Loved to Do

As I walk to class, I pop my shoulders up and down and step to the beats of a song that fills my head. I imagine how I could dance to this song, noting the perfect moves to accentuate the beats. I think of how awesome it would look, but even more so, how awesome it would feel.

I danced for 14 years of my life at Dance with M.E. Studio, and I loved every second I spent there. I was always eager to head over to the studio for class after school. It was an escape from the stresses of the day and a fun couple of hours to work on my skills while I was surrounded by my second family.

Leaving a place near and dear to my heart was difficult as I headed out to the ‘burgh to begin a new chapter in my life. I told myself I would continue my passion for dance at Pitt by joining a dance team. I went to a few practices, but nothing felt like the right fit. Nothing could come close to the years of class, competitions, recitals and friendships that I had at Dance with M.E. I figured I was hanging up my dance shoes for good, convincing myself it was time to move on and take on something new. My classes kept me busy as did the clubs that I floated in and out of, but my heart longed for my dance days, and I wished could go back one more time.

This past semester, I experienced some lows in my life and on a particularly difficult day, I was meeting up with the HC Pitt Exec Board for a Halloween-themed meeting and movie night. I was in need of casual conversation to clear my mind, and oddly enough, it came up that a lot of us had previously danced before coming to Pitt. I never would have guessed in a million years that the girls who surrounded me in that moment shared the same passion as me, aside from Her Campus of course. I took this as a sign to get back into doing what I loved.

I began the first day of my spring semester dancing at 6 a.m. with Haley, our Sex & Relationships Editor, as she taught me a combination she choreographed. Now you may think it’s absolutely ridiculous to wake up that early during syllabus week, but I’m so glad I did it. It felt so good to stretch and move my body in ways that I haven’t in such a long time. We eventually ran the combo in HEELS. I’ve watched so many incredible dancers perform in heels, but I never thought I’d be the one doing it! Now I’m making the time to go to the multipurpose room on Friday mornings to dance around on my own, even if it’s just for an hour. I’ve been pushing myself to practice dances from my years at Dance with M.E. and to teach myself new dances from the choreographers that I often watch on social media. I’ve noticed that not only do I feel more energized afterwards, but I feel so happy for the rest of the day!

While college can be a difficult balancing act of all of your responsibilities, you can definitely make the time for the hobbies you’ve parted ways with upon entering college, and here’s some tips for how you can get there.

1. Plan ahead of time

Schedule an hour to do your hobby a week in advance and maintain that time for the following weeks as if it were a class. I recommend doing it during a time when there’s a lull in your schedule. For example, I chose Friday morning because I only have a few classes that day and there’s no pressure to be doing work at that time since I have the whole weekend ahead of me.

2. Secure a space

Having a place to do your hobby is key to making it work out for you. Whether it’s your dorm, a coffee shop, the gym or the park, there are so many options on our huge campus that you’re bound to find a space for you. Consider whether or not you mind if others are around. If you want to be alone, you’ll have to put some effort in to figure out when the space of your choice is free. You can also check to see when Pitt facilities are reserved or available during a given week here.

3. Find a friend

Reach out to people in your classes, on your floor and in your clubs to find a hobby buddy. It’s always nice to have someone there with you for motivation and company!

4. Prep the night before

Get your things together that you’ll need the night before so you’re ready to go the next day, especially if you’re planning a morning time slot. That way, you can ease right into it without having to get everything together at the last minute and feeling rushed.

5. Hold onto the feeling!

You know that feeling of pure happiness you’re feeling while doing it? Hold onto it! It will motivate you to be more productive with your time so you can do it again next week. Remember, this is an important part of you, so what’s holding you back? Express yourself, have fun and be you!

Photo Credit: author’s own