Welcome, collegiate class of 2021, to the University of North Texas! You’ve made it to the next stage of your life — live it out to the fullest. The next stage of your life is anything but easy, and that’s okay. It’s not supposed to be easy; but, there are ways to help alleviate the stress. To have a good time in college doesn’t necessarily mean partying. Yes, it is an aspect of moving away from home, as well as hanging out with others who may be older than you, however, there are other ways to enjoy yourself. For example, you can join different organizations, or befriend your classmates — they’re probably going to share similar experiences with you — but, this may not be your cup of tea. Regardless of whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, an easier way to distract your busy mind is to pick up a hobby. It doesn’t cost much to have a one if you choose wisely:
1. Doodling: You don’t have to be an art major to enjoy sketching. Whether it’s free-handing or recreating an image, the art of sketching is therapeutic, especially if you turn off the world with music along with it. All you need is a writing utensil, some paper, and your imagination. With the power of the internet, you have access to free tutorials. You don’t necessarily need to have a goal to improve, it’s just a way to get your mind off things. Underneath this tier of hobbies includes calligraphy. Again, it only takes time to have gorgeous typography pieces.
2. Journaling: Another therapeutic hobby is journaling. Writing out your thoughts, dreams, and ideas helps you to internally organize yourself, as well as helps you calm your mind and soul. I highly encourage journaling, even if it’s just recording what you had to eat for lunch. Psychology case-studies show that writing does help with meditation and a sense of self. If you’re tight on cash, you don’t need a physical journal. You can create a private Tumblr which is password-locked, and just type away. The physical stimulation of typing, or writing, is the key to just having everything flow out.
3. Blogging: Following the theme of writing, having your own blog is a wonderful hobby, as well as an amazing outlet for your more creative self. The blogosphere can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re just having fun with it. Blogging doesn’t have to be another job. Similar to journaling, it is a way for you just express how you feel, just externally. You can share your life’s experience with the world and hope that it helps someone. Simply find a platform, such as WordPress and Blogger, and just go for it. You’ll find out how amazing the digital world can be.
4. Scrapbooking: Take your phone, your friends, and just go explore. Forget the fancy paper, the tape, and the details. You can create your own digital scrapbook with Instagram, Tumblr, and other social media outlets. There are also a lot of simple apps for editing these pictures. So, technically, you don’t have to spend any money for this. If you prefer the traditional scrapbooking method, you don’t need a fancy camera, or a huge photo album: start off small. For example, I have the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8, and I have a small photo album that allows me to have one Polaroid per spread. This helps me to have fun with scrapbooking, instead of stressing out about what to fill on each spread.
5. Working Out: I’m not crazy when I say that working out can be a hobby. Going to the gym, or going on a run, can be very therapeutic. Think of it as a form of meditation, or even a break from thinking. A lot of concentration goes into working out, such as focusing on your breathing, not tripping or falling, and making sure you have proper form. It’s hard for your brain to wander off to homework,
6. Volunteering: One of the best ways to get your mind off things is to direct your attention to those in need. There are many organizations in Denton who would love a hand or two. So, rally up a few friends for a weekend of giving back to your community. Not to mention, it looks good on your resume for future job opportunities and if you decide to continue in higher education. Some organizations that you may be interested in include: Cumberland Presbyterian, Make Denton Beautiful, Habitat for Humanity, and Salvation Army.
This semester, I challenge you to at least try one of these activities consistently for a couple weeks. If you realize that none of these hobbies don’t work for you, then try searching for something that does work. Again, these are just examples of simple hobbies both introverts, and extroverts can have.