With finals over, I thought to myself, finally I have time to do the things I love to do! But then I realized, I don’t have any hobbies. As a student, an employee and a dog mom, I often feel there is not enough time in the day to be anything else. I am passionate about my education, my job and my pup, and all of these things bring me great joy, but now that I have leisure time, what do I even like to do?
The things that used to invigorate me just don’t seem to hold the same appeal. I used to love to read, but now I do that mostly for classes. I used to love to cook, but now that just feels like a chore I have to do to be efficient during the week. What do I like to do? It occurred to me that I am changing and growing as a person – and it’s a good season to do it! As 2017 begins to wind down, we look at ourselves and what we have accomplished this year and dream and plan about what we will be doing next year. What better time to decide to take up a new hobby? What better season to reinvent myself?
There are numerous health reasons why anyone should have a hobby. Having a leisure activity you love to do can provide social support and a break from your day to day stressors. These diversions can help you calm your nerves, increase your satisfaction and overall give you a sense of balance. These are all things that students need in their life, whether it’s the holiday season or not.
When I think of hobbies, I think of people who crochet or someone who tinkers in their garage. However, hobbies can come in many forms, from riding your bike to work or school, to skiing to refurbishing old furniture. Some hobbies take a lot of time and buy-in, while other hobbies can actually save you money. The one thing that all hobbies share, is that often it’s hard to get started and stay going, just like giving up food that is bad for you or trying to drink more water. May I recommend you watch the TED talk by Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days? It’s quick, lighthearted and yet inspirational. Of course, if your new hobby is skiing, that may be difficult to achieve for 30 days straight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find something related that you could do in the “off time,” like learning how to wax your own skis or taking a skier fitness class.
Colorado is a great place to take on a new hobby! The mountains of course have plentiful options year round to satisfy your hunt for a new skill. Denver also has some wonderful amenities for the hobby-seeker. Deborah Lastowka, the creator of deardenver.net, put together a list of where to get started: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-lastowka/dear-denver-i-am-looking-_b_4922709.html
Here are some of her suggestions:
- Share Denver or Fancy Tiger are great stops for the crafter, with beginner level classes in almost anything
- Center for Digital Storytelling or the Lighthouse Writers Workshop for the raconteur
- Denver Botanic Gardens and Cook Street School of the Culinary Arts for the burgeoning farm-to-table, at-home chef
- The Truffle Cheese Shop or Wine & Whey for the connoisseur
- Dabble, which has sample classes for the indecisive or the jack of all trades
The important thing to remember for all DU students, faculty and staff during the month of December is that it’s a time to be thankful for the past year and rejuvenate before the next year. Maybe instead of getting new “stuff” for the holidays, take up a new leisure pursuit. Taking up a pastime can help provide the focus and energy to stick with all your main pursuits like schooling and/or a career. What hobby am I taking up this year? I don’t know yet, but I plan to try something new every weekend for the next 30 days and spend my week preparing for it. Maybe I’ll be a dancer, a snowboarder, or a rock climber by the time 2018 rolls around – we shall see.
“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.” – Wanda Sykes
Grace Sullivan - International Credit Evaluator, International Student Admission