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Finding Your Thing: A guide to hobbies

No matter what category the hobby is, here is some inspiration to diversify and enhance your free time. 
Campbell Miller
Swimming is shown to have many benefits, such as improving lung strength and joint health, and you hardly need anything to start.

Adopting hobbies is an excellent way to reduce stress and acquire a sense of accomplishment and motivation from activities that are important to you. The main problem, however, with hobbies is that the process of beginning one can be intimidating and overwhelming. For many hobbies, it feels as though you need to learn a lot of information, buy supplies, and rearrange your schedule to accommodate it. This doesn’t have to be the case. As with most things, getting started is the hardest part. Whether it’s physical or creative, here are some hobbies that are easy to begin, along with their benefits and some starting points to find other things you might enjoy. 

Starting a hobby that involves physical exertion is a great way to stay healthy, and believe it or not, you don’t need to have a full workout routine or at-home equipment to begin. When asked what hobby was easiest to begin, the most suggested was, predictably, running. Track member Norman Wyble stated, “Running is pretty easy to get into, I would recommend it.” and advised anyone who might be interested, but may not know where to start, to “join a friend who runs;” that way, you’re more likely to stay consistent. Another hobby suggested by Swim Team Member Sage Summers was swimming. Swimming is shown to have many benefits, such as improving lung strength and joint health, and you hardly need anything to start. There are many public or community pools available for those who don’t have one at home, as well as going to the beach, which, living in Florida, is almost always an option. On the more artistic side, dancing is a wonderful hobby that incorporates music and individuality as well as working up a sweat. In fact, dancing can burn more calories than running and swimming. It is also very accessible, seeing as all you need is yourself and some motivation. While you can get dance lessons professionally, which can be costly, you can learn to dance at home through online resources or even teaching yourself. To get away from sports, another hobby that incorporates exercise is gardening. Gardening incorporates a lot of aerobic exercise, which can be good for heart health and more. The best part is, from gardening, you also gain tangible evidence of your accomplishments. While you can get many different materials for gardening, all you really need are seeds, which you can get for free from community gardens or even centers like the library, and a small area of land or a container to keep the plants in. These are just some physical hobbies you can start today. If none of these spoke to you, you can also take a look at school clubs or sports teams or even examine what you already do now and how that could become a physical hobby. 

Creative hobbies might actually be the most intimidating. No matter, if it’s an instrument or something like painting, the inherent belief is that to participate in a creative hobby, you must be talented at whatever it is you are doing. This is where the problem lies. The only way you can be good at anything is to start and then stay consistent. While basically, every creative hobby requires some materials, these are some that are cheap or incorporate materials you might already have access to. To start, drawing is a fairly simple, creative hobby to get into. All you really need is a pencil, paper, and practice. As with most hobbies, but especially creative ones, drawing can help with stress relief and memory. You can also remove the pencil from the equation and begin origami. Many might think of paper cranes when they hear origami, but the art is actually quite extensive and has its own museums. Next, creative writing is also something to consider when pursuing a creative hobby. Creative writing can be done anywhere, and whether you’re typing or jotting it down on a notepad, it can be a great way to express yourself. Creative writing can also increase your communication skills as well as your overall writing ability. A hobby based on artistic vision is photography. While not everyone has cameras, you can use your phone to start taking pictures or even get disposable cameras.  Lastly, while learning an instrument is somewhat of a stretch in the fact it does require more practice than other hobbies and can be expensive, you can always rent an instrument, find public instruments such as community pianos, or join a music group at school. By just setting aside 30 minutes a day, you can make progress, which can be very fulfilling over time. 

This article just scrapes the surface of the multitude of hobbies available. Hobbies have many benefits, both physical and mental, not to mention they are long-lasting if you keep up with them. That being said, hobbies should not feel like a burden but rather something that amplifies your free time and gives you other activities to look forward to. Hobbies are also great for school. Having other interests looks great on applications for jobs and further education as it shows a capacity for learning new things and staying committed. While beginning something new that you may have never done can be frightening, simply taking the first step can work wonders. Some words of encouragement from Junior Grace Ipalawatte: “Start right now. Don’t put it off.” 

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Gabriela Salzman
Gabriela Salzman, Staff Writer

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