By Alayna Johnson, 2019-2020 SCS Student Advising Leader:
College can undoubtedly be chaotic and sometimes it feels like we’re so busy trying to get the best grades, land major internships, and reach leadership positions in our RSOs that it can be difficult to find time to breathe! A recent study found that 34.2% of college students regularly experience burn out, which entails high levels of exhaustion, cynicism, and low professional efficacy. Fortunately, a great way to combat burnout is to engage in activities you love that aren’t necessarily related to your studies. In other words, hobbies!
Don’t have one yet? Ask your friends what they’re interested in or look around the web. Some ideas include reading, writing, photography, arts & crafts, running, cycling, music, learning a language, intramural sports, gaming, dancing, and volunteering. I love all things crafty and can always be found with a paintbrush or a ball of yarn. I recently crocheted the entire periodic table! Why not try out a few activities and see what you enjoy most?
Once you find something you like, you might be wondering how you’ll fit it into your busy schedule. A great way to make time for a hobby is to join an RSO related to whatever you’re interested in. This will provide a structured, reoccurring time slot for something fun and allows you to connect with others with the same passion. If there isn’t already an organization for your hobby, you could consider starting your own. For the introverts of the world (like me), you may prefer to relax solo. In this case, it’s still important to carve out time in your schedule to work on something you love. Find a spare hour or two in your week and dedicate this time to your hobbies.
However, when I have a big exam or project coming up, it can be especially difficult to set time aside. In this case, I like to use hobbies as a reward. For example, after I finish studying for my exams, I like to reward myself with an afternoon off to paint or crochet. This not only provides the perfect time to relax, but it also makes it is easier to stay focused while studying because I know there’s something fun to look forward to.
Finally, a good way to make time for hobbies is to get your friends involved. For example, if you love hiking, invite your friends for a relaxing afternoon on the trail. Making plans with friends will help you stay accountable and allow you to share an activity you love. This way, you’ll be able to participate in your hobby and spend quality time with people you care about, both of which can help combat burn out.