A few days ago, I saw this video on my Instagram explore page saying that we don’t have to be good at everything we do — that we can have our hobbies for pure enjoyment. I felt as though I hadn’t resonated with this sentiment in a long time. With the amount of pressure we place on ourselves, especially at UC Berkeley, we seldom have time to do things without purpose, just to do things for our well-being. So, here are some tips and tricks to getting back into your hobbies because not everything in life has to be so serious.
1. Take 5 minutes away from your screen time and use it for something creative!
While I could take the easy route and just say that you should lower your screen time and start those assignments earlier to have more free time, the reality of it is that this saying embodies the notion of “do as I say not as I do.” So, set a timer at the end of the night for five minutes before you go to bed and refuse to do any extra assignments or view any more TikToks. Five minutes of designated reading time, journaling, playing an instrument or even yoga is just the power snack of joy we deserve to get us through our days.
2. Release thoughts of criticism
While coming to college is the epitome of seizing an opportunity to reinvent yourself, ask yourself: Who gives a f— what other people think? The biggest misconception when it comes to hobbies is that we have to be good at them — but we fail to recognize that we all start somewhere. Even if we’re the worst-ever guitar player or not-the-greatest poet, it doesn’t matter. We’re doing things to nurture our creativity and imagination, not to live our lives seeking validation from others.
3. Ask yourself what you would want to do
It’s quite helpful to recall things from different eras of your life that made you excited, and I would encourage you to pursue those things once more. Take this opportunity for a fresh start — no matter what year you’re in — to pursue hobbies you enjoy, not ones that have ulterior motives for adding to your resume. Do hobbies for you. Not everything in life has to be so serious and professional. We’re allowed to be young and allow our minds to wander.
4. Understand that getting back into hobbies is a process
The process of building a balanced lifestyle is not an easy one, matter of fact the only thing that stops us from doing all the things we truly want to do is us. While it’s not easy to give up five minutes at the end of our day, it’s a sacrifice that is rewarding. It may take time to learn to be kind to ourselves for taking a mental break, but that doesn’t mean it’s a sign that we should get rid of our hobbies altogether.
5. Don’t be afraid to try new things
In addition to the mental and time commitment, fear can hold us back. While it’s helpful to revisit some of our old hobbies to get us back into a routine to be creative and expressive, we should seize new opportunities to try things we haven’t before — kickboxing, skateboarding, painting and more. We are allowed to explore our interests and figure out what’s the most enjoyable for us. There’s more to life than being strictly academic.
For me, I miss playing my ukulele at night, strumming pretty little chords until I feel relaxed and can fall asleep in harmony. I miss journaling my every thought and cutting into newspapers and magazines with my best friend then making wild collages. I miss printing out photos and finding places to stick them. It might not be a career — but I have the rest of my life to do work, so why should I rush?