By Annika Tomlin
January is National Hobby Month. During the 2020 quarantine, most of us started at least one new hobby, whether it was baking bread or binge-watching Netflix shows. To kick off the new year with a fresh start, here are 11 hobbies to try out—if you haven’t already.
Most college students write quite a lot for school and don’t always write much outside of that. Writing is a great way to express yourself, and it can be shared with others—or not if you prefer to have a private journal. By putting your thoughts on paper or computer, it can ease stress.
10 BUDGET MAKING
As college students—especially those who have recently graduated or on the verge of it—the concept of being out of college and fully on your own is looming overhead. Student loan payments are on top of regular bills, like rent, car and phone, and can be daunting at times. Regularly creating a budget will ease stress. Stick to the strict budget.
Photos are important. Taking an appropriate resume/LinkedIn photo can boost your chances of getting a job interview. Those who can take their own photos will be the go-to person at events or gatherings. If you choose to go the extra mile and learn how to edit photos as well, you could use it as a side hustle and get paid for doing something you enjoy.
One of the biggest crazes last year was posting videos on TikTok or YouTube about being in quarantine. You don’t need to be the next TikTok star, but putting a video together of your everyday life can be entertaining and a way of keeping busy. Choose a topic to talk about, bring in some guest speakers (health restrictions permitting) and just have a laugh.
7 COMMUNITY SERVICE/VOLUNTEER
If you have the free time, volunteering always looks good on a resume—especially when it’s done long term. Giving back helps the community thrive. It can be as simple as donating your old clothes to a homeless shelter rather than a commercial thrift store.
6 LEARN NEW LANGUAGE
Several degrees require students to learn a second language. Learning another language can help expand the number of jobs for which you can apply. Spend 15 minutes a day with the app Duolingo to learn a variety of languages, from French to Hawaiian. YouTube is also a great resource when trying to learn a certain form of sign language.
5 ENDURANCE SPORTS
Running, cycling and hiking. These sports—and keeping the blood flowing and heart pumping—will help us live healthier lives. Endurance-based activities show you are committed and can handle tough situations. We’ve all been couch potatoes all year, so it may be hard to get started. Once you start shaving your running or hiking time, it’ll be worth it.
In normal times, college would be the ideal time to travel. You have minimal responsibilities and a whole world waiting to be explored. Take advantage of study abroad programs. International travel expands the mind and allows for a plethora of new experiences. Sometimes even traveling to new locations within your own state can be thrilling.
The number of people making bread last year was a lot, to say the least. But what else can you make? There is a wealth of options, from lasagna to fried chicken and even vegan mac and cheese. Get creative and try something new. Ask friends and family for new recipes and see if you can mix them up to better suit your tastebuds.
Anyone can learn to garden if they really want to. Having fresh produce is one of the wholesome joys of life. You don’t need to be the person who grows all of their food in their backyard, but a nice cactus or low-maintenance plant doesn’t hurt anything. In fact, having an indoor plant purifies the air.
Let’s be honest, 2020 was stressful. One of the easiest ways to help with stress is meditation. No, you don’t need to sit there and chant. There’s nothing wrong if you do that, but it’s not for everyone. Sometimes just stepping away from your desk and going to a calm place and listening to a song that makes you happy is a good form of meditation as well. Meditation is all about taking the time to process what is causing your stress or discomfort in a calm and productive manner. CT