To Concordia's Hobbyists

Published by Lauren 3 months ago on Fri, Mar 25, 2022 2:56 PM

Hello, friends! Today we’re talking about hobbies, a topic I am especially passionate about. You see, I quite enjoy my hobbies (as one generally does), but it’s hard to keep them going, especially in college. Finding time for hobbies is sometimes difficult, and there’s an even greater struggle: comparing ourselves to others often makes us change our hobbies.  

 Imagine this scenario. You tell your friend that you’ve taken up painting, and they’re excited to see how it goes. You work at it for a couple of weeks and you really enjoy it. You get pretty good, and you keep pursuing it for a month. Six months. A year, maybe more. Then comes the dilemma. People now know that you paint, and they want to know what you’re going to do with it. Will you add an art minor? Will you sell your pieces? You feel awkward when talking to your art major friends. You don’t feel qualified to join their discussions, since you’re no art major yourself. You have ideas to share, but if you speak up, they might just laugh it off. After all, it’s only a hobby. So you’re left with two choices. You can either turn your hobby into a lifestyle or you can keep silent and let it die down. You can give your brushes the place of honor on your desk or you can tuck them regretfully into the drawer. Either way, your hobby is no longer a hobby. 

 Such is the lifespan of the average hobby. They start, they grow, then they usually change. For me, the struggle is music. I have been playing piano since I was seven years old, but not many people know that, because I am not involved in any of Concordia’s music programs. I am a musician, but I don’t feel like one when I’m at school. At this point in my life, music is a hobby, not a lifestyle. Here at Concordia, where I’m surrounded by music majors, it’s easy to feel intimidated and to get discouraged in my musical pursuits. Comparing ourselves with others is a natural thing humans do, but it sometimes makes hobbyists feel like their hobby isn’t worth pursuing. In college especially, we’re surrounded by people who are great at what they do. They’re better than we are, and while their talent is something we celebrate, it can make it hard not to get discouraged in our hobbies. Maybe you’re a hobby runner, but you never bring it up when talking with your cross country friends. Maybe you love to read, but don’t like to discuss literature with your English major roommate. Maybe you love to sing, but trying out for A Capella seems just a little out of reach. Maybe, maybe, maybe… There is always something that makes your hobby feel like it’s not worth your time. 

 But it is worth your time. It is so worth your time. Hobbies are meant to give us little breaks from the stress and striving of our everyday pursuits. By turning our hobbies into our pursuits, we are erasing our peaceful little breaks. So hobbies shouldn’t be stressful. You can like a band without being able to name many of their songs, enjoy running without being a 5k racer, and enjoy playing the violin without ever performing. “Success” isn’t the point, at least not how most people use the term. The point is satisfaction. We should enjoy our hobbies and the progress we make in them, and it’s ok not to be elite. The joy of hobbies is found in the process, not the result. We don’t have to be great at what we do; we just need to do it.