By: Sophia Klymchuk 3rd year Concurrent Education/French Studies student
“I don’t have time for anything anymore.”
These are the words that I kept repeating to myself when I entered my first year. When I was in high school, it was easier for me to find time for my hobbies, such as reading for fun, drawing or baking. But when I started university, all the extra assignments, readings and studying made me feel like I didn’t have the time to do these activities. I was under the impression that I had to work all the time, and that it was normal to let go of what I used to do for fun.
You may have, on more than one occasion, had this thought, or shared it with a friend. As a university student, what is expected of you on the academic level is challenging. However, your academic career shouldn’t be getting in the way of your hobbies and what you enjoy doing. I came to this conclusion after my overwhelming first year, and ever since, I’ve been consciously making room for reading and drawing along with my studies. Whether it’s reading, playing music or learning a language, here are some ways that you can find the time in your busy schedule to do what you love.
Plan your time effectively.
The truth is, if you don’t deliberately schedule the time for your hobbies, you may never get to them. It’s easy to come up with an excuse such as “I’ll draw when I find time”, but sometimes, you end up using your free time for easier activities, such as browsing your phone or watching TV. Take your planner and set aside some blocks of time to work on your hobbies, just as you would with study time. Your hobbies shouldn’t come last, and should be treated with the same level of priority as school and work.
Use your found time.
If you have been studying for around an hour, chances are, you need a break. For a lot of us, our first instinct is to open a new tab and mindlessly scroll Facebook or Instagram. However, this time can easily be devoted to the small activities you love to do, but can’t seem to find the time for. Carry a sketchbook, a book, or anything else around with you, to ensure that every minute of your day is spent on truly precious activities.
Set some goals.
Setting academic goals for yourself will steer you in the right direction when it comes to school, and the same can be said for the activities you want to pursue in your spare time. Do you want to start playing guitar again? Make a commitment to play for 20 minutes a day, for example, and make that time longer if it works for you. I like to use a habit tracker to record the activities I do everyday, to keep me accountable for my personal goals.
Taking up an old hobby again can be hard, but it can also be extremely beneficial for self-care and creative growth. Hopefully, with the help of these tips, you will be able to get yourself in the right mindset to resume some old hobbies, or start something new.