It’s the middle of summer, and after spending several weeks celebrating your freedom from academic obligations, your sense of excitement has been replaced by something completely different: boredom. Yes, as much as you hate to admit it, your thrilling summer plans have dried up a bit, and now you’re seriously stretching to make your days as enjoyable as they were after handing in your final exams.
If your fun summer plans have come to a standstill, and you don’t have the cash to throw toward a road trip or festival experience, you’ll want to start considering other options for warm-weather entertainment – namely, a hobby that you can look forward to, no matter the season. You might roll your eyes at the idea of finding a hobby as an almost-adult – and we can’t blame you! Though seeking out a new pastime might seem a bit juvenile, maintaining fulfilling hobbies through your 20s and beyond is crucial to boosting your quality of life.
Hobbies not only help you fill your spare time, but also relieve stress, expand your social network, increase your confidence, and help you develop new skill sets – making you an all-around, exceptionally awesome person. Who doesn’t want that?! So, if you’re in the market for a new activity to fill your leisure time, read on for uCribs’ tips for finding the perfect hobby for you.
Consider taking a personality test.
Wait… a personality test? We know – the last thing you want to do is take any type of test while on summer break. Though we certainly can’t blame you for that, bear with us for a moment. The best hobbies are those that speak to every facet of your personality, and what better way to zero in on those quirks than a personality quiz? All you have to do is honestly answer a few thought-provoking questions, and you’ll likely see a clear path towards a fulfilling hobby.
For example, if the results from your personality quiz show that you rank high in the areas of altruism and generosity, you might take that as a big hint to start volunteering your time for a cause you care about deeply. Or, perhaps your quiz has illuminated you to your left-brain tendencies, and in that case, you could consider more intellectual pursuits, like journaling or learning a new language. As long as you begin your pursuit for a new hobby with your interests in mind, you’ll likely land on a pastime that makes sense for you – and that, friends, is the beauty of the personality test!
Try a few hobbies and see what happens next.
You’ve got one friend who can’t stop talking about cycling, another who brings her crochet kit everywhere, and the other who keeps hammering on about his latest documentary obsession. Sound familiar? During college, it’s common to be surrounded by other young adults who are passionate about, well, just about everything under the sun. But, if you’re struggling to find something that elicits a similar level of passion in you, just know that it’s completely normal to develop new interests as you age, and you’ll soon find a hobby that makes your days a little bit brighter.
There’s nothing keeping you from trying your hand at a few pastimes that might interest you, so you can get a bit closer to finding one that adds fulfillment to your life. In the spirit of discovering your next big obsession, embrace a can-do attitude and line up as many potential hobbies as you can. You don’t need to worry about the nature of the activity – all that matters is that you’re interested in trying it out. Our advice? Dedicate one weekend to planning as many introductory activities as possible. Sign up for cycling class, swing by your neighborhood bowling alley, or drop in to a free gallery exhibit. Bonus points if you can enlist a few friends, who can help you with your hobby search – and laugh it off if a pursuit goes hilariously wrong!
Remember what you loved to do as a kid.
You might not yet call yourself a bona fide adult, but odds are, your adult-ish college lifestyle has left you with little time to pursue much other than rigorous coursework and resume-boosting campus activities. Add to that the pressures of almost-adulthood – like learning how to stay on top of your finances and keeping up with current events – and it’s easy to see where you might have lost touch with that childlike spirit who once believed that you’d grow up to be a painter, a rockstar, or an astronaut.
Okay, so maybe your 20-something-year-old self shed that rockstar dream years ago, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t still hold an affinity for creating and performing music. And, all of you wannabe astronauts likely harbor a longstanding love for space exploration. So, why not convert those long-held interests into a hobby you can enjoy, here and now? Pick up that guitar, bust out the old watercolor set, or hit the local hobby store for a spaceship model set. Your inner child will thank you for staying true to your youthful interests and transforming them into something that your grown-up self can enjoy.
Think about the last time you got lost in an activity.
When was the last time you stayed up way too late to work on something, only because you were enjoying yourself so much that the time flew by? What about the last time you sat down to complete a project, only to realize that you missed a meal because you were so dedicated to your work? If you’re thinking back now and can pinpoint “that time,” then, boy, do we’ve got a news flash for you: those projects should seriously clue you in to your next hobby. You know you’ve got a real passion on your hands when you neglect dinner, after all.
Great hobbies allow you to turn your brain off for a while and shrug off the stuff you’d normally be stressing about, like an upcoming test, a pending grad school application deadline, or that weekend shift you’re not-so-excited to work. That’s why, if you’re seeking an activity that allows you to enter this alternate world of anti-stress, you’ll want to zero in on those things you do that make you forget about the rest of the world for a while. Whether it’s something as simple as putting together a puzzle or meal-prepping for the week ahead, find a few activities that trigger pleasure and excitement, and you’ll be well on your way to discovering a hobby you’ll look forward to, day in and day out.
Reflect on something that you’ve always wanted to try.
Most of us have at least one friend who does really awesome stuff, seemingly all of the time. From hiking on the weekends to enrolling in exotic cooking classes, he or she seems to lead an ideal life, filled to the brim with new experiences. Needless to say, this friend is always the most interesting person in the room, and if you’re being honest with yourself, you envy their undying sense of adventure. The word “no” just doesn’t seem to be in their vocabulary!
Life is short, so why spend any more time envying friends who know how to take the world by the horns? There’s a lot of power in ditching your fears and trying something you’ve always wanted to do, just for the fun of it. Plus, if you’ve long wondered what it would be like to enroll in that hip-hop dance class or camp out under the stars, odds are good that you have a legitimate interest in the area and should explore it further. And, hey, even if dance doesn’t tickle your fancy, at least you’ll start forming an opinion on what you don’t like – which is just as important as finding what you do like!
Draw inspiration from on-campus offerings.
One of the best things about college is the amazing array of extracurricular activities available right on campus. Depending on the size of your institution, your campus center likely holds an organization for everything, from student government organizations to squirrel watching clubs – we’re looking at you, University of Michigan! With so many weird and wonderful groups operating within steps of your classroom doors for no cost or minimal club dues, there’s really no reason not to draw inspiration from these organizations ahead of returning to campus in the fall.
Though school’s still out for summer, there’s nothing keeping you from finding a club to enroll in once classes resume. You might not be able to join every club under the sun, but it’s entirely possible to scroll through your school’s online club directory, and consider which organizations pique your curiosity. Whether it’s an athletic group or film club – and, yes, organizations dedicated to bushy-tailed rodents – sometimes, all it takes is the power of suggestion to get your creative juices flowing. And, it’s also worth noting that those same clubs will include some very interesting and engaging members of the student body, who you might have not met otherwise.
The dog days of summer are known for being slow, but that doesn’t mean that your life has to slow down, too. In fact, with the right hobby at your disposal, your summer days can be filled with just as much enjoyment as your busiest and most fulfilling days during any other season. It might take a bit of trial and error to nail down a pastime that speaks to you, but doing so will be well worth the effort, once you fall in love all over again with an old hobby or take a chance on a new one.