Hobbies are fun, but also necessary

They say if you do something you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. I would disagree with this statement.

Everything, no matter how much you love it, becomes stressful after a while. That 3 a.m. exhaustion you get while working on you 20-page research paper, that one musical piece where you forget the same note every time, having to run yet another lap when you were ready to give up three laps ago — it happens to everyone in different ways.

To be good at what you do takes hard work, and working hard at something, even if you love it, can produce a lot of stress.

Of course, once you achieve your goals, it’s all worth it. When you get an A on that paper after all the time you put into it, or when you finally play through the whole musical piece without a single mistake, or when you finish that final lap — a feeling of accomplishment comes with that.

But to get there, you need to be able to take an occasional break. That’s where hobbies come in. It is vitally important to have at least one hobby that’s completely unrelated to your main interest.

I have several different main interests, one of which is writing. Writing is for me the easiest and hardest thing I ever have to do. Sometimes I can sit at a computer and write for hours on end without even trying. Other times I sit looking at a blank computer screen hoping words will magically appear there by themselves.

When that happens, I start to play my piano. One of the reasons I love playing piano so much is that it isn’t work for me. There’s no deadline to miss, no due date and no way to fail. If I miss a key once, if I miss it a hundred times, it doesn’t matter, because no one is judging it.

I have often considered having a music minor, but I have chosen not to because if I did, it would become work. Instead of choosing the pieces I want to learn and the pace that I want to learn them, it would all be chosen for me. There would be expectations for me, and I would now be capable of failing.

For those of you freshmen coming in, know that whatever path you have chosen, if you wish to be truly successful in it, it will come with a large amount of stress. Grades and exams and papers can all add up to a lot of pressure for you to succeed and therefore a lot of stress.

That’s why it is so important to have an area of your life where you don’t have any stress. For me it is my piano, I still challenge myself to learn more and become better, but no oneis around to judge my success or failure unless I allow them there.

A hobby can be anything, from scrapbooking to music, even writing poetry. Whatever it is, the important thing is that you don’t stress about it. Many health experts will agree that constant stress is not on the list of healthiest college behaviors. With a hobby, there’s no failure because there’s no judging other than your own. The only possible outcome is success, since you’re defining that yourself in regards to your hobby.

Furthermore, success in one area will often give you the confidence to start pushing yourself in others.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, at least 80 percent of freshmen will change your major at least once, and that’s just the ones who have already decided on a major. If you do change your major, if it’s something that can be pursued leisurely such as acting or music, keep it it mind as a potential hobby.

College is a lot of work, and you most certainly should put in that work, because it will be worth it in the end. But you should also find at least one thing that isn’t work, because that could be the one thing that keeps you sane and having a good time.

Mike Rauser is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].