College is, at one point or another, a stressful experience, and setting aside time for yourself and your own hobbies is crucial for staying sane through it all. Whether you’re an introvert or not, purposefully blocking out time for your own hobbies can not only improve overall happiness but could also improve your productivity during study time, too. Here are 3 hobbies that you can enjoy either solo or with others if desired.
Reading For Fun
Most students have to read for class and homework, but hear me out: whether you choose to reread an old favorite, pick up a guilty pleasure novel, or grab whatever catches your eye at a bookstore, reading for fun can revitalize your brain for more studious reading during studying. My own bias as an English major is showing, but I will defend this hill! You can turn reading into a social activity by starting a book club with friends, or just casual convos about your favorite characters and passages from whatever you’re reading at the moment.
Even if your brain immediately jumps to the likes of mainstream M-rated fare like Call of Duty when you see the words “video game,” keep in mind there are TONS of different games out there to try. Whether you like action-packed, online matches like in Overwatch, or more relaxed Minecraft sessions, or something in between, there’s something for everyone out there! My own personal favorites are games that are single-player and story-rich, but you might love massive multiplayer games or strategy games! The easiest way to find out what games you love and don’t is the Epic Games Store, which regularly gives out games for free! Obviously, the best way to make gaming more social is to play alongside friends, but bonding with other players of your favorite game, no matter what kind, can lead you to new friendships. You can bond with others by joining a club focused on gaming or having passionate debates with classmates over which character is The Best One in Hades (trick question, it’s all of them).
You don’t need to have Beethoven-levels of talent to enjoy making music on your own. Some small instruments to start with can be a kalimba (sounds like a music box!), a lyre (mini harp), ukulele, bongos, and even small piano keyboards. All of these can be found relatively cheap online; they’re easy enough to learn the basics of and are portable, too. A great benefit to this hobby is how tangible the progress is, which can really inspire you to keep improving. There are lots of tutorials on Youtube for how to learn as well! Playing alone in your dorm during study breaks is pretty soothing, but if you want to include others on your musical journey, you can find others who play too and learn from them. Try seeing if there’s a club on campus focused on learning music or even one for your specific instrument! If you get skilled enough and want an audience, you can play in a dorm lounge (just be sure you aren’t disturbing anyone studying).
All of these things can get you lots of mileage enjoying on your own, but if you’re ever feeling lonely, it’s easy to include others in seemingly solitary activities. Sometimes the best thing about a hobby is sharing it with someone else!
WRITTEN BY Brianna DiGeronimo The College of New Jersey
Brianna is a rising senior at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) studying English, with minors in Communications and Marketing. She loves playing video games and the kalimba (albeit badly). She is currently an intern at Macmillan Learning (BFW Publishing) in the Marketing department.