By Jessica Bishop
Kerisyn Gilbert, a Trevecca freshman was doing her homework at home and when she finished her assignments, she notably became bored and anxious. She decided to pick up her pencil and sketch.
“It really helped calm me down and focus better. I will definitely continue to sketch in the future,” said Gilbert.
Many students find themselves with more free time since they moved home and started classes online. One way to pass the time is by picking up new or forgotten hobbies.
Erin Smith, a junior, has picked up baking and cooking in her spare time.
“I’ve always enjoyed it, but I’m just chilling and the I’m like, ‘Well, I guess I could bake some muffins instead’ and so I do,” said Smith.
One of best ways to find hobbies enjoyable is to remember what you liked as a child, said Sarah Hopkins, director of counseling services.
“Begin by thinking about what you liked when you were a kid and use that as a guide,” said Hopkins. “Did you enjoy just getting on a bike and roaming the streets? Did you love to color or draw, make up stories, make doll cloths, build Lego cities, or create things? What did you like before the world told you ‘big kids don’t do that’? Go back to that and use it as a guide!”
William Wojtkowski, a Trevecca freshman has done exactly this.
“I used to play guitar in my church worship band. I haven’t picked up the guitar in a really long time but with so much time on my hands, I just decided it was time to pick it up again,” said Wojtkowski.
Hobbies can have many mental benefits and students are encouraged to continue these hobbies next semester, said Hopkins.
“Taking up hobbies is a great coping skill. It’s a distraction, and it brings us joy and entertainment and engagement. When you get a hobby, you can share it with others so it brings connectivity,” said Miller Folk, staff counselor in the counseling center. “Learning a hobby during this time can help us focus on here and now rather than the future. So, picking up a hobby can help us be in the present moment and engage on what’s in from of us.”
Hildsy Petrossian, a freshman, is planing to write a book this summer.
“Writing is not an old hobby. I never thought I would write a book. I haven’t really told people that I’m doing it, so hopefully it happens this summer. It’s a devotional book for women and girls and also a coloring book,” explained Petrossian.
Going back to campus in the fall, some students said they will try to continue these hobbies due to the joy it brings them but it may be challenging.
“I can’t continue baking in the dorms but I will definitely continue writing songs and playing guitar because it’s something I already did. It’s an old hobby that is very personal but as we get back to running and face-to-face classes, I don’t know that I’ll have much time for it,” said Samantha Roberts, a freshman on the Trevecca cross country and track teams.
For moments in which students might not have time to destress with hobbies, Hopkins advises a simple tool for now and next semester.
“Breathe. This is something I use and teach my kids, when we are overwhelmed, we stop and breath. Just feel the breath move in and out of your nose and mouth and then figure out what’s next. Start there,” she said. ” One other thing I’ve been using is nature. I just leave my desk and go outside and walk for a minute, look around, hear the birds, notice what’s happening around me. It’s so centering.”