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Hoping for hobbies Senior attempts basics of different pastimes

By Stephanie Jumper, Editor-In-Chief

For a significant portion of my life, I have existed with empty thoughts and too much free time. I do little outside of school except writing for the newspaper and daydreaming. Since I am now an adult and thus legally my own person, it’s about time I adopt my own set of skills. Over the course of a couple of weeks, I tried out five different common hobbies in hopes that one of them could be my new area of expertise.

Origami

Due to my lack of visual intelligence, the yarn and glitter-filled world of American arts and crafts never interested me. After trying the ancient art of origami, I learned that crafts of all cultures both confuse and bore me. I originally tried to create a dinosaur, but after not following the origami instructions properly, my creation just looked like a green blob of despair. For my second paper folding attempt, I found a YouTube video about making an origami heart. This one was definitely made for beginners since I actually understood the instructions. I was able to successfully fold society’s most romanticized organ with success. While nice as a one-time experience, it was too much thinking for me. A good hobby needs less skill and more mindless enjoyment.

Gardening

I wish I had the time management skills for this. I really do. But I need to set several alarms just to give this leafy creature a chance at life. This was more engaging than origami but still not something I excelled at. I barely drink water; I’m not going to remember to give another living thing any of it. The cactus I bought at Home Depot was soothing to look at, though. In addition to it being an easier plant to care for, I picked it because it looked otherworldly. Like a monster that crawls up from the ground to eat you in a hilariously bad horror movie. It’s a nice activity for certain plants, but I could never keep up with a normal flower.

Meditation

Sitting still and doing nothing is a skill that comes pretty naturally to me. It’s always seemed strange that people make an entire event out of breathing set to soothing sounds of rainforests or whatever meditators listen to. Like everyone does when they don’t know much about a subject, I turned to YouTube where I came across a 10-minute long video for beginning meditators. It was definitely calming at first, but the video of a man telling me to relax, set to slow, soothing music was interrupted by a blaring ad for a brand of beer. It’s difficult to keep yourself in a zen mood after that. Nevertheless, meditating made me feel safe somehow. I could see this as a weekly part of my routine in order to alleviate various stresses.

Calligraphy

My handwriting is pretty decent, so I thought fancy handwriting wouldn’t be too out of character for me. However, my calligraphy was not what I’d hoped it would be due to one fatal flaw: I am an anxious person; therefore my hands tremble while completing every task they are assigned to do. My sketches of different words ended up looking like a 2-year-old’s crayon scribbles. The closest I calligraphed to a product that looked like it was done by a teenager is, ironically, a quote about having no talent. Well played, Einstein.

Biking

Nearly everyone rode a bike at some point in their childhood, but when you do it past the age of 13, it becomes more of a unique hobby. Since I haven’t ridden a bike since I was about 11, the only one I could find in my garage was bright purple with periwinkle ribbons on the handles that scream 9-year-old girl’s birthday present. This hobby was a nice balance between relaxation and concentration. It gave my muscles something to focus on while my brain could wander off and look at the nature around me. Although I don’t have the responsibility to garden, plants are a pretty sight when you don’t have to take care of them.

My opinions on the hobbies I dabbled in varied. I couldn’t see myself doing any of these activities on a daily basis, but these five tasks gave me a better understanding of what I enjoy. Hobbies like meditation that require little skill are calming to me; it’s nice to try something without being able to properly do it wrong. Whether your interests lay in transforming paper into impressive creations or strapping on that old bicycle helmet, you can always find a new pastime to pursue if you venture out of your comfort zone.