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Relieve stress, take on a hobby
Posted Dec. 1, 2006

Andres Rivera
Managing Editor

There’s nothing like hoisting yourself up to the top of the world. Starting at the base of a rock climbing wall or going out and finding a perfect spot to conquer, either one is a thrill.

Then there’s the less exciting but just as fulfilling hiking trail. Packing a few essentials and driving out to the beginning of a trail I haven’t ventured through, an endless array twists and turns to explore while taking in nature, maybe photographing some dramatic scenes for future reflection.

Too bad I don’t have time for either of those activities.

As a full-time student, taking all the units possible without needing to appeal for more and without having a real job, there still isn’t enough time in the day to do all that needs to be done.

I envy people that can juggle a full load of classes, a job and all the other activities and hobbies.

It must take skills that I am lacking in order to do so much.

There are others like me that spend too much time on the job trying to get by and do not have time for fun.

We are at a disadvantage with those who have time to relax and have fun while still succeeding at school or at the workplace.

It may be they are succeeding not only because they are capable individuals but also because their hobbies give them an edge no one really thinks about.

One of the most obvious barriers when it comes to having a hobby is finding the time. Busy work and class schedules, deadlines and other responsibilities monopolize the hours of a day so much so that time for relaxing and unwinding is sporadic to say the least. The emphasis is working hard to get ahead even if it means sacrificing free time as long as success is within reach. While ideas of success and our work ethic reflect a consumer society that does not seem like the proper way to live.

Time should be made for hobbies, whether it is playing video games, playing tennis, writing a novel or collecting shells.

Having a hobby can relieve stress and may revitalize a person when feeling drained. Even if one can’t fulfill aspirations of being an avid hiker or of flying a plane, there should have an activity that is not related to studying or work.

Too much time doing the same mundane tasks, can cause a person to become irritable toward the task. Taking a break from heavy work and study schedules is a must even if it means being set back a little. This does not mean a person is free to neglect all responsibilities but should learn to prioritize and make time for some unwinding and activities.

Hobbies do not need to be action packed or exciting to everyone. People should follow their interests and find a hobby that they will surely enjoy. Explore the possibilities; try something new if your current hobby does not satisfy. If all else fails reading books and watching TV will suffice. These activities do not have to be life altering or thought provoking in any way, unless that is being sought out, there should be one requirement: It gives the participants a period of time away from the stresses of work.

Go forth and have fun starting a band, meddling with art and photography, playing sports, collecting, building models, volunteering, flying kites – as long as it is something that works for you.

Andres Rivera, a junior journalism major, is managing editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at