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The Impact of Hobbies on Students’ Mental Health

17.05.24

Although classes take up much of your day at college, you should still find you have plenty of free time. One of the best ways to use your spare time is to try new hobbies. This will have a big impact on your mental health, including by making it easier for you to concentrate, reducing your anxiety, and enhancing your cognition. As a result, you should expect to improve your academics and overall well-being.

1. Find Relief from Stress

Although college is fun much of the time, it’s no secret that it’s also stressful. Hobbies take your mind off classes, helping you find relief from stress. As well as improving your mood, engaging in hobbies may lower your heart rate and blood pressure, which has a knock-on effect on your mental health.

2. Better Time Management

When you’re able to manage your time effectively, you have less stress in your daily life. Having hobbies at college means learning to manage your time to fit all your responsibilities into your schedule. In particular, you’ll need to avoid procrastination to prevent missing out on hobbies.

3. Meet Like-Minded People

Although you’re surrounded by people at college, it’s sometimes difficult to meet many who share the same interests as you, especially outside your classes. Hobbies will introduce you to people from a wide range of backgrounds, and, since you’ll all share the same passion, you’ll immediately have a way to connect.

4. Improve Your Self-Confidence

When you explore new hobbies, you may discover you possess skills you never would have expected. Plus, you’ll regularly experience a sense of achievement as you create something new, have victories, and meet your goals. All these things improve your self-confidence.

5. Learn About Yourself

College is all about learning who you are and what you value. Whereas classes may help you discover this to some extent, experimenting with hobbies will reveal more about your passions. This may influence the direction you decide to take after you graduate, such as by choosing a lifestyle that allows you to continue with your hobby or even to incorporate your hobby into your career. Either way, you’ll feel more fulfilled.

Ideas for Hobbies

Hobbies fall into three main categories: active, creative, and academic. You may like to pursue a balance of each or you may prefer to choose from just one or two categories.

Active hobbies include sports but also outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, and camping as well as fitness classes and dance.

For creative hobbies, you have a huge variety of choices. You may like to try an art-based hobby, like sculpting, graphic design, or photography. Alternatively, something with music may appeal to you, such as learning to play an instrument, DJing, or composing songs.

Writing (whether short stories, blogs, or even a journal) are also creative hobbies, as are crafts like knitting, woodworking, and jewelry making.

You may think you’d prefer to avoid academic hobbies because you’re already spending a large amount of time on academics. However, these hobbies may actually appeal to you, either because they complement what you’re studying or because they teach you completely different skills. Some examples include learning languages, coding, reading, and listening to podcasts.

You’ll be able to explore some hobbies on campus, such as through clubs, teams, and organizations. Others may require you to go farther afield, in which case it will help if you live somewhere well connected to public transportation — like Arcadian Students. Our alternative to Georgian College residence is within walking distance of campus, and there’s public transportation just steps from your front door. Plus, you’ll be surrounded by local parks, where you can practice outdoor hobbies. Pay us a visit to see for yourself.