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by Zachary Borodkin

With less than a month before students head home for Thanksgiving break, the stress levels are at an all-time high. Many of us are looking to complete projects, take our last mid-terms, and finalize housing plans for next fall. While it is important to focus on the work that needs to be done, stepping outside of one’s major studies and outside of one’s element is vital for future academic success.

Stress is a heavy burden placed on countless college students, and the thought of returning home after a long period can unhealthily increase stress. We are expected to work for many hours a week with little time to relax or even regularly eat. This decreases academic performance and takes away from spending time with friends. It is important to focus on one’s major, since it will become part of one’s career, but picking up a separate, outside hobby can relax the mind by allowing it to wander and expand.

I started studying political science years ago, and it quickly became the center of my universe. However, my major became essential to my daily routine and wound up cutting me off from the world beyond politics. When I started college at Binghamton University, I continued studying politics and chose Public Administration as my major. In engaging with students that had similar interests, I realized that these engagements were limited in scope. In order to extend these engagements, I decided to pick up a hobby that was not part of my daily routine and reduce the stress of my studies.

Learning how to draw helped put my mind at ease during a semester that was highly involved. Doing my first drawing last semester not only helped to reduce stress, but also gave me a new perspective. Picking up a hobby, no matter what it may be, is important to your routine as you prepare for your career every semester. Sometimes, it is necessary for the mind to wander in order for it to be able to generate new ideas. Through these new ideas, we will be able to engage with our peers and ourselves in different realms while still focusing on our majors.

This is important to remember because the working world is already routine and picking up a hobby will keep our minds clear, even if we are happy with our choice of career. As the semester continues, consider exploring hobbies and interests. They can relieve some of the stress we experience on an almost daily basis. It is perfectly fine to be dedicated to one’s studies, but having up a hobby will remind you that we are only human and that it is okay to take a break and step out of one’s habitual pattern. As we prepare for break, we realize it’s easy to forget the world outside of school, and picking up a hobby will serve as a reminder that there is more out there to explore and enjoy.

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