i‑Learner Education Centre

Steps to Success » Stretching Ourselves

New Hobbies, New Habits

As a teenager, I had a busy schedule of extracurricular activities, from fencing and choir to Girl Guides and Venture Scouts. It was fun and easy to pack my calendar with these things, especially since my parents paid for and drove me to the after-school sessions and weekends away. As an adult myself, though, it can feel like I’m busy enough simply going to work, staying healthy, and keeping my house clean. However, I know that if I use my evenings to ‘rest’, I end up watching TV, scrolling on my phone, or doing chores that don’t really leave me rested. To keep myself from falling into bad habits, I like to try new hobbies. Here are some tips for finding and making the most of your free-time activities, whatever your age.

Enjoy a taste

Many hobbies require money, time and equipment that can be off putting to those wanting to start. But there are often taster sessions you can use to find out if the investment would be worth it. I recently went to a roller disco using skates I borrowed from the rink, and this inspired me to buy my own pair that I can use at home. I’ve fallen over several times already, but I’m still enjoying myself!

Limit your time

Some hobbies attract such passionate people that it can feel hard to get started. I’ve always felt that way about acting. I don’t want to become a movie star, but I love plays, and they look fun to perform in. When I saw an advert from my local theatre looking for new people (even those without experience) to audition for an upcoming play, I decided to take the leap. I’m glad I did. Many people there hadn’t acted before either, and I enjoyed meeting them so much I didn’t mind whether my audition was successful. I did get a part though, and it was a lot of fun to rehearse it and do six performances. Now that the play has finished, I can decide if I want to audition for something else, or if I’ve had enough of acting for the time being.

Take a friend

Entering a new environment can be scary to some people, so it can help to take a friend along. I like to do this if I know I’m going to be bad when I start – it’s nice to have someone to laugh with as you fall off a paddle board or forget the steps while dancing (both of which I’ve done recently). You never know, you might be introducing your friend to their next big passion!

Make trying hobbies your hobby

Last but not least, it’s good to remember that trying new things is a fun and useful experience in itself. It’s great to have a few long-term hobbies that we develop skills and strengths in, but we should always leave room for experimentation. I have written stories for as long as I can remember, and that’s a life-long hobby I work at almost every day. Then there are other things I like to play around with, especially different arts and crafts. I’ve got plenty of knitting and sewing projects on the go, plans for a painting, and some new craft kits I’ve yet to try out. I’m not sure I’ll ever settle on a single artistic medium – for me, the fun is in trying them all.

At i-Learner, we run plenty of short-courses during the holidays to give you a chance to try something new. Check out our course list here, where you can find details of our short courses and holiday timetables.