Interactive hobbies for students to integrate with schoolwork

Refresh on reading. A readers bookshelf with different horror novels ready to be read. Reading is one way students can take time to relax.

Madeline Newhof, Photographer

Finding a balance between school, extracurriculars and hobbies can be difficult for many teenagers. Luckily, there are many simple hobbies that can be started at any time and offer a break from the stress of the real world. From painting to reading and so much more, there is a hobby out there for everyone.

One soothing hobby that is easy to pick up at any time is reading. Whether it is a book, magazine, newspaper or comic, there are many topics to read up on. Reading has become more accessible in recent years, allowing individuals to read online or listen to an audiobook without having to purchase a hardcover book. Reading is a great hobby to have, as it can help in lowering stress, improving memory and exercising your brain.

If you are a fan of horror manga, a type of Japanese comic book, like myself, I would recommend all of Junji Ito’s books, but more specifically his adaptation of Frankenstein and his original works Uzumaki and Gyo. Some of my personal favorite places to buy books from are Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Books-A-Million.

This next hobby is one that even Marjory Stoneman Douglas offers: gardening. Marjory’s Garden Club, @msdgarden on Remind and @msd_garden on Instagram, meets at school every Sunday to do maintenance on the garden by weeding and cutting bamboo or mixing concrete. Outside of working on the garden, the club also hosts numerous fun events such as movie nights and painting activities in the garden.

If you want to pursue gardening at home, there is a wide variety of different plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables that can be grown right in your backyard. You can start very easily and cheaply by buying seeds from your local hardware or plant store. This hobby is long lasting and very rewarding, as you could start your own vegetable garden and make different foods with your homegrown veggies.

Mentioning food, cooking is yet another enjoyable hobby. From making family dinners to baking cookies for your friends, the only hard part is the clean up afterwards. Aside from that, cooking can be loads of fun. Making food is very rewarding and when cooking with friends, it can make for great memories. It allows for a lot of creativity and expression when it comes to adding flare to the dishes. It is a good skill to have when it comes to living on your own.

If you are looking for a hobby that is on the more artsy side, both knitting and crocheting make wonderful hobbies. Not only are they both fun, they can be used to make your own clothes, blankets, stuffed animals and practically anything you want. While it can be a tad difficult to learn these skills at first, once you have the basics down you should be good to go with making whatever your heart desires.

Art is another enjoyable hobby that can take many different forms such as painting, drawing, ceramics and so much more. Paintings can be made of many different mediums: watercolor, oil and acrylic are a few to name. These paints can be used in different ways to make different styles of painting. Drawings can be digital or traditional, allowing for more creativity in what you design. Ceramics are a lot more hands on and messy than painting or drawing because you are sculpting something with your hands. You can sculpt practically anything, like a bowl, a planter or a tiny cat. The possibilities are truly endless.

On the same note as art, journaling can also be a nifty hobby. Through journaling, you can keep track of your daily activities, the books you have read, the movies you have watched and more. Taking an hour out of your day to just write about the stuff that happened that day and keeping track of things that made you happy can be very relaxing and therapeutic. People spend a lot of time making sure their journals look pretty by adding stickers, photos and fun writings on their journals. Journaling is also often used to improve mental health, as people write how they feel and about their emotions.

Last, but certainly not least, playing video games can be a blast for anyone due to its wide variety of games available to play, from simple life simulators to more intense fighting games. For casual gaming, there are a few games available on all electronics, such as Stardew Valley and Minecraft, that are relaxing and fun. Popular Nintendo Switch games are Animal Crossing: New Horizon, Mario Kart and Splatoon 3. These games can also be played with groups of friends.

If you are looking for a challenging roleplaying game, then the game of the year, Elden Ring, is for you. It is available on current and last generation Xbox and Playstation and on the Steam digital storefront. There is bound to be a game that intrigues most people.

Overall, there are an unlimited amount of hobbies you can do, the only requirement is that it makes you happy. Hobbies can be time consuming, but doing small and simple hobbies such as reading and journaling, can help boost your time management skills, which can help balancing classes, homework and free time or hobby time in the long run.