Taking your pastime out of the past

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Back in school, I had little appreciation for what I had time for. Taking Fine Art until A2 meant that I didn’t think of it as a hobby because it was part of nearly everyday life for a long time both in and out of school. However, having left it behind for university, it’s no longer part of my day, week or even month. I know I’m not alone when I say that making time for a hobby or simply doing what I love seems to have been pushed out of life since arriving at uni. It’s easy to disregard the importance of your favourite pastime or making room for what is considered a non-essential commitment. When I have work to do for a seminar, or an essay peering menacingly at me from three weeks away, picking up some charcoal is honestly the last thing I feel I can do because… well, what’s the point? The point is that these things get lost amidst the commitments of ‘adult life’. I don’t want to sound like a patronising self-help manual, but having the time to even allow yourself to think: f*** it, I’m going to do a puzzle even though I have twelve deadlines is really important (maybe not twelve, but you get the idea). More to the point, we have over two hundred societies at Lancaster, which is seriously good. Because of this, there is an outlet for permission to play with charcoal for a couple hours a week, and as a bonus you can meet a bunch of people that also think this is a great idea, if that’s what you appreciate. And hey, if there isn’t your hobby as a society, get one started or become involved in another. Who knows, your Flute-Playing Unicyclists Society could be the best soc on campus in two years’ time. It’s a really good late New Year’s Resolution – or even a New Term’s Resolution – and way more fun than ‘stop eating so much pie’ or ‘engage in peat bog cross-country marathons.’ If societies can’t fill the void, think about what you can do in Lancaster city. At home I volunteered as an usher at my local theatre and got to see heaps of plays, films and performances for free, every week if I wanted. It’s worth checking out what the Arts in the city have to offer, as volunteering in particular usually reaps the rewards. Of course, the Arts are only one part of the spectrum, and it’s definitely worth having a look for how you can get involved with sports, charities, the community… again, especially if you’ve not tried it before, it could be your new interest as yet undiscovered. If you really don’t feel like you have time for this, five minutes before you go to bed reflect on the day and write down what’s been good and even what’s been bad. Okay, so it’s pretty cheesy in concept, but honestly it’s good a way of taking time back for yourself and are the rest of the American Football team really going to find out? You never know, maybe you’ll see gaps where you can volunteer for a couple of hours or finally brush up on those painting skills. Life at university shouldn’t mean leaving parts of your life out.

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