Opinion | Don’t leave your pandemic hobbies behind

Hobbies can help you in your everyday life, not just at your worst


Luke Krchak, Opinions Columnist

The COVID-19 pandemic was a rough two years that sent me and others deep into some problematic times.

While hobbies rose for a lot of people during the pandemic, I dove head first into my school work.

Now, in a world that is moving out of a pandemic, I am starting to dive into my old hobbies again, like art. To those who gained a hobby over the pandemic, or to those who always had one, keep your hobbies up as they can bring you the needed joy in your life.

The pandemic started during the last trimester of my junior year of high school, pushing it and my senior year online. It forced one of my favorite classes, video production, to be online with fewer opportunities available, and the film club to essentially disband.

Since this was a time I was starting to put myself out there and start to learn about making short films, which was becoming one of my new hobbies, it set me back a way. Instead of trying to keep making short films and learning new video production techniques, I just left it to dive into school work.

The pandemic was often a time I tried to keep the days moving, trying to reach an end that would not come for another two years. It was not until my spring semester of freshman year here at the University of Iowa that I would refind my old hobbies.

I have since focused on more than just school and work, starting to rebuild what was lost during the pandemic. Hobbies, like video production, and later art, would be a light I did not know I needed to be as content as I once was.

Ironically, the creative hobbies that I was redrawn to, probably would have helped me during the pandemic.

With more free time, and being stuck at home, people needed to do something with their time, so they were guided toward new hobbies.

Often new hobbies, mainly creative ones, would help ease the general rising mental health problems brought on by the pandemic. There was a 500 percent increase in 2021 for people seeking mental health support, around 5.4 million people. Primarily rising anxiety and feelings of isolation caused by the pandemic.

In 2020, the top creative pastimes included trying new cooking recipes, gardening, and art-related activities like painting.

While these hobbies can provide a necessary boost to mental health during the pandemic, they are still necessary for a post-pandemic one too. This is because the world is still experiencing a lot of major problems, such as the Russia-Ukraine War, the recession, and diseases, like Monkeypox and COVID-19, which are still very present.

Mental health is not the only reason hobbies are needed. Many creative hobbies, like painting, can be turned into a business. When you create something, you can sell it on sites like Etsy, which can bring in a slight boost to income, for a little more than the cost of art and craft supplies.

Even when the world’s problems seem to cool down a bit, and costs of living stop their meteoric rise, hobbies will still be a necessary part of our lives in the 2020s. Art has re-entered my life to stay, knowing how much it impacts my daily happiness, as it helps me overcome hard emotions caused by things like the pandemic.

With hobbies virtually affordable for all, and taking up as much time as you want, it is something that everyone needs to add into their lives.

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