As a spin-off of my post on post-grad friendships, I figured I would write about another huge change in my life that’s come about as the result of graduating post-secondary and moving on to “real life.”
That change is in my hobbies.
You see, in university I never had to worry about having hobbies because the only things I had time for were going to class, writing essays, and getting wasted 4 nights a week.
However, the real world doesn’t require you to pull all nighters in the library when you should be watching The Bachelorette, so I’m finding a lot of free time on my hands and a lot of TV shows to catch up on. And while my younger self would’ve spent all this free time playing beer pong until I couldn’t see straight, my old, worn out, 23-year-old body just can’t do it anymore.
C’mon, I’m from Canada. Our drinking age is like 12.
When I first graduated I couldn’t believe how much free time I had and how good it felt to finish work at 5 and do nothing all night. But as the first few months crawled by, I realized I needed to start taking up actual hobbies otherwise I would probably get bedsores from sitting my couch so much.
I’ve been working on finding hobbies for myself for about a year now, and although I still spend 90% of my free time on my couch, I’m definitely starting to have a more well-rounded and happier life now that I have interests that involve thought, exercise, socializing, and skill.
Because despite what everyone in your college dorm told you, chugging is not a skill.
Finding New Hobbies in your Twenties
I could write a list of all the new hobbies I have and all the ways I fell into developing those hobbies, but that is my own personal experience and would not be very relatable to anyone else.
Instead, I’ll share a few simple steps that I did to expand my interests and start finding new hobbies.
No New Friends Lots of New Friends
As per my post on postgrad friendships, being old enough to recognize what kind of friendships you want in your life means you can start making lots of new friends! And making lots of new friends means you’ll be sure to meet people who are from different walks of life and enjoy different things than you.
Making friends who are different from you means you can both open each other up to new things and explore each others’ interests together. This is a great opportunity to try new things and develop a hobby.
2. Be Conscious, not Unconscious (in a ditch somewhere)
A huge step in moving on from your drunk college-self and growing in to a more mature, less drunk-self, is to make a conscious effort to grow up. It’s important to recognize that your time in college is over, and your actions need to reflect that.
Making a conscious effort to create a new life for yourself with new friends and interesting hobbies is half the battle. Once you consciously seek out new interests, you will open yourself up to so many more opportunities and many more friendships.
Take the time to think about what interests you. Let’s say it’s hiking. Do some research on hiking trails, hiking groups, and hiking excursions in your area, and then consciously make the effort to go hiking on Saturday mornings instead of going drinking on Friday night.
Voila, a hobby!
3. Yes Man
Finally, be a “yes man” or woman!
If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know that a “yes person” is someone who says yes to everything, which is the perfect way to expand your interests.
When your new friend asks you to go rock climbing with her this weekend but you’re terrified of heights, say yes! When your old friend asks you to catch up but you’d rather stay in and watch Netflix, say yes! When your parents ask you to go visit your grandparents but you would rather die than deal with the small talk, say yes! (We’ve all been there.)
Obviously you can’t say yes to every opportunity that comes your way because it’s important to live within your means, but the point is that saying yes more often than saying no will allow you to experience things you might have never tried before, or reconnect with old friends who now you have a lot in common with, or see your grandparents who might give you money that visit…!
Be positive and open to new experiences. That’s what growing up is all about.