Making time for hobbies and responsibilities

I’m sure we have all faced the problem of hobbies clashing with required work. We want to do something, like playing video games or watching TV, then homework gets in the way. I had a few clashes with that, but, for the most part, have been able to manage. I get my homework done, then go watch shows and play games. For me, the main instance of this began over the summer.

I signed up for three accelerated classes for the 2017-18 school year, two of which required summer homework. I looked over my schedule and figured it was nothing I couldn’t handle. It wasn’t too difficult, just reading “Lord of the Flies” and taking some notes. I could easily spread that out over the course of the summer without any stress, and still have time for my hobbies. Then, my mother offered me some online art courses, one in watercolor and one in illustration. I’m an artist, so naturally I agreed. I wasn’t a huge fan of watercolor, but it was recommended that I take that course before illustration, so I did.

My amount of free time decreased drastically. At any point I had time to draw, I was expected to be doing watercolor. It was honestly frustrating, because I’m primarily a digital artist and had my own plans over the summer. I was so frustrated with watercolor, and soon my work was beginning to decrease in quality. Homework was taking much longer and began to seem much harder. I didn’t finish the watercolor course by the time the deadline rolled around, and I was disappointed in my inability to finish it.

Then came illustration, which I was actually handling much better, mostly because I was allowed to draw digitally. I did finish this course, as well as my homework, and was able to enjoy a week in Los Angeles.

That’s when I remembered something. My parents had signed me up for cross country, and practice was every day of the week. This worried me immensely, especially since I was taking three accelerated classes. I still did it, and would come home tired and sweaty.

Once school started, my worries were realized. Honors Chemistry and cross country were the things that consumed most of my time. I was still getting all my work in on time, but all my non-required pleasures were pushed back. Art became a weekend pleasure, with a few scarce moments to draw. Most of my other hobbies I haven’t done in nearly a month.

What’s to learn from this? At the end of it all, I’m enjoying Honors Chemistry and cross country. Neither of them are actually required, either. I chose to do them. They could help me get into a good college later and be a root to success. This is why I decided to do them. But, the work in these overrides my desire to do non-school related activities, like drawing. At the same time, the pressure to get that work done is increasing.

The moral is to try to create a balance between what you want and what you need, but don’t go so overboard you end up overwhelmed.

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