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Does the mention of skating, football or guitar during study hours unnerve you a little bit? I know there’s a part of you that is jumping with excitement, but you have probably locked up those desires in one dingy corner of your heart! Well, you are not alone. With the ever-increasing academic pressure and the importance of marks and grades, students want to be well-placed within the educational system. So, most of them land up studying more and staying away from hobbies and activities that would consume their precious time.

But, does concentrating on academics alone guarantee success for students? Maybe not! Overall exposure and development go a long way in shaping up a personality. Trust me, studying effectively is not always about sitting at a desk by yourself, stooping over a book with one hand clutching your unkempt hair and drilling definitions into your brain! The journey can be more beautiful if you wake up listening to the first chirps of the morning as you finish comparing lecture notes with textbook content or play take that long overdue bicycle ride before diving deep into stacks of books!

Read about our fun article Most Common Hobbies of IITians You Should Develop.

Here are at least the top 6 reasons why pursuing your hobbies is as important as studying:

Relieving Stress

Even machines tend to shut down when they need to cool their system. Students are only human. They need to relax and rejuvenate their internal set up too and more often than realised. A hobby in the form of a sport, playing a musical instrument, painting, craft or dance, can refresh and calm their minds, preparing them for the next set of challenges. When a person paints, draws or reads books while being under extreme stress, it helps in detaching from the world and the inane flurry of activity all around.

You can also read up on some games which are the best stress busters.

A Chance to Connect with Your Real Self

Perhaps one of the best active ways to get in touch with yourself is to explore yourself through your hobby. It does not matter as much what your hobby is than having a hobby of your own. It is the private time you have with yourself. Interestingly, when you have a hobby, you will strive to create time for yourself and manage your schedule well to keep that appointment with yourself. While pursuing your hobbies, you leave the different roles behind and give yourself some time to connect with your own soul.

A Life-Long Pleasure

Gone are the days when people thought of pursuing their hobbies only when they grew old. Remember that while you are young, you have more ability and agility to learn a hobby. If you have pursued a certain hobby at a younger age, you would continue to do so well into the old age. By then, your hobbies land up becoming your second nature, thus making your life more fulfilling forever.

Building Social Skills

Unlike in academics where children are pitched against each other and encouraged to perform individually, learning a new skill or a sport teaches children the importance of teamwork, compassion and coexisting. Healthy communication and confidence follow too. A well-rounded, cheerful personality is more preferred than a bespectacled nerdy student who is immersed in papers and books all the time.

Recognition of Talents

The world wouldn’t  have had a Sachin Tendulkar or an A.R. Rahman if their parents would have asked them to concentrate only on their studies. It’s important for children to explore a couple of skills & hobbies to identify their strengths and learn to focus. These hobbies may take them much ahead in their lives than their degrees sometimes.

Raising Self-Esteem

Extracurricular activities help in increasing a child’s self-worth and self-esteem. Most psychologists would agree that a sound self-esteem is a solid foundation on which a future can be built. When children step out in the world at large, they need to be geared up to handle all kinds of pressures that are not necessarily academic. Learning various skills helps in stimulating the brain overall, making children healthier and happier.

Try to read a book during your lunch time or reading while travelling. Schedule some time on your weekends to practice singing or playing the guitar. While studying for your exams, try to take small breaks and listen to music. If pursuing your hobbies in one big chunk is not possible, break it up into small chunks of time and try to connect to your spirit.

Studies reveal that people who cultivate hobbies are less likely to suffer from anxieties, rage, depression and other negative feelings. Just as physical exercise is important for the body, cognitive relaxation, i.e. relaxation of the mind is also essential. The creative forces of energy present in everyone should not be repressed.

So, go ahead; plant a hobby today. It is a gift you can give to yourself for the rest of your life.

You could also read about why joining a hobby club during college is a good idea here.

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