The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

Ways to (Literally) Escape from Reality: A Few of My Favorite Hobbies

A bowl that the author made during one of her recent summer art programs. Photo courtesy of Hannah Choy

It seems that with each passing year, each birthday celebrated, comes more responsibilities and less time to dedicate towards simply enjoying small moments and indulging in pastimes. Today’s society nearly demands you partake in this fast-paced lifestyle—speed is an expectation, constantly working is the norm, and we, as a whole, are always striving to be more efficient, more streamlined, more convenient.

High school students are no exception—we’re expected to continuously uphold the delicate balance that comes with juggling academics, extracurriculars, sports, musical talents, community service, clubs, and defining your “unique self”—all before we reach the ripe age of 18!

While it’s virtually impossible to avoid such standards, I’ve found solace in the “simple” hobbies that occupy my free time—activities that often rely on different series of repetitive motions, providing me with an almost meditative comfort.

As the hobby I’ve cultivated for the longest period of time, the first pastime I suggest is crocheting. I actually picked this up in elementary school after attending a summer workshop at my local public library, and rediscovered my love for it over quarantine. While picking up a hook and staring at the large ball of yarn in front of you can be daunting, projects are really composed of the same types of stitches, just arranged in different patterns and with slight variations.

The author’s pride and joy, her crochet hanging plant.
Photo courtesy of Hannah Choy

After learning a few basic stitches, you can pretty much create anything—almost all of my pieces were based on tutorials from YouTube! The slightly rough, coarseness of the yarn in between my fingers helps to ground me, and I love that I can visually track my progress as I progress with my project.

My next pastime is a bit of a “two in one,” being creating ceramics and painting the resulting product. Like crochet, this is another love that’s stuck with me throughout the years, albeit one that I wish I could engage in more often. Through art camps and school projects, I’ve developed a fondness for the malleability of clay—how you can shape anything out of the rectangular block you’re presented with. You have the flexibility to sculpt as your heart desires with handbuilding, or create more standard pieces with wheel throwing.

The concept of creating a usable end product, from mugs to vases, is incredible to me and further fuels my affection for this craft. Finishing off a piece with careful dabs of different colored glazes, or even textures through techniques like raku glazing adds to the novelty and relaxing nature of this pastime.

The third hobby I recommend—to no one’s surprise if you’ve seen the many related articles I have written on this subject—is baking. To me, the fundamental basis of baking is being able to read and follow a recipe. Similarly to science experiments, this task requires careful reading and comprehension (and quite possibly research) to execute the steps with precision. However, I find this experience quite relaxing and simple once you’ve comprehended each step and planned ahead, whether that be setting out butter to come to room temperature or purchasing the correct amount of powdered sugar called for by the recipe.

Baking is also ideal for those who have a creative streak and wish to translate their zeal into beautiful desserts. While brainstorming a design and meticulously perfecting each detail may seem taxing, I find that it takes my mind off my other worries/stresses because all of my efforts are concentrated on the task at hand.

Some confetti birthday cookies for a friend!
Photo courtesy of Hannah Choy

Overall, I find picking up hobbies based on menial basics, such as these, to be an excellent way to escape from the stress of everything else occurring in your life—at least for a brief period. I highly encourage you to try one of the pastimes I listed above, or to further explore the wide range of options available to you!

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About the Contributor
Hannah Choy
Hannah Choy, Editor
Hannah Choy (‘24) is a senior and editor of the Blue & Gold. In five years, she hopes to be happy wherever life has taken her, and is doing things she is passionate about. Her three favorite things are matcha, baking for loved ones, and Spotify friend activity!

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