If someone had asked me five years ago if I’d be interested in archery, I would have laughed. Me? With a powerful weapon like a compound bow? But last summer found me signed up in an adult introductory archery course at a local range for three weeks.
Between learning the parts of a bow, the different types, the proper stance and technique, and my aim getting better and better, I was surprised to find that I enjoyed every minute of it. I couldn’t believe how quickly the three weeks went by. And when time was up, it got me thinking: I loved trying something new, and perhaps this is a chance to branch out.
Now it’s a personal goal of mine to try something new every year, or revisit a hobby I once enjoyed. This fall it will be an acting course with our local community theatre. Next summer I’m planning to take a dance class.
It’s easy to fall into routine, but before we know it, it’s the same thing day in and day out. Why not try something new? Like me, you never know when you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Here are some things to get you thinking about and planning your next hobby:
1. Not sure where to start? Your town’s homepage or website is a good place to get that ball rolling. Or maybe you have a friend who has been insisting for weeks that you join her yoga class (even though you keep insisting you’ll never do yoga). Reach out to your group of friends – they often have the best ideas.
2. Check with local organizations in your area. My archery experience happened almost by chance: I saw an advertisement about it on Facebook and thought, what a neat idea. It may not be archery, but maybe you can join a bowling league, a book club, or a writer’s group at the local coffee shop.
3. Be open to new things. The key in finding a new hobby is being open to different things. As our mothers once told us, you’ll never know if you like something until you give it a try. I was opposed to anything involving sportsman-like skills (I don’t hunt, fish, etc.), but I learned that archery is so much more than that.
4. Be proactive. You have to be in attendance. If you signed up for a stargazing night with the conservatory in your city, make sure you go. It takes a while to commit sometimes, but you have to give everything the time it deserves before it really becomes a part of your life.
5. Found something that interests you but feeling shy? See if you can have a buddy join you! A friend of mine took those archery lessons with me, and we had a blast together.
6. If all else fails, think about your curiosities in life. I’m sure you can think of one thing that has always mystified you. That’s a good place to start. Have you wondered how buildings are constructed? Maybe volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. You’d be doing a good deed, finding a new hobby, and I’d bet making some new friends in the process. Or maybe you don’t get all the hype about art. Join a pottery class at an art museum in your community.
Whatever hobby you choose to seek out, don’t despair and don’t have expectations. I certainly had no idea what to expect with archery lessons, but it turned out spectacular in the end. I had a good time, I gained appreciation for what is a very precise skill, and I found a new topic I can converse about with others.
Now I’m looking forward to that dance class next summer. I haven’t decided what kind of dance yet, but hey, that’s part of the fun, right? New hobbies present a new chapter as a twenty-something. Be open to finding something new for your life, and I know you’ll have a well-rounded experience as a result.