Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

OPINION: People need hobbies

Athena Marks

For the first 13 years of my life, I was a ballet dancer. And I loved it.

I loved being able to move, and use my body for art and expression. However, professional ballet is extremely competitive and the environment that surrounds advanced ballet can be grueling. Needless to say, it took a toll on my mental health and body image. But, I still loved the art of it all.

I have since stopped dancing, and found new passions and life paths. And while I am happy with the path I have set myself on, I still miss the art and movement.

This past semester, I started taking a beginning ballet class at Loyola, and I was almost shocked by how fun the class is. While I am definitely not in the shape I used to be, it feels good to move my body.

More than that, it feels good to do something for myself, something that I genuinely enjoy outside of the pressures which used to exist in that space. While I want to improve and grow as a dancer, the pressure of doing so is lessened by the absence of an overly competitive environment.

All this is to say, it’s important to do things for yourself and only yourself. It is important to find areas that give you joy, outside of the pressures of everyday life and career. It is important to have fun, it’s good for mental and physical health.

Hobbies are not always relaxing activities, in fact, I think the best ones require active work and effort. They give you a distraction, an area where you have no choice but to focus on the task at hand. In my experience, this forces me to take my mind off of whatever is pulling my subconscious attention.

Whether it is the stresses of school or work, or general anxiety and uncontrollable brain fog, I find it grounding to dedicate time to purposefully distracting myself.

And, there is an undeniable sense of satisfaction that comes from recognizing your own improvement and knowing that you are doing something well. Like landing a double pirouette and holding my head high with confidence. It might not be particularly impressive, but it is something that I can personally take pride in, an area where I can feel the satisfaction which comes with improvements.

As school and work, and life in general, gets more difficult and taxing these areas, little pockets of peace and relaxation become ever more important to find and cultivate.

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About the Contributors
Ava Acharya
Ava Acharya, Assistant News Editor
Ava Acharya is currently the Assistant News Editor at the Maroon. She has written for the Maroon numerous times. She is a Mass Communication major with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Political Science. Although she is originally from Northern California, Ava has since made New Orleans her home and embraces the Loyola community.
Athena Marks
Athena Marks, Chief Visual Artist
Athena Marks is the Chief Visual Artist at The Maroon. She is from New Orleans and majoring in Visual Communications. In her free time she enjoys sewing clothes, drawing, going on sunset walks, traveling and listening to music.

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