Semester I Special Column: Interests bring students together, further learning

The Newtonite

by Hilary Brumberg
As high school students, it feels like not a lot in our lives is up to us.
Most of us wake up to our blaring alarm clocks, slam the snooze button at least a half dozen times, get up, go to school, come home, eat dinner, do homework and go to bed. Rinse and repeat.
One of the few things we get to choose is what we do in between these obligations. For many of us, outside interests are where we meet our friends, follow our passions and take pride in ourselves.
Hobbies can also be an opportunity to meet people who we might not otherwise meet. For example, maybe the kids you are in karate lessons with or play Dungeons and Dragons with don’t take the same classes as you, aren’t in your grade or don’t even live in Newton.
If it weren’t for your mutual love of karate or gaming, you would never have become friends with them and would have never learned from their diverse experiences.
There is only so much that can be learned in a classroom. Yes, students can gain a great deal of knowledge about birds and snakes in biology classes. But the students may only truly understand these animals once they’ve competed in bird-watching tournaments and raised snakes in their own living rooms.
Through hobbies, we students apply the knowledge we learn in the classroom and in life to gain an intimate appreciation of specific activities and subjects.
In addition, students often feel pride in their successes as a result of their hobbies because these successes truly belong to them.
Unless you have an amazingly perfect memory, there is no way that when you are a little old lady in a rocking chair looking back on her life, you will remember every test you crammed for, essay you wrote the night before it was due or every homework assignment you half-completed. However, chances are that we will fondly look back on completing our junior theses.
Similarly, you will remember with pride the times you went to Nationals for horseback riding or ballroom dancing.
In the end, hobbies give you the freedom to pursue your interests and to go beyond the parameters of school to discover your true passions.