Opinion: Over the line?

Andrew Paulsen

Andrew Paulsen

Andrew Paulsen is a senior electronic media production major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

On Tuesday, history was made at the AMF Twin Star Lanes bowling center in Kent: I bowled the best game of my life.

To be exact — I had a high score of 177.

Before you all congratulate me on this feat or laugh at my achievement, there’s something I need to tell you. You know how I said in last week’s column (“Foreword to this forum”) that I’m taking seven classes this semester?

Well, don’t hate me, but one of those classes is Bowling.

I know. It kind of undermines the esteem and awe that typically accompanies a claim to taking seven classes in one semester. Do you think anything less of my final term of college now?

You’re taking seven classes and one of them is Bowling? I’m taking Ancient Maya Art and Archaeology and you’re complaining about a one-credit hour course?

No, hypothetical-nay-saying-anthropology student! I didn’t complain about my course load — I just stated that I have a busy semester.

It just so happens that some of my busy-work consists of knocking down pins on hardwood every Tuesday and Thursday. I think I’m a smart student for enrolling in the class and I’m glad that the university offers the course.

Why?

It gives me a chance to divert my attention from the stress of typical coursework to an activity that I enjoy. In fact, if you have the option to take a hobby as a class, I would recommend that you do so.

Kate Rice, of ABC News, researched the value of hobbies in her February 2011 “21st Century Family” series in the article titled “Hobbies Help.”

She cites Howard E.A. Tinsley, professor emeritus of psychology at Southern Illinois University, as saying, “Participating in leisure activities contributes to your physical and mental health and overall life satisfaction. You’re healthier, happier and more cheerful. You enjoy life more.”

Artist and writer Austin Kleon (author of Newspaper Blackout) posted an article on his blog in March 2011 about 10 things he wished he’d heard in college.

The fifth item on the list is “Side projects and hobbies are important.” Under that bullet point, Kleon says, “one thing I’ve learned in my brief tenure as an artist: it’s the side projects that blow up.”

I’m not saying that my bowling hobby will take me to a PBA tournament anytime soon, but in principle, if you get good at something you enjoy, it might lead to a breakthrough in your personal life or in your career — and even if it doesn’t, it will help keep you sane when life is stressful.

As an unrelated closing comment, I’m still anticipating my first hate mail or critique as a columnist, so be sure to tell me your informed opinion about my writing.

I’ve only received one response to last week’s article and it came in the form of a tweet from @StephNeumann: “I enjoyed your column in the Stater today! Important elections certainly show how many people have uninformed opinions.”

Thanks for tweeting, Stephanie!

Until next week, remember to take time for your hobbies and please tweet @AJPaulsen to share your thoughts or write an angry email to the address listed below.

Cheers!