Student hobbies benefit mental health


Hobbies allow students to have an outlet after school, sports, extracurriculars and in everyday life. They let students entertain themselves with activities they enjoy and provide them with a way to learn new skills. Whether they become useful life skills or are purely for entertainment, hobbies help students expand their horizons and knowledge. There is also no limit to how many one can have! But what are some of the hobbies students here at Freedom Area High School have? 

Many students have hobbies, as they can be a way to relieve stress from a rigorous schedule or work load. Many of these hobbies are shared by students and engaged in together. One of these groups includes senior Carter Altvatter, who likes to skateboard alongside his senior friends Chaz Chandler and Zach Edwards. 

“I like skateboarding because it keeps me active and it encourages me to push myself to new limits. Skateboarding has introduced me to so many new cultures and has allowed me to connect with some genuine and talented people,” Altvatter said. 

Being with a group of people can allow students to be more active in their hobby endeavors and make new friends. Many students enjoy art related activities like drawing, painting, sculpting and more. Students like juniors Lilly Burgess and Vera Armenio both enjoy engaging in art activities.

I like to draw a lot, whether it’s on my ipad or a full blown painting. I do it because it’s just so fun to be able to express myself and draw anything I think of. Plus, it’s just pretty cool to make something completely original and unique to me,” Burgess said. 

Drawing and art in various forms can be therapeutic for many. According to, “Art therapy is a tool therapists use to help patients interpret, express and resolve their emotions and thoughts.” 

“My biggest hobby is definitely art! I’ve been trying not to constrict myself to a certain style recently, but I really enjoy painting cinematic photography scenes. Art allows me to express myself and as a student. I think that having a creative outlet is really healthy, and it makes me very happy to do so,” Armenio said.

There are a number of other hobbies students enjoy, from baking, playing games and being a plant person. Each of these are unique in their own sense and can be very beneficial to student mental health. 

“Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood and depression. Activities that get you out and about can make you feel happier and more relaxed. Group activities like team sports can improve your communication skills and relationships with others,” said. 

Sports and group activities are also very common hobbies. Several students enjoy engaging in sports in and outside of school, from club teams to simply playing with friends at a local park. 

“My hobbies are track and baking because they keep me occupied, and they give me something to do because I like to challenge myself and achieve my goals,” sophomore Autumn Taylor said. “I started track this year because I’ve always loved to run, and I figured, ‘why not.’”

Sophomore Payton Bickerstaff also enjoys her sports and team related hobbies, like gymnastics.

“I started gymnastics when I was four, and I started track freshman year. I like being with my friends, but I also like the challenge and being good at them,” Bickerstaff said. 

No matter the hobby or activity, students should enjoy doing what they love and having outlets to do so. Hobbies can be a relaxing way to do physical activity or get one’s mind off a crazy schedule, any time of the day.