“So what do you like to do for fun?” I used to dread getting asked this question. It was at this point in the conversation that the other person will discover how much fun my life was not. I would normally respond with a vague generalization on how much I love listening to music and reading whatever wikipedia page captures my interest or how inspiring TED talks were. The reality was that I had no “fun” hobbies. I poured myself into my studies and focused too much on the academic side of school that I neglected the part of me that yearned for creative expression and well, having fun. The realization made me upset. I wanted to grow in ways that helped me become a more well-rounded person, and I can proudly say that I did just that during the summer before my first-year of university.

So how did I go from living a dull life to a much more eventful one? I started off by making a list of my general interests and things that I’ve always wanted to try but never had the time to…or at least that was the excuse that I kept making, I think I was just a bit too scared to jump into unknown waters. This is what I came up with:

  1. Acting
  2. Dancing
  3. Yoga
  4. Working out

The first week of summer consisted of me spending countless hours searching for affordable classes that I could take and not giving up until I found the one for me. I eventually found a 2-week beginner acting course that I ended up enjoying. Was my bank account crying after paying for it? Yes, however, I don’t regret taking it because I believe that spending your money on experiences, rather than material objects are far more fulfilling in the long run.

Aside from acting, I also took drop-in beginner dance classes in downtown Toronto at the Underground Dance Centre. I suggest that you check out their website for more information on the classes that they offer and during what days and time slots they take place. I remember my very first class, in which I took hip hop. I immediately made friends with a girl that I met in the change room, which calmed my nerves a bit. I haven’t danced since 2004, when I was a little ballerina in my pink tutu and ballet shoes. I was surprised to discover that remembering the choreography was a challenge for me, even though dancing hasn’t been a part of my life in a decade. I ended up having a blast. Who knew working out could be fun? Ever since then, I’ve done contemporary, house, and Beyoncé…the last one sounds like I’m joking but I’m not. The class is actually called Beginner Beyoncé and it’s my favourite class so far. I highly recommend the studio if you want to make dance a part of your life too! Here’s a link to their Instagram page.

Because I was willing to step out of my comfort zone and push myself, I learned that I was capable of so much more. I now have a fun activity as a stress reliever, which I’ll be needing a lot of as a university student. It’s a lot better than eating the stress away with junk food which I used to do before….okay I still do it on occasion but at least I’m much more active now right? What I want you to learn from my experiences is that it’s never to late to start a hobby, and putting yourself in uncomfortable situations isn’t always a bad thing. On the contrary, it gives you an opportunity to grow as an individual and experience the infinite possibilities that life has to offer. Don’t ever let fear stop you!