How To Pick Up a Hobby


I remember roughly three years ago, I went looking for a new hobby by scrolling through the “list of hobbies” Wikipedia page. I landed on macramé, a type of textile made with knotting ropes. Lo and behold, I learned the technique, and the rest is history.

Okay, so maybe it isn’t quite that simple—my experience with picking up a new activity has had its ups and downs. But with a little persistence, it can be quite simple and enjoyable to find something new to do.

My favorite resource for learning new things is quick, cheap, and easy: YouTube tutorials. You can find a tutorial for nearly anything you may want to learn, whether that be bowling, coding, or lockpicking (here’s the first macramé tutorial I tried). Tutorials will usually lay out any materials you may need and guide you through the basics. Oftentimes they will link other resources below the video! Tutorials can typically be found for any skill level, and I continue to learn new techniques in macramé with every video I watch.

If you prefer more personal instruction, there’s a good chance that your local library can teach you! Here in Texas, the San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) network has an Events Calendar with all sorts of activities to participate in, including trivia contests, improv exercises, video game contests, music listening, and more! Though some of the events have been moved to virtual spaces due to the pandemic, these events can introduce you to a variety of interests in a supportive community. Furthermore, the SAPL has an Art Resource Center in partnership with the Southwest School of Art (SSA), which provides access to art resources, books, and journals for free to the public. The SAPL website also has guides dedicated to beginners interested in learning about graphic design, photography, cosplay, embroidery, and more through books and websites. Of course, libraries themselves also house a multitude of books that can teach you about anything from baking to hockey to physics. Through these free resources, public libraries are an invaluable resource in trying to find a new hobby.

My most recent project, completed after a hiatus from arts and crafts. Looks a little like it has an existential crisis, but oh well.

YouTube and public libraries both offer a multitude of resources that can help you pick up a new hobby, and more resources can be found through the Internet. Picking up a hobby can have its ups and downs—I certainly had struggles in learning the different knots, and even ended up dropping the activity for a year when things got busy. However, once I returned, it became a stress-relieving diversion to engage in. Whether you’re looking to discover a new talent or an outlet for frustration, it can always be exciting to engage in a new activity.