As you prepare for the journey to college, you already know some of the things you need to make your application stand out. You’ve got your AP classes. You’ve got your volunteering. You’ve got your sports and school clubs. And now, it’s time to think about hobbies.
Aren’t hobbies just for fun and relaxation? Sure! But they can be so much more, too. Finding a hobby that you enjoy and works with your strengths can help you:
- Make new friends with similar interests
- Network with influencers in your field
- Learn important entrepreneurial skills
- Inspire you to start a business
Here are 7 hobbies to try that go beyond the every day and the ordinary.
What is it? Origami is the art of paper folding. It comes from Japan, where it’s been practiced for hundreds of years.
How to get started: You can buy dedicated origami paper online, but if you just want to try it out you can use regular printer paper. You’ll have to resize it from a rectangle to a square, but that’s not too hard.
Can you make money from it? Yes! Once you get the hang of making specific shapes, such as cranes or boats, you can customize your origami by size and color. From there, you can sell your finished pieces individually or in bulk.
2. FAIRY GARDENS
What is it? Fairy gardens are fun little homes for fairies that you design and create yourself. They’re used in home gardens to add whimsy, on hiking trails to mark interesting trees or rest areas, or to liven up any other natural area.
How to get started: It doesn’t take much, which makes this an ideal hobby for anyone who wants to start something new TODAY. You can build a house out of pieces of wood or tree bark. Add buttons, gems, or jewelry you have around the house that won’t be missed. Make little animal friends or furniture out of clay.
Can you make money from it? If your fairy houses look good enough, you can sell them to gardeners. Otherwise, this hobby is mostly for fun. Leave your fairy houses along nature trails the next time you go hiking.
What is it? From sock puppets to more intricate marionettes, puppets have been around for ages. They can be a lot of fun for kids and adults alike!
How to get started: Find a sock and a marker and you’re all set. Want to do more? Try finger puppets, shadow puppets, stick puppets, or – if you’re really ambitious – marionettes.
Can you make money from it? Absolutely. Hire yourself out as entertainment at kids’ parties. Make videos telling stories with puppets. Or get a job as an art counselor at your local day camp.
4. PAINTING AND DRAWING
What is it? Go beyond your grade school art class and give yourself the space to really master a visual art style. There are plenty to choose from:
- Old masters
- Comic book style
- Business logos
How to get started: Your local community college probably offers evening and weekend classes. Or teach yourself through free online videos.
Can you make money from it? Technically, yes. Realistically, probably not. Good art is always in demand, whether for home décor, book covers, or websites, but don’t count on becoming a millionaire from it.
5. SPEED CUBING
What is it? Do you find Rubik’s Cubes too easy? Do you think algorithms are fun? Like hacking? Then speed cubing might be for you! Speed cubing involves learning algorithms to put Rubik’s Cubes in order as quickly as possible. This hobby is great for improving hand-eye coordination.
How to get started: First, you’ll need a dedicated speed cube. The best way to learn about them is to check out some speed cubers on YouTube. CubeHead and JPerm are two of the most popular channels.
Can you make money from it? Unlikely. Once you get the hang of it you can enter competitions or make YouTube videos. But generally, this one is just a fun hobby that impresses anyone who can’t solve a Rubik’s Cube.
What is it? Sewing is a classic skill that has been around forever and will never really go away.
How to get started: You’ll need to learn how to sew. Do you have someone in your family that can teach you? Or know someone else who can? If not, check craft stores in your area for free or low-cost beginner classes.
Can you make money from it? YES! Everyone needs clothes. Make cosplay for fans. Make hats for pets. Make costumes for little kids. Make dresses for your friends. You have an almost unlimited supply of ways to make money from sewing.
7. GLASS ETCHING
What is it? Glass etching is the art of making designs on glass.
How to get started: Other than glass etching cream, you probably have most of the tools you need already at home. A few tips: don’t etch glass that’s important to anyone (like your parents’ wedding champagne flutes) and do this at a time and place where you’re unlikely to be interrupted or startled.
Can you make money from it? If you get good enough, then yes! Sell your unique designs online or make custom pieces of glass for special occasions.
What is it? Circuits, robots, lights, coding.
How to get started: Aside from taking apart old electronics and putting them back together (or making something entirely new), there’s no shortage of DIY electronics kits you can buy.
Can you make money from it? Once you get the hang of how things work and go together, you might be able to open a business fixing things for people. Just try not to create an AI that will take over the world, ok?
Whatever field you plan to pursue as you grow up, there’s a hobby out there that can help you along your path. Hobbies are great ways to keep yourself happy and occupied.
If you are a high school student in Florida with a passion for entrepreneurship, click here to find out more about the Kantner Foundation’s college scholarship program.