For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Aug 23 2017
by Natasha Beauchesne

7 Extracurriculars to Take Up if You Want to Be More Artistic

By Natasha Beauchesne - Aug 23 2017
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The amount of media the average American consumes per day is about seven and a half hours. Considering Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Netflix and every other medium available to us today, we spend a huge amount of our time looking at or listening to other people's creations. What about making our own stuff? If you're feeling like you need a creative outlet or are just sick of refreshing your Twitter feed every five minutes, here are seven creative hobbies to try out instead. 

1. Stand Up


Who doesn't enjoy a good laugh? And on that note, who doesn't enjoy making others laugh? Practicing stand-up comedy is not only a good way to stay artistic and to create something uniquely your own. It's also a great way to exercise your funny bone, gain confidence and release stress. If you're looking for a place to start, try scoping out your school's drama department or researching local stand-up comedy clubs. If you're looking for some tips, here's a video of Louis C.K. giving his best tips for beginners. 

2. Improv 


If public speaking is one of your biggest fears, then improv might be just the hobby to take up. Improv (or improvisational) theater is the art of performing without planning what to do or say beforehand. If that sounds scary to you, it's because it is – at first. However, practicing improv is a great way to unleash your true, creative self. Because you don't have time to plan or overthink things on stage, you're forced to just go with the flow and make things up as you go along. If you choose to pick up improv as a hobby, you'll also meet a lot of other creative, outgoing people who are all looking to challenge themselves. If you're interested, check and see if your college or local community offers any classes on improv. It's a hard hobby to practice by yourself. 

3. A capella


A capella is the art of singing a song – with only your voice as the instrument. For some good examples, see here for a group singing Disney songs or here for a great rendition of Shape of You. In addition to being a lot of fun to perform and listen to, it's also a very beneficial hobby. A study conducted by Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel in 2010 indicates that: 

Music is the most accessible... medium of art and healing... In particular, music therapy has been shown to decrease anxiety. The pleasure shared by participants in the healing process through a music therapy program can help to restore emotional balance as well. There is also evidence of the effectiveness of auditory stimulation, together with a strong suggestion that such stimulation abolishes pain, as a strategy for achieving control over pain...

Performing a capella will help you unleash your more creative side in no time, as you're forced to think outside the box and often work with others in order to recreate the sound of instruments using only your voice. If you're interested in learning about more of the benefits of a capella, see this article. And, if you want to get a head start on learning the basics, click here. 

4. Art 


Before you start complaining that you "can't draw" or you can only draw stick figures, hear me out. Creating visual art is one of the most easily accessible creative hobbies out there. Unlike improv or stand up or even a capella, art can be done alone, without the expectation of an audience viewing it. It can also be practiced anytime or anywhere. All you need is some paper and pencils and you're ready to go. Most campuses have art clubs, which is a great way to socialize and meet other people who are also creating artwork in their free time. In addition, you might want to join a craft club. Craft clubs can consist of various different crafts, ranging from making simple holiday decorations to creating massive crocheted blankets. But in reality, you don't need to join one of these clubs in order to start crafting or drawing. Ever seen something really cool on Pinterest that you wanted to make? Try it out! Want to learn how to draw? Start practicing! For some inspiration, check out this girl's channel to see some of the insane artwork and crafts she makes. 

5. Baking