Asia Marina Burka ‘25
I hate it when people say that they’ve never experienced love. We have all experienced the joys and drawbacks of love. We just haven’t realized it yet.
Love is a concept with some areas that are still unexplored for many people. Indeed, most students on the Close have probably not experienced a romantic relationship. However, everyone on the Close has one branch of love: a hobby.
Mine is performing. The claps from the crowd, blinding brightness of a spotlight, sparkles and swishes of a costume, tiny vibrations of a vibrato, and each movement of the muscles in a finger are all beautiful. They can make a mediocre performance memorable. They are my serotonin.
Understandably, not everyone shares my love of performing. Others might enjoy horseback riding, gaming, playing an instrument, doing chess puzzles, or cosplaying. Even though the specifics of each activity are wildly different, we all share the same devotion.
My hobbies occupy my mind even when they shouldn’t, like when my fingers press into my bedsheets as if they were piano keys, or when my feet decide it would be a good idea to do a dance combination under the desk when I’m supposed to be focusing and taking notes. Often, I notice that my friends have these same little motions relating to their hobbies. One friend of mine is a drum player, and his fingers never cease to pat away at rhythms of sorts. Another friend of mine is a singer, and she can’t stop humming for the life of her––through the hallways, while pulling out her notes, and occasionally while drinking water. Hobbies are unlike any other kind of devotion.
While I spend hours practicing the same vocal run or doing adagio at the bar, others grind, build, battle, work out, and so much more, all to perfect a craft that is unique to them. If we didn’t love our time-consuming hobbies, then why would we do them? We wouldn’t.
Despite the pain, we still do our activities. I’ll admit that my friends often hear complaints about a swelling ankle or losing my voice. Even when we have a pile of schoolwork to do, we still get home at 8 p.m. due to rehearsals, sports games, or just hanging out with friends. We then study until one in the morning. and receive five hours of sleep. As someone who has frequent late nights due to hours at rehearsal, the extra ten minutes that I could use to study for physics tests are spent stretching. It’s a domino effect––the lack of sleep impacts my work, leading to even more sacrifice. As the recently and dearly departed composer, Stephen Sondheim, said: “art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.”
There aren’t enough hours in the day to do what I love, focus on my mental health and friendships, and make sure that my grades are good enough for college boards. I wish that even one of those things could be more accommodating. Often, people judge others and say that they spend too much time perfecting their craft and not enough time studying and vice versa. Life is all about balance. I don’t know about you, but my life would be nothing without doing what I love. While academics are important, so is this. Having a significant other or a perfect GPA is nice, but doing something you love, that you could do all day and never get bored of is so much better. Why can’t we have both?