We all deserve a break!



Studying can be very difficult. It can be extremely draining on our mental and physical health, especially if you do not have a hobby that you love on the side. We spend a lot of our younger years in education yet we are always told that this is our time to truly explore and live life. It is easy to make education the entire focus without enjoying the free and discounted opportunities around us.

Personally, my hobbies are a way for me to relieve any stress as well as to connect with myself. I learn so much more about how I am feeling through my art, how I love being active through dance and how important self expression is to me through music and fashion. There are so many hobbies that I have developed since secondary school to help me in different elements of my life.

“There are gaps of free time in my schedule, once I have slotted in the tasks that I ‘must do for everyone else’, in which I fill with tasks and hobbies for myself. “


Sometimes, we feel like we do not have the time for hobbies, I certainly feel that way at times. Balancing university alongside my external work is difficult. My method involves planning a week ahead, this includes making a list of my ‘must do’s for everyone else’ and my ‘must do’s for myself’. The first category includes tasks for university and external work while the second includes my hobbies and personal tasks. There are gaps of free time in my schedule, once I have slotted in the tasks that I ‘must do for everyone else’, in which I fill with tasks and hobbies for myself. It is important to note that I do not always follow what has been scheduled but I am more inclined to do it because the intention to do the task has been set.

Many types of hobbies offer different types of benefits, here are some hobbies and their benefits:

Emotional and Mental

Activities like listening to music, painting, and photography have a positive effect on your overall mental and emotional wellbeing. Studies have shown that having hobbies, especially those that encourage self expression are linked to lower levels of depression.


Physical hobbies like jogging, swimming and yoga have physiological benefits as they help with an increase in energy, heart rate and brain function. There are other benefits of exercise that have a positive influence on your mental health too.

Social & Interpersonal

Trying out new places with friends and joining societies/clubs are ways that you can meet new people and develop existing relationships around you. These relationships are the foundations to having a support system, a place/ a group of people you can go to when in need.

Hobbies give us that escapism that is steeped in reality. We get a break from thinking about the homework/assignment deadlines, from the intensity and seriousness of education, from external life issues and most importantly from the side of us that pressures us to continue working tirelessly. We all need and deserve a break.

“We all need and deserve a break.”

What to do next? 

  • Schedule at least 30 minutes in your week dedicated to one of your hobbies.
  • If you are interested in doing this but are unsure of what your hobbies are, consider these questions:
  1. What things do you enjoy doing?
  2. What sparks your interest?
  3. What would you like to improve upon?
  4. What things did you enjoy doing in your childhood?




My name is Olamide and I am BEN’s new blogger. I am a first-year at the University of Oxford, St Anne’s College studying Classics.

My aspirations for BEN’s blog is to show Black Excellence in its entirety. Excellence in the Black community exceeds what we believe and see it to be, by merging the creative and non-mainstream industries with the already academic side of BEN we will be able to see this.