Self-taught stress relief

Senior finds joy in learning new skills


Bailey Groom

Photo Illustration by Bailey Groom

Story by Joseph Asher, staff writer

 A feeling of accomplishment rushes over her body as she finishes the last stitch. Thinking back to when she could barely finish one design, she stares at the embroidery she just completed in awe. Teaching oneself to do something can be difficult at times, but in the end, it is proof of what a person can achieve on their own.

From calligraphy to speaking fluent spanish and learning the art of embroidery, senior Emma Lindsay has an obsession with learning new hobbies. She has taught herself by practicing and watching youtube videos. Through trial and error, she has perfected these hobbies and made them a part of her skill set. 

“I enjoy embroidery, calligraphy, bullet journaling and I’ve learned how to speak Spanish,” Lindsay said. “I just love picking up new hobbies because you can improve yourself in a lot of different ways. It’s good for your mental health to take a breather and do things you actually enjoy [without] the stress of everyday life.”

Lindsay uses these newly learned hobbies to relax from the stress in her life, and she finds comfort in doing these hobbies. These hobbies are a tranquil escape and a good use of Lindsay’s extra time that she has in her life. Doing stuff she finds happiness in with each new hobby she picks up. 

“I think it’s important to take time for yourself when you may have a busy schedule, so when you have that free time, you are doing things you actually enjoy,” Lindsay said. “It can improve your mental health too and your happiness, at least for me it has.”

Although taking on just one new hobby can be challenging, for Lindsay, it was an easy feat. Teaching herself each step and leaving time for lots of practice made learning these hobbies 10x easier.  

“It’s actually surprising how easy it is [to learn these things] and [seeing] how many ways you can get creative after watching what other people do,” Lindsay said. “Youtube is a very good source of inspiration, and [it’s] where I learned how to do most of the hobbies I’ve picked up.”

In fact, Emma credits a lot of her new talents to the fact she watched so many Youtube videos about the hobbies she wanted to learn. 

“You can just look anything up, and it’ll probably be a video on Youtube,” Lindsay said. “Each of [the videos] are very helpful and are a motivation to get better [because you are] watching someone else already mastered in the field.” 

Picking up new hobbies may not create a huge lifestyle change for some people, but for Lindsay, it was significant. 

“I feel like I’m a better person because it not only takes skill to go into something new and excel at it, but it also takes confidence,” Lindsay said. “A lot of times I hear people say ‘I could never do that’ but if you put your mind to it you can do anything.”