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Students enjoy, participate in various activities

Courtesy Radke family

Freshman Seth Radke catches a 7 pounds, 4 ounces fish at Hensley Lake during the spring of 2019. Radke spends time fishing with his dad outside of school.

Beyond school hours, freshmen often occupy their free time with extra-curricular activities. Some of these diversions include sports, video games, arts and bike riding. 

The Feather Online ran a poll for the freshman class during English periods, asking them what activities occupy their after school hours for entertainment, Sept. 25. Out of 57 first-year students, 56 responded to the poll.

Students were told to pick three activities or write out things that occupy their time. Approximately 71% of the students said their main activities were sports, although 46% said video games and 53% said personal interests occupied much of their leisure time.

Sarah Hamaker, a certified leadership parenting coach and a trained Bible coach, wrote an article entitled “Kids today don’t have hobbies. Here’s why they should.” In her article published on Patheos in 2018, Hamaker shares her research and views on the importance of hobbies and how their popularity is diminishing.

But nowadays, I’ve noticed that fewer kids have hobbies,” Hamaker said. “Plenty of children and teens are involved in organized, adult-led after-school activities and sports, but the number who pursue a hobby or regular activity just for their own enjoyment has dwindled.”

“Hobbies can help children learn life skills, such as creativity, cognitive thinking, and problem-solving,” Hamaker  continued. “In addition, hobbies give kids a safe place to practice self-regulation, patience and creative expression without worrying about grades or impressing people.”

A campus student since kindergarten, Seth Radke, ‘23, loves video games, fishing with his dad and drawing. Radke’s favorite hobby is to go fishing with his dad at Millerton and Hensley lakes.

“I have to fiddle around with my homework to see if I can get it done,” Radke said. “Fishing, because my dad and I love to go fishing after school. My dad and I go fishing a lot over the weekends. Hensley Lake is a little murky but that is where the biggest fish that I have ever caught in my life are.”

Out of 56 students, four said their hobbies included fishing or hunting. Radke says he remembers the biggest fish he caught was two feet, seven pounds and two to five ounces. 

Courtesy Bessey family

Elise Bessey, ’23, along with her sister Emi Bessey, ’25, enjoy sharing their music regularly with senior living residents.

Sports was the most popular after school choice as 40 out of 56 students were involved in athletics. Thirty indicated they had their own hobbies, while 28 wrote they played video games.

In the comment section of the poll, several students wrote they volunteer at elderly homes or took dance or were on dance teams, while others penciled in they play drums or other musical instruments.

A campus student since seventh grade, Elise Bessey, ‘23, enjoys cooking, band and helps at homes for the elderly.

“Hobbies that I personally like are baking and drawing but lessons I like to do are dance or karate and I do a lot of orchestras and bands and stuff like that,” Bessey said. “Once or twice a month, I help at elderly homes.”

Bessey’s great aunt plays piano for elderly homes around the Valley and brings her sisters to play for Fairwinds or the Windham, senior living communities.

“We have a lot of fun,” Bessey continued. “I think it is very important to have hobbies even if it is one or two hobbies; hobbies define who you are.”     

There is a diverse range of hobbies schools can provide like cheer, volleyball, soccer, basketball and many more. Students often try to make a bit of cash ether trying to sell things they have made or become a professional YouTuber, some also strive to be an expert gamer or even through their own small businesses. Some freshman are committed to gaming like Tyler Juve and Zachary Vanderlinden

Courtesy Obwald family

Kirra Obwald, ’23, (left) awaits an incoming serve during a Fresno Christian junior varsity volleyball game.

A student involved in many activities, Cooper Saelzler, ‘23, plays drums for the school worship team and serves as a leadership student.   

“I like to play volleyball with my dad after school and I like to drum,” Saelzler said. “I play drums for the school’s worship team. I get to play volleyball with my dad every day after school. I’m able to do my hobbies because I don’t have to focus on sports at school so it is easier to have time to do my hobbies.” 

While homework often takes up a majority of their time at home, students still find time for their hobbies. Out of 56 students, nine said their hobbies included art, like Annabelle Counts, Aidan Munoz and more. 

Kirra Obwald, ‘23, plans to be involved in sports and leadership, and was junior high president during eighth grade year. Obwald plans to play sports during all three seasons available.

 “I play a sport usually all three seasons,” Obwald said. “I’m coming close to the end of my volleyball season so I do that after school as well as homework and volleyball. I play soccer and run track. I don’t have the most time after school but before bed I read a book. I think keeping a hobby will help a lot and it gives you something to look forward to.”  

In The Feather’s poll, students shared their commitments to play sports while many play multiple sports. More exotic ones included professional climbing, free-riding quads/dirt bikes, filmmaking, fishing and hunting.

According to Obwald and Bessey, hobbies are important for students to keep. Hobbies keep their entertainment and spare time for things they enjoy.

While freshmen have to adjust to high school academics, according to The Feather poll, 54 out of 56 student have kept or started new hobbies. Do you have a hobby? Tell us in the comments below!

For more articles, read Join the Discussion: Fresno City College Journalism Day fall 2019 or New fall activities, opportunities enhance friends, family outings. 

Micah Friesen can be reached via email. 

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