In college I had few responsibilities. As far as my actual degree goes, my only real responsibilities were to learn and get passing grades. Socially, I pretty much just played basketball and went out with my friends. And partying in our dorms was all fine and good… until we turned 21. And then we went out to explore the bars and clubs, and we spent boatloads of moolah on drinks and covers and the like. Please, stop me if this sounds familiar. Fiscally speaking, I like to think that it was an expensive hobby of experience collecting to check out the various alcoholic establishments in my fair city (and bolster my friendships).
Now, years have passed since I was but a budding twenty-something youth and my interests have changed a bit. The Girlfriend and I have picked up a new hobby: swing dancing. We both enjoy dancing, and not just that grinding club style, although that has it’s place too. ;) A great side effect of this dancing stuff though, is just having a cheap, social hobby in which we can meet people or just go to have some drinks and have some fun.
Let me give you an example. The Girlfriend and I recently went to Seattle. I have a friend who lives up there and she took us out to dinner one night. Lo and behold, the restaurant (The Tin Table, in the Capitol Hill district, was located in an old Oddfellows building that housed various other businesses. One of those businesses was in the Century Ballroom that was used as a nightly dance floor that had different music depending on the day. I’m talking older styles of dance, like east coast swing, lindy hop, salsa, tango, etc. So of course, we had to check this place out. On Sunday night, we stepped into the ballroom for the all swing dance (east/west/lindy hop, basically) night. At $7 a head, this was neither the cheapest, nor most expensive cover I’ve ever paid. But the dance floor was alive and kickin’ from 9pm until… whenever they felt like closing it seemed.
I think many post-grad twenty-somethings hit a point where they feel like their lives have become stagnant. As a friend of mine so elegantly put it (paraphrased) with regards to having a routine of working and having a few outside hobbies that you do all the time, “You’re ok with having a day-to-day routine. The week-to-week is acceptable. Month-to-month you’re sort of iffy on, but you’ll live. Year-to-year scares the hell out of you!” The only thing I can say about this is that a) It seems to be true for many twenty-somethings. and b) You have the power to change this.
Try expanding your horizons and looking into some activities you’ve never done before but find kind of interesting. Maybe you’ll even save a buck or two when you find a new hobby and stop bar hopping every weekend. And maybe you won’t. Big deal. As another friend of mine said, “money is for having experiences anyway.”
Just for fun, here’s a clip of some sweet Lindy Hoppers: