Reviews | Hobbies-based courses are worth students taking

Students often overlook courses offered by the UI labeled as “lifetime hobby skills”. It is a mistake.


University student schedules are often similar to each other in the most obvious way.

Their schedules focus on completing prerequisites and coursework that usually go towards completing their majors. You very rarely tend to see students taking courses that are offered “just because”.

While some may say there’s no point throwing money at things that don’t go towards your degree, what’s the point of focusing on academics if you’re too exhausted in a semester or two to complete them? The “it doesn’t help my degree, so it doesn’t matter” mindset is a bad way to approach college in the first place. You are there to learn more than you need for your job, you are there to gain experiences that will help you in the long run.

It is a mistake. This mindset leads students to miss opportunities for personal growth, learning experiences, and stress relief. Students should be encouraged to take recreational courses offered at the University of Iowa.

UI offers courses that are not purely academic in nature. These classes, labeled under “Lifetime leisure skillsrange from scuba diving, gardening and hiking lessons to various sports such as football and martial arts.

In America, it’s already good known that students are increasingly focusing on pure academics, or worse, just their GPA.

Because Lifetime Leisure Skills courses operate on a Pass/Fail grading scale, they have no impact on your own GPA. Thus, students may be less inclined to pursue them.

This is a mistake and perhaps a consequence of how they have been told to think about academics and college in general.

The crisis of the overworked and overworked student has been known and discussed endlessly. Numerous studies prove time and time again that stressed students perform worse academically than those who are less stressed. There is a clear negative effect of stress on the mental health of students.

A good tactic to combat feelings of being stressed or overwhelmed has been to become physically active.

While not the same as having your own personal trainer, Lifetime Leisure Activities provide a good way for students with small interruptions to their schedule to exercise while they might not have done it otherwise. The excuse of “I feel too lazy to do a workout” doesn’t hold as much water when remembering the course, while not affecting the overall GPA, still goes on a college transcript .

Luckily, it’s not as if the courses offered by UI in the “Lifetime Leisure Skills” category have zero or low attendance overall. Often it seems that the places available in these classes fill up surprisingly quickly.

The benefits of leisure activities and ancillary activities are already extensively documented, it is reported to add up to 4.5 years to its own lifespan.

Still, it feels like the UI doesn’t inform freshmen about these types of courses unless those students inform themselves. The courses may not be at the top of the list to inform freshmen, but it seems that the students are not even informed about it.

It’s such a shame, considering that the first year as a freshman is the most stressful for some students. The myth of “Freshman Fifteen” was not created in a vacuum. It exists because it is so well known how stressful the life of a freshman is. Informing these incoming students about more laid back and relaxing leisure classes would definitely be a benefit to these students.

College life in America is notoriously difficult and stressful. Beyond the harmful obsession drilled into students’ heads about the importance of grades and how academics should be viewed, there are also social and life stressors.

Lifetime Leisure Skills courses may not affect one’s GPA or the degree they are pursuing, but taking them can provide rewarding experiences and a good way to relieve the stressful life of being a student here in Iowa.


The columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the editorial board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations with which the author may be involved.