When your hobbies become a chore

stack of 5 notebooks in 2 piles with page divider ribbons hanging down

Reading so much for class often prevents me from doing so in my free time.

I absolutely love reading, and there is plenty of reading to be done in my degree. Don't get me wrong, this is not a complaint; I would much rather read dozens of pages than be subject to weekly assignments. Outside of my studies, I am also an avid reader. Literature is my greatest passion in my life, and the source of much happiness. But what happens when your favourite hobby starts to become a chore? 

Now that my class reading has increased significantly this year, I've found that my stamina has decreased. If I've spent a few hours in the day analysing passages of philosophy, I don't particularly want to relax with extra reading, especially since my own personal taste is often denser novels. Many weeks, I have exclusively read for class, choosing to spend any free time doing something else, like watching a video or hanging out with friends. 

As a result, I am beginning to gain some sense of guilt attached to reading for pleasure. I've started on a new novel recently, but every time that I pick it up, I tell myself that I am wasting time that should be spent on my class material. I've never struggled with making myself read because I love it so much, but now that there is an extra layer of guilt, it has become a difficult practice. 

But how silly it sounds in hindsight! I don't feel guilty when I'm spending time with my friends, nor do I stressfully believe watching a Youtube video is going to lower my grades, so why do I have this feeling attached to reading? Perhaps there is a sense that I should be enjoying my reading for my degree to such an extent that it should be the only reading that I choose to do. 

How do you remove this guilt attached to your hobbies? I'm almost certain that no vet student would hate taking their dog for a walk. And it sounds ridiculous to assume that computer science majors would be opposed to playing a video game. Maybe I need to look at this from another angle, and try to isolate the difference in reading for class and reading for pleasure.

Because, ultimately, they have completely different purposes, even if the content sometimes overlaps. I'm not sure if it will be an easy process to stop feeling guilty for doing what I love to do. But hopefully I get closer to this soon!

Tagged in What messes with your head