Features editor casts the line for old, new hobbies

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A couple weeks ago my roommate Jordan and I drove about 20 minutes west of campus to the town of Fairview hoping there’d be a good pond to do some bass fishing, since we hadn’t had any luck at the Bay Front.

The pond we found was actually incredibly nice and clearly somewhat of a popular spot seeing all the people there fishing and kayaking. We just didn’t catch any fish.

I guess that means we weren’t really fishing and instead just casting our lines around the entire perimeter of the pond for about an hour and a half. Despite our lack of success, we still enjoyed it.

In fact, this summer fishing became one of my favorite things to do in my free time. A buddy of mine from an old job, Nick, had always been crazy about it.

Since we were the only two college-aged employees on a golf course grounds crew, we did a lot of the grunt work together and once in a while he’d tell me his latest fishing story — whether I wanted to hear it or not.

Even on days when it poured and we were told we could go home, he’d go down to the water hazard on the second hole to try and catch something. I had never fished before so I would tell him we should go, sometimes half-heartedly.

We never went that summer, but this year I finally gave him a call about it. Golfing more than once a week wasn’t very kind to my wallet and I wanted to find a new way to enjoy some time outside. We ended up going at least once a week from that point on and had a lot of good times.

It was pretty nice to adopt a new hobby that it seems like most people either get into in their childhood or not at all. It wasn’t the first time that’d happened, either.

Up until my senior year of high school, the only thing that even came close to a hobby for me was baseball, and that kept me decently busy year-round. I eventually had to stop playing due to injury and wanted to find something to do with all my new free time, so on some sort of a whim I went out and bought a guitar.

A lot of people are discouraged from learning an instrument later in life because there’s this idea that it’s so much easier to learn as a child. But whether that’s true or not isn’t any reason to not at least give it a shot. Now a couple years later, it’s not only a hobby of mine but one of my favorite things to do, period.

I’ll admit that as excited as I was, I was a little discouraged to go fishing at first. It was pretty humiliating to be 20 years old and failing miserably at just casting the line the first time we went.

But I look back a few summers ago at how reluctant I was to join Nick fishing and then at how good of an outcome it was and feel pretty silly and yet a little wiser because of it. Even though it’s a little cliché to say it’s never too late to start something new, it’s been true in my case more than once.