Tag Archives: hobbies

Keeping Busy and Appreciating Athens

Reagan Richardson

Reagan Richardson,
Junior, Energy Engineering

Athens, OH 30 March 2020

Instead of focusing on all the negative or scary changes the world is going through right now, I want to talk about some personal positives. Through all of this I have found that it’s important to keep myself “busy” and outside of class I’m trying to keep my screen time down.

To fill my time, I’ve started picking back up hobbies that I used to enjoy and starting some new ones and I wanted to share what I’ve been up to.

I’ve always enjoyed puzzles so over the span of a week I spent a couple hours a day putting together and finishing a 1000-piece puzzle.


I’ve also taken walks around campus to stay active, see everything bloom, and watch the sunset.

Athens Sunset

Athens Sunset

Athens Sunset

Athens Sunset

Currently I’m painting a paint by number of an owl, but I’m just getting started on that.

These are just a couple things I’ve been doing to relax and take my mind off things. Like everyone else I am eager to return to “normal”, but until then I am finding new interests every day.

License Plates

JKay Dunlevy

Kay Dunlevy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 January 2020

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with the license plate game. For those who don’t know, this game involves trying to find as many different license plates as possible. But this is not to be taken lightly – there are rules:

  • Every US state is 10 points. Each state can only be counted one time.
  • A license plate from a US territory, Canada, Native American tribe, or Mexico is only 1 point, but a plate from each specific region can be counted up to ten times.
  • Other plates are 20 points and can only be counted one time.
  • The license plate must be on a vehicle and seen in person by the one playing the game.

Since I’ve been going to OU, I’ve had one goal: find license plates from every state while in Athens. And let me tell you—this journey has been exhilarating.

Of course, the longer I’m in school, the harder it is to find new license plates. When I started my senior year, the pressure was really on—I only had one more year to find every license plate before leaving. The best chance of finding difficult plates is at graduation, but waiting until the last minute like that is a dangerous game fraught with risk. So, I enlisted the help of friends to help me with my quest.


This tactic proved to be extremely effective—whenever someone saw a cool license plate, they’d call me and tell me where it was so I could run to see it myself. For example, I was only able to find Arkansas and the elusive Hawaii plate because my friends were looking out for me!


Overall, I had a lot of fun trying to find all these plates and bringing my friends along with me. Not only have I found all the states, I’ve found places like Great Britain and the Choctaw Nation too! If you’re a license plate hunter, I would recommend coming to Athens—for a small town, it’s surprisingly diverse!

Hobbies for a Break from School Work

Alexis Lanier

Alexis Lanier,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 March 2019

In my last blog post, I talked about my first coaching experience as an assistant coach for a 7th and 8th grade girls’ basketball team. A couple of weeks after my post, we had league tournaments, and the 8th grade girls ended up winning for the second year in a row. Each round into the tournament the games got more intense, and it was an incredible experience seeing the excitement on the girls’ and the fans’ faces after they won.

Now that basketball is over and I don’t have to drive to practice or games 3-4 times a week, I have more free time to enjoy some of my other hobbies. Going to class all day and then doing homework for hours after class is exhausting, so to get a breather from school work I love to go to Ping and work out with my sister. Most days I dread going because I convince myself I am too tired or too busy but luckily, I have my sister to help motivate me, and afterwards I always feel better.

I think the gym is a perfect break from school work and it definitely boosts my mental health. Although I usually only have about an hour of free time to go, it is a great mental break that helps me feel refreshed and less stressed.

Another hobby I have been pursuing this semester is robotics. Dr. Bob, a mechanical engineering professor has allowed two of my friends and me to work with his industrial robot, Baxter. So far, we have just been learning the basics like programming him to move to certain coordinates and grab objects. However, recently we have started to work with his camera sensors, and are planning to program him to recognize a certain object and sort it from other objects.

For the Renaissance Engineers Engineering Day, we programmed him so that we could control his movement with a Playstation controller. The kids loved making him move around and tried to get him to do dance moves like dabbing or flossing.

All in all, despite all the homework and studying it’s been an incredible semester so far and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester has in store!

Learning the Guitar

Mollie Whitacre

Mollie Whitacre,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 1 December 2017

My family lives in a pretty centralized area, except for my aunt and uncle who happen to live in Texas. I very rarely get to see them, so where an opportunity arrives, I have to be sure to take it. Just to my luck, they took a trip back to Ohio to see the family before the holidays! I was able to go home for the weekend and have a great gathering with them.

The coolest part about this whole trip is that I recently just started learning guitar and my uncle is a wizard on the six string. I can play the basic chords and such, but when my uncle pulled out my guitar and started playing all sorts of songs, it was hard to be anything else but amazed!

I took in every second of being able to learn subtle movements or finger placements to make chords easier, and also, he was telling me some of the best ways to learn. He was also sharing to me about the guitars he has. I was just amazed at how talented he was and that I never knew this information about him, even when all of the times we have seen each other.

I am looking forward to being able to see him next time and hopefully impress him with getting better at the guitar.

A New-Found Passion

Gyasi Calhoun

Gyasi Calhoun,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 23 October 2017

As a computer science major, it is almost necessary, and expected to code outside of work and or school. I feel that as a computer science major, we have the ability to create whatever we want with the ease of opening a computer screen, and this can come as an advantage and disadvantage. However, I decided to step outside the norm, and try vlogging as my new hobby, and coding outside the classroom has taken a back seat.

The reason behind my new hobby, and passion is a one-time (and still kind of present) dream of being an actor. I also love talking, film production, and being an inspiration to someone out there looking for some inspiration, so I figured all these characteristics of what I enjoy fall under the YouTube-Vlogger-Life umbrella.

I’ve found that I really enjoy this form of art, and creativity. You never really know what you like and how passionate you are if at all about something until you try it for 30 days.

To be honest I didn’t really go into this new-found hobby with many expectations, and goals besides putting content out there for people to watch. However, I learned that vlogging takes a lot of work and time, but there is this amazing feeling of accomplishment I get whenever I upload a vlog, no matter how many people decide to view it or not.

What I’m trying to say is, no matter your major or job you have to do something in life that you would do for no money, and if no one else cared or liked it besides you.