What Do You Do For Fun?

There’s a particular company that I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing for multiple times that has always asked the question: “So, what do you do for fun?”

Well, dear recruiter, I draw. I’ve been drawing since elementary school, and can make awesome portraits, such as this guy, or this older piece. I sing, I was in an a cappella group called Perfect Fifth, and I somehow have 30,000+ views on my YouTube channel. I blog, I bake. I recently made a cheesecake (using an impressive one egg!). I’m an aspiring polyglot, and I like learning more about Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and French. I watch criminal dramas, anime, and Korean variety shows, and have a lot of catching up to do this break.

Just kidding.

While that’s true, I haven’t yet answered the original question in that way. Instead, I’ve hesitated. It’s a question I don’t expect, and I’ve had to sit there and think about how to answer it, how to make myself seem interesting. Each time, I end up saying something that I don’t necessarily believe in.

To me, those items are hobbies, but aren’t necessarily “fun”. They are things to do, they take up my time in a non-work way. Of course I enjoy them, but if they were fun, I would be doing a lot more of it and developing any one hobby into something significant and meaningful. Instead, I’ve become a jack of all trades, master of none.

In reality, building products and organizations, advising other students, creating close relationships with my teammates, and overall working to make a difference for the lives of others is what I enjoy the most. That is what consumes my life, what gets me up in the morning, what gets me pumped for the rest of the day ahead. Not the baking, not the drawing. Knowing that even one person receives benefit from the work that my team and I tirelessly put into gives me the motivation to continue. I build relationships and support others directly and indirectly: and that’s what I do for fun.

I’m often embarrassed that I do work, even on some Friday nights. I feel like I’m being judged for “not having a life”; and that may be true. I have midterms, presentations, and projects to work on; and perhaps I’m secretly relieved that I have these so that it gives myself a reason to do work. Perhaps instead the feeling I get comes from the pressure of wanting to do something abnormal. Regardless, my work is my play.

Of course, that kind of answer is something both employers and peers alike don’t believe in, so even if I give that kind of answer, I’d be told something like,

“But what do you actually do for fun?”

Maybe someday I will have the courage to answer the question in the way I’d like to answer it and not have to make it make sense. Someday, someone will understand and empathize with my workaholic spirit and my fragile sense of well-being. Someday, I won’t feel judged on what I want to do.

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