Sarah Hochberg, Opinion Editor
The trend that’s been sweeping the stressed-out millennial generation, popping up in Barnes & Nobles and independent craft stores everywhere, are adult coloring books. To specify, ‘adult’ doesn’t mean content, although I’m sure you could find curses and images to color in if you searched hard enough on Amazon, but in this case the ‘adult’ means complex. These coloring books support a vast array of swirls and intricate patterns, in a variety of themes. I personally own a fantasy animal, mandala and more generic ‘swirl’ version. Recommended ages are 10 +, and they’re really, really fun.
So, what’s the big deal about coloring books? They’re quite simply amazing. I’ve gotten mine as gifts (they make good stocking stuffers, at a cost of under $5), and really got into it during the more stressful periods of my life. As an activity, it’s more engaging than browsing episodes of a show on Netflix, but not quite as mentally demanding as reading a book or a newspaper. It’s a good mind-clearing activity, occupying the part of you that feels you should be “doing something” but leaving the higher-order thinking free to process whatever needs processing.
In getting with the semester’s theme, coloring is also a good mindful activity. You are focused on one simple task, and there’s something quite refreshing about not doing 50 things at once. I multi-task with the best of them, a lot of us students have very demanding schedules, but it really is quite nice to focus on one simple activity instead of a lot of complex ones. I never really got the hang of meditation, but this seems like a really good start. You feel productive, active and engaged, but you are still relaxing and processing more of the world around you. I started when I was leaving Australia and dealing with a lot of mixed emotions about going home from abroad. Coloring complex designs was a really good way to process what I was feeling and not letting it turn into a stress mountain, as I’m sometimes prone to do.
I’m also the worst artist. Truly terrible. I tried doodling Deadpool during class and someone told me it was a really good spider. Just awful. But coloring pre-designed structures is a great creative outlet that doesn’t require a lot of skill. Adult coloring books are a great hobby, and I highly recommend everyone try them for the full experience.