I jest, but it did make me consider how little I actually do that may class as a hobby. Of course you do things which may aid your university application (e.g. having a swarm of kids aiming for a kill shot with lumps of clay the size of golf balls whilst attempting teaching support), but you never do anything really just because you want to. I used to go swimming weekly which perhaps qualifies, however it did alert me to the fact that merely ‘swimming’ is not enough anymore. Oh no. According to the nice group of hippies clanging symbols and chanting in the adjoining room and their leaflets, there are now whole arrays of new things- crystal healing meditation, baby aqua yoga (Christ), and pilates (which sounds like a type of Asian cuisine to me) etc. I can’t even cope with the swimming- have you ever noticed how the floats always have bite marks in them? Most disturbing.
Mind you, traditionalist hobbies are equally horrific. ‘Would you, with no experience, like to strap a pair of knives to your feet and attempt to navigate on a surface designed specifically to prohibit friction? Oh, and you will be with a group of people you have just met from work so this will be your first, and quite possibly last impression to present them with.’ Sounds crazy. Yet. ‘Hey, want to join us in the ice skating rink by the forum later, it’s gonna be mega.’ Sounds perfectly plausible and you go along with it. The level of pain/humiliation was indeed X10-9 (check), but no, other than that the experience was most certainly not bloody ‘mega’.
Besides, who has time for hobbies when you are struggling through bloody A-levels? Essentially, about as much as time as somebody with young kids has. To extend the metaphor in your direction (oer): they keep you up until the early hours of the morning, you are often unfairly judged by them, and they leave you broke as you cannot take up too many hours of employment if you want to scrape through and spend time nurturing them.