There’s a certain sort of flexibility and opportunity that comes with being a college student. Yes, you’re certainly busy with classes, homework, and other hobbies, but you’re also not locked into an 8:00am – 5:00pm career or caring for your own children yet either. During this time of your life, it’s worth making a little space to try some things you wouldn’t normally have tried during your high school years.
When you come to college, you get to start fresh in a way. Oftentimes, you don’t know anyone at your new school, and everything from your reputation to your studies to the way you dress is (or can be) new. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with the extracurriculars you get involved with in high school, so once you get to college, consider keeping a small portion of your schedule free each semester to try something new.
1. Something artistic
Have you always wondered what it might be like to perform in a theatrical performance or learn how to paint? Maybe you have two left feet, but you’ve always wanted to give dancing a try.
Just because you’re not particularly talented at something doesn’t mean that you can’t jump in and learn. Keep in mind that just because you don’t have a knack for one type of artistic thing doesn’t mean you won’t be great at something else. For instance, maybe drawing isn’t your forte, but you might find that you have some talent for graphic design or pottery. Try a couple different things and see what sticks!
2. Something charitable
You have something to offer, and other people need your help! Whether you’re great at the basics of math or writing and could lend your services by tutoring kids after school or you’re a fabulous baker and could help make food at a local homeless shelter, think about your gifts and how you could give them.
Gather a group of your friends or sign up for a volunteer opportunity with your roommates. Most colleges make volunteer options known to students, so if you hear of something that you could help out with, don’t hang back in fear or lack of motivation. Jump to it! You’ll be glad you gave back.
3. Something athletic
Join an intermural soccer team. Play broomball on Fridays. Take a yoga class. You don’t have to sign up to play basketball for the entire season—just try something for fun and see if you like it. You could even try something as informal as committing to go swimming every Sunday afternoon in your university’s gym pool. Not only is exercise a great stress reliever, but you might make some friends along the way!
4. Something that makes you money
While you might feel pigeonholed into working a job while you’re in school, you can also work for fun too. You could even start your own business! Are you wicked good at knitting? Maybe you could sell beautiful mittens or blankets to the girls in your hall. Are you great at taking care of kids? Perhaps you could nanny for an alumni family. These days, it’s easy to market your services online or even set up an online shop—like on Etsy.com. Anyone can sell anything if he or she has a little passion and perseverance under his or her belt.
Whatever it is you enjoy doing, think about how you could turn it into a side gig and make a little extra cash.
5. Something that’s good for the soul
Not only do our bodies need exercise, but our souls need a sort of exercise as well. Take up journaling, find someone at your church to mentor you, or connect with a counselor at your college. You could even try something as simple as posting a new Bible verse on a post-it note on your bathroom mirror each week.
You don’t have to have something extremely negative happening in your life in order to gain wisdom and insight on things you’re experiencing. If you’re a human, there will more than likely be a handful of things that will come up over a few months time that you’ll need to work through, so finding a wise and trusted voice to ask you questions and encourage you to practice some healthy habits will be so good for you.