Looking for some nontechnical subjects to enjoy? Taking a break from work (or school) is a great way to wind down, practice self-care, and pep yourself back up for another round of finicky experiments. Of course, there are always STEM-themed options available for those looking to throw even more science into their everyday lives.
Basically any creative hobby will do (not just electives you can take on a campus). Baking bread? Yes. Quilting? Absolutely. Making your own YouTube videos? Yup. Of course, there’s not just the design aspect; art appreciation can check this box, too.
STEM version: field work, tinkering with telescopes
Possibilities: Get in those 10,000 steps. Take some extreme HIIT workouts. Explore some scenic trails.
Things like: philosophy, literature, religion, journalism, foreign language
STEM version: science journalism, philosophy of science
STEM is great for developing critical thinking skills, but there are verbal, philosophical, and logical argumentation techniques that can be developed within the realm of humanities and communication.
Possibilities: I am very fond of the great books, and it’s one of my secret goals on this site to convince you to try them too. Reading them outside of the classroom may be just the trick needed to actually enjoy and appreciate them. We live in a diverse world – it’s very practical, as well as interesting, to expand your religious literacy, or try your hand at learning a new language.
Robert J. Oppenheimer learned Sanskrit and read ancient Hindu texts in their original language. Albert Einstein studied philosophy. James Clerk Maxwell wrote poetry. And a great many scientists of the pre-pictographic age were expert artists – Leonardo da Vinci, John James Audubon, and Andreas Vesalius all come to mind. These kinds of things aren’t just a mindless source of amusement – they help maintain my sanity in the midst of technical challenges.
What are your favorite: creative hobbies? athletic hobbies? critical thinking hobbies?
Do you see your work in lab as more of an art or a science?