Whether you’re a high school student, a college student, a medical student, in residency, or even fellowship, hobbies are a helpful way to reduce stressful situations whether they relate to your particular field of work or something entirely out of the realm.
As someone in the field of medicine, it’s easy to buy into the idea that all everyone who came before you did was eat, sleep, and study. I can assure you; this was not the case (entirely). As students, we understand the trials and boundaries you are and will go through, but don’t let your ambitions get in the way of enjoying your life to the fullest. This is why its important for you to have hobbies!
Hobbies can be anything that brings joy to us and enriches our lives. It gives us something fun to do during our leisure time, allows us to not only learn about ourselves and our surroundings but simultaneously learn new skills as you navigate the realm of life and medicine.
Why are hobbies important?
- Hobbies give you a way to take your mind off the stresses of everyday life. They let you have time to yourself and seek activities that aren’t associated with work, studying, and everything in between.
- Having a hobby can improve your social life and give you a chance to interact with others while doing things you’re genuinely interested in. Whether you join a book club, a team sport, learning an instrument, or even gifting others with the fruits of your labor, you have the opportunity to get closer with others while learning more about yourself in the process.
- Hobbies can increase your self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Hobbies can prevent bad habits and time-wasting. A common theme for students who do not have much to look forward to outside of the classroom: they have a higher tendency to procrastinate. “The idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” It is an old saying that touches on this sentiment. When you have hobbies to look forward to, you will spend less time on wasteful or detrimental activities.
A common regret many health professionals seem to have is not having the courage to do the things they have always wanted to try. It’s funny how in the present, it’s easy to assume we don’t have the “time” or the resources to squeeze in the things we’re passionate about when our goals are reached, and realizations begin to hit you. That’s not to say you should neglect to study for that huge midterm coming up or that presentation you need to give tomorrow morning for a quick release. Realize that a couple of hours a week doing the things you love are just as essential to keep you chugging towards your goals and avoid burnout on the way there.