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Being more than a student

  1. Nov 2, 2016 #1
    I have always been good inside a classroom, but as I'm getting older a question keeps popping up. What do I like to do? I have been so stuck in class that I don't even know what I want to do with my free time. As I look at applications to four year universities, many ask about you as a person and the truth is I don't know how to answer.
    What should I do? I don't really have any activities outside of the classroom. How do I even go about branching out?
    Also feel free to share your own background and examples of how you found what you liked doing.

    P.S. At the time of writing this I am a freshman at my local community college as a physics major.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2016 #2

    Student100

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    Experiment? Try new things? That's the only way to find out what you like as hobbies.

    Build circuits, try astronomy, archery, hunting, diving, surfing, skiing, dirt bikes, etc.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2016 #3
    I guess I'm finding it difficult to test myself. I just picked up four books from my local library to read. I wonder how many other people have similar existential struggles.
     
  5. Nov 2, 2016 #4

    Student100

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    You're at UCSD now right? Beach is right there off of LA Jolla, mountains are a few hours away for skiing/snowboarding this winter. Hunting out in Cleveland national forest. Archery in Poway. Go camp/ride dirt bikes out in Anza. Etc. No need to read, go out and do!

    If you don't have a car, try getting part time job and save up for a clunker.
     
  6. Nov 2, 2016 #5

    Student100

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    Oh yeah, REI does mountain climbing classes out in Mission trails. Also, discount guns has a 25 yard range a short distance away where you can rent a gun and pluck off some rounds.

    There's lots to do out there.
     
  7. Nov 2, 2016 #6
    Well I'm in the rogue valley Orego, which is endless forests and mountains. My top choices in universities are in California though. I might start hiking that sounds fun.
     
  8. Nov 2, 2016 #7

    Student100

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    Oh whoops, mistaken your name for another poster. Well, still sounds like you can find soemthing to do out there.
     
  9. Nov 2, 2016 #8

    Mark44

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    Rogue CC in Grants Pass?
    Oregon is great for hiking and backpacking, with routes from short day hikes on up to multi-day backpack trips, such as along the Pacific Crest Trail.

    Hiking and backpacking are activities that I've loved doing since I was 14, and I'm still at it nearly 60 years later. I'm lucky enough to have a good friend who enjoys these trips as much as I do. Our favorite trips are in the Olympic Mountains of Washington, on backcountry routes where the elk go but few people go.
     
  10. Nov 3, 2016 #9

    jtbell

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    Most of my hobbies have been things that I started doing with other people.

    When I was a kid, one of my parents' friends was into stamp collecting, and so was one of my classmates, so I started collecting stamps.

    My father had a camera and took pictures on our vacation trips, so I got into photography.

    When he took up jogging and running in the late 1960s (the beginning of the first "boom" in those activities), I joined him.

    I played golf with him and and a couple of my friends in high school, and later with colleagues in my department.

    I got into bicycling first as a way to get to my office faster in grad school, and to get around town (I didn't have a car). One of the professors belonged to a bicycle club, so I started riding with them on weekends. I kept on doing long bike rides by myself and with other clubs for many years after I finished grad school.

    Some things I latched onto more or less by myself. For example, when my parents and I visited a nearby "big city", they didn't like to deal with the city traffic, so we parked in a suburb and rode a trolley (now light rail) into town. For some reason the ride fascinated me, and I became a trolley / light rail / subway buff, with some interest in railroading in general.

    When they bought me a cassette recorder/player in high school (my first "music system"), I sampled various kinds of music, ended up liking classical music, and started collecting cassettes first, then (when we got a real "stereo system") LPs. After I finished grad school, CDs came out and I switched to those. Now I'm gradually ripping them all to digital files.
     
  11. Nov 5, 2016 #10
    I guess the existential crisis got to me a little earlier than I expected. I picked up a couple books from the library, mostly non fiction studies on the value of free speech and Internet neutrality. Maybe that's something I enjoy, reading and reasoning.
     
  12. Nov 5, 2016 #11

    symbolipoint

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    Some typical leisure activities can be classified among foods & cooking, physical fitness conditioning (maybe running, team sports, swimming, others), music/musical instrument playing, ...

    Does any of it seem interesting? Have you any impulse to want to learn or participate? Also, understand that something such as "cooking" or much of culinary arts really can be viewed scientifically.

    If you were to be forced to stay away from any classroom(just the academic scientific ones) for 3 months or more and not allowed to read textbooks, what would you do instead during that time?
     
  13. Nov 5, 2016 #12
    [/QUOTE]
    If you were to be forced to stay away from any classroom(just the academic scientific ones) for 3 months or more and not allowed to read textbooks, what would you do instead during that time?[/QUOTE]
    I'd say that's my problem, I simple don't know I have never really done anything but eat, sleep, and study. Never joined any clubs, had any hobbies, or anything. I never thought about it until recently. I started reading which is new, but beyond that I still don't really know anything about myself.
     
  14. Nov 5, 2016 #13

    symbolipoint

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    This is all something that only you can resolve. Nobody else can resolve for you. Think about those questions, and maybe really think more on what you would do if forced to not formally study in class.

    Nerd! That's what you are. Nerds become successful when they engage with groups and members of society outside of themselves, and apply some of what they have studied, but they need to also learn things which are not gained purely through formal study.
     
  15. Nov 5, 2016 #14

    symbolipoint

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    NOTE: the quote tags are not working. This seems to be a technical problems, since I tried to adjust the last posting.
    No. Fixed some of it.
     
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