If you’re like the average student, you might from time to time experience burn out. Turns out that spending all your time fervently cramming and revising for stressful exams isn’t always the kindest to the old stress receptors. Self-care and relaxation techniques are super important for most adults, and yes, even for students (no matter what your parents might say about how easy your life is – parents are just programmed to say that).

Part of self-care and relaxation is doing things you enjoy in your downtime, things that aren’t related to study, and that engage your mind while being fun and relaxing. The more hobbies and activities you cultivate to engage your body and mind when you’re not studying, the more happy and stress-free you’ll be year-round.

Here are a few suggestions for hobbies that are not only fun, but unique, enriching, engaging and downright cool!

Fencing

When people think of fencing they usually think of period films where two men are furiously fencing to alleviate stress over some pernicious scandal or over a love interest. In reality, fencing is a major sport that requires a ton of skill, sportsmanship and is super beneficial to the body in a ton of ways. Plus, it’s just all-around cool. Fencing lessons are offered all over the place, for people of varying skill level. It’s also a solo activity, so you don’t have to worry about letting down the team if you have to blow off practice for a study session.

Flying Lessons

So many people dream of learning to fly, but their fears never take them off the ground. You’re still young; why learn how to fly a plane? Becoming a pilot isn’t just fun and incredibly cool; it can lead to an actual career. Those childhood dreams could actually become a reality! With four different kinds of pilot licenses, no matter your level of interest, you’ll be able to find a course perfect for you. You can learn to be a pilot in between semesters at school. How neat would that be?

Travel

Travelling in between semesters is something a lot of students do, and it’s a great way to see the world, enrich your life experience, and have a ton of fun while you’re young. Travelling doesn’t have to be super expensive, so don’t worry if you don’t have a travel fund to fall back on. Staying at backpackers’ hostels, working part time to pay your way, and travelling with friends to share expenses are easy ways to make mini-holidays work for you.

Perform

Do you have a talent? Do you ever dream of showcasing it? Whether you’re secretly a great guitar player, have a passion for play-acting, or have been tap-dancing since you were a kid, signing up to do a performance can boost your confidence and give you something to focus on other than school. Audition for that play, sign up for an open mic night or join a local dance troupe. Honing in on your passion will help you stay stress-free and polish your skills as well as helping you in other areas of life (including your studies).

These ideas are just four of many great classes, skills, hobbies and pursuits you can choose for yourself to help stay de-stressed and engaged while you’re in school. Make sure you take the time to have some fun and stretch that brain muscle with something beyond just schoolwork.