Try Something New – It’s Good for You!

March 25, 2024
Gloria Liou

Gloria Liou

Having a routine is great—repetition and predictability can reduce stress and anxiety, help with time management and improve sleep. Especially in college, having a routine can make sure we get to class on time, eat and exercise regularly and maintain personal hygiene. That’s why we have planners, calendars and accountability buddies.

At the same time, having a routine doesn’t mean we should avoid new things. In fact, there are many benefits to trying something new. Trying something new can reduce boredom, which in turn improves mood and motivation and can improve your adaptability, a generally useful skill that has been shown to positively impact academic and non-academic outcomes. Studies have found that learning new things boosts thinking skills and is good for your brain on a physiological level by increasing the density of your myelin (white matter). Finally, by trying something new, you are creating an opportunity for yourself to find something that you enjoy—you won’t know something makes you happy unless you try it!

Here are some ideas for ways to try new things as Purdue college students:

  • Join a new club. There are approximately 1,000 registered student organizations at Purdue! Browse Boilerlink for new organizations and events that pique your interest.
  • Try a new hobby. It’s no secret that pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the United States. Perhaps it’s time to hit the pickleball court! Crocheting is another popular hobby and there are crochet kits for beginners to help you get started.
  • Visit a new place. There are many awesome parks in the Greater Lafayette area and across Indiana to visit. Or grab some friends and head out on a short (or long) road trip to a city you’ve never been to before and explore some new spots.
  • Eat a new dish. It can be tempting to cook or order the same dish again and again. After all, we know that it’s good and won’t be disappointed. But what if you end up loving the new dish? In addition to expanding your palate, trying out new types of food can also have a positive impact on your diet by introducing new ingredients and nutrients. It may introduce you to new cultures too. The next time you are deciding what to cook or order, this is your sign to try the new thing!

Gloria Liou: Gloria Liou is a graduate student in the industrial-organizational psychology graduate program at Purdue. She is currently also a faculty member at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her research interests include well-being, relationships, machine learning and big data. Liou received her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from Pomona College, after which she worked as a product manager at Google and a research manager in the WAM lab.