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Your years as a student are great for developing new interests, learning new skills, and taking on new adventures. 

As a student, it’s important to use any free time you have to create good memories—and what better way to do so than through your hobbies? Not only are hobbies fun, they also help you relieve stress and unwind after a busy day at school.

But let’s face it—many students are strapped for cash and don’t have a lot to spare for expensive hobbies. As a student, you’re always trying to save. Right?

Well, your hobbies don’t have to be any more expensive than the frugal student lifestyle you’re already living.

There are plenty of fun activities you can do during your free time, even if you’re on a tight budget. If you’re trying to find an exciting hobby that won’t break the bank, here are some interesting ideas to get you started:

1: Writing

As a student, you’re sure to already have everything you need to enjoy writing in your spare time.

Leisure writing can include creative writing (poems, short stories, songs, plays, or memoirs), blogging, or journaling.

  • Creative writing involves exploring the witty side of your brain and making things up. Not only does it boost your creativity, it also offers your brain a fun way to relax from a busy day.
  • Blogging, on the other hand, enables you to share your thoughts and ideas with others online. As a student, you can start a blog about college life or write about how to cope as a student in a foreign country.
  • Journaling is another enjoyable form of writing that enables you to reflect on your life as it happens. It’s always a great way to organize your thoughts and de-stress after a long day of studies.

You may be wondering what the difference is between a blog and a journal. The table below will give you a general idea of the common themes seen in both formats.

Blog Journal
Used to share ideas and opinions on various topics Used to keep a record of personal life events (like a diary)
Usually digital and internet-based Often in hard copy form
Usually has a theme or focus More random with no specific theme
Can be accessed and read by the public Usually private and cannot be accessed by the public
Can be monetized Not usually monetized

Expert Tip: To start journaling, all you need is a pen and paper. To start blogging, all you need is a laptop. You can even get paid to write if you become very good at blogging. 

2: Finding a Part-Time Job or Starting a Business

What could be better than a hobby that puts more money in your pocket?

A part-time job or business, in this case, should be something you love doing

For instance, if you love baking, you could find a part-time job in a nearby bakery to bake during your free time. Better yet, bake your own muffins and sell them to your fellow students.

Some of the most common and convenient part-time jobs for students include online typing jobs such as transcription, data entry, captioning, and subtitling. Many students also take up virtual assistant and editorial jobs during their free time to earn some extra cash.

Online part-time jobs are the best for you as a student since you can do them in the comfort of your home. 

What’s more, they’re also relatively easy to find. All you need is to visit an online job board to find the one that suits your skills and interests most.

3: Reading

Reading is also another awesome hobby to have as a student.

What could be better than a hobby that allows you to learn while having fun?

As a student, you can make reading for fun your way of relaxing and unwinding from your usual study routine. There are a variety of things you can read during your free time, including:

  • Novels
  • Poetry
  • Magazines
  • Comics
  • Online articles about your topic of interest

While reading activates your brain and helps you learn new things, it can also help relieve stress and tension. 

If you like reading but can’t find something you enjoy, ask around and see what your fellow students are reading. Many students love reading already, so you’re sure to find someone who will recommend something interesting.

Expert Tip: You don’t need to spend a lot on reading materials. Most books are available for free at your public or student library. Many are also available as Kindle eBooks, which are very low cost.

4: Learning a New Language

Learning a new language is among the most exciting things you can do during your free time. 

If you’re a native English speaker, for instance, use your free time to learn foreign languages such as French, German, Spanish, Chinese, or Portuguese

Knowing a foreign language can come in handy when you interact with foreign students, or when you want to travel to a foreign country.

In this digital era, learning a new language has never been easier. Technology has made it so that you don’t need to spend long hours attending foreign language classes or spend a fortune buying grammar books.

Instead, you can utilize various online tools to help you learn a new language fast

Several online apps are also available to help you learn at your own pace. One example is Duolingo, a free app that allows you to learn and practice the language of your choice using your phone or computer. You can even continue your lessons when you’re offline.

You could also start learning by:

  • Listening to online podcasts
  • Watching YouTube videos
  • Taking free online courses
  • Researching and reading articles online
  • Interacting with students who speak your language of interest

Learning a new language gives you one more window from which to look at the world.”

Chinese proverb

5: Playing Indoor Games

Indoor games are always a fun way of spending time with your friends. 

Aside from being fun, indoor games can help you relieve stress after a long day of study. They’re also good for your health since they keep your mind young, excited, and active.

Although some games can be expensive to purchase initially, they’re an activity you can keep going back to afterward at no additional cost. Examples of indoor games you can play include:

  • Chess
  • Scrabble
  • Table tennis
  • Monopoly
  • Ludo
  • Poker
  • Video games

According to psychology research, gaming is a healthy way of relieving mental tension and dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression. As a busy student, playing games will also help improve your mood and, consequently, boost your confidence in school.

The beauty of indoor games is that you can play them in the comfort of your home and stay entertained for hours on end.

budget friendly way of spending

6: Watching Movies and Documentaries

Watching movies and documentaries can also be a fun hobby for you as a student.

Many students will agree that these are among the best ways of unwinding after a long, tiresome day at school. And if you opt for a documentary, you’ll still be learning!

Examples of thrilling documentaries you can watch during your free time include:

  • My Octopus Teacher
  • Athlete A
  • The Last Dance
  • Tiger King
  • Dick Johnson is Dead
  • Crip Camp

Movies and documentaries will open your mind to a whole new world that you may never have experienced before. They’ll not only help your brain relax, but also leave a positive impact on your overall health.

Expert Tip: As a student on a budget, Netflix is always a cost-friendly option of endless programming options. Like books, your local library may also have DVDs that you can borrow free of charge.

Hobbies Add More Flavor to Life

As you can see, there are plenty of fun activities you can indulge in to enhance your quality of life as a student. Some of these hobbies will even earn you money! How awesome is that?

Getting through student life is already hard enough, and you don’t have to break the bank to have fun. Simply find a hobby that suits your interests, makes you feel relaxed, and doesn’t leave you broke at the end of the day. 

An interesting hobby will make your student life easier, full of fun, and rich with good, nostalgic memories.”

Kettering Global

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Small Revolution

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.