The Importance of Variety: 36 Ways to Expand Your interests

Much of personal branding centers around upholding a consistent image. While consistency is essential to strong brands, we must remember that variety is also essential to maintaining a balanced existence.

Below are 36 ideas to enhance and add variety to your daily activities. These are simply reminders that we must remain open to new concepts, people, situations, perspectives, activities, scenarios and interests.  Some are academic, some are personal, some are small, and some are more drastic, but they all are meant to point you in new directions and challenge you to grow your personal brand.

By doing these, you will challenge your mind to think in new ways, gain fresh perspectives, discover new interests and expand your network.


1. Study abroad.

2. Tutor an exchange student.

3. Take one “for-fun” class each semester that is outside your major.

4. Participate in research opportunities.

5. Get to know your professors.


6. Find a mentor.

7. Ask for greater responsibility at work.

8. Ask for a raise.

9. Take leadership roles.

10. Try an entrepreneurial venture.

11. Schedule an informational interview.

12. Ask for help.


13. Strike up conversations with strangers. (About something other than the weather).

14. Call an old friend. Don’t text, facebook message, tweet or email. Pick up the phone and have a conversation.

15. Remember the value of snail mail.

6. Tell someone what you like about them.

17. Video blog.

18. Shop at thrift stores.

19. Write to the opinion section of your local paper.

20. Volunteer.

21. Learn outside of school. I know how busy student life is. But I truly believe that having scheduled personal is a beneficial investment.

22. Rearrange your furniture.

23. Commit to something that will challenge you, such as a half-marathon or learning a new language.

24. Understand alternate political viewpoints.

25. Join things alone.

26. Join niche activities—scrapbooking, book clubs, karate, or rock climbing.

27. Listen to podcasts.

28. Watch documentaries.

29. Ask that cute guy/girl on a date.

30. Spend a day uncovering your city’s hidden treasures—museums, shops, parks, whatever it may be.

31. Read from a variety of sources.


32. Meditate.

33. Try a new workout–Zumba, pilates, yoga, rowing.

34. Sign up for dance classes.

35. Learn to cook ethnic foods.

36. Shop local. (think farmer’s market)

This list is just a start. What other ideas do you have?


Cassie is a May 2009 University of Wisconsin-Madison Ag Journalism graduate. She recently joined SPARK Advertising in Neenah, Wis. as a full-time public relations specialist. Find Cassie on TwitterBrazenCareerist, and LinkedIn.

Related posts:

  1. The Importance of Social Media
  2. Interests=Passion=Success
  3. Pump Up Your Brand with Your Strengths and Interests

4 Responses to “The Importance of Variety: 36 Ways to Expand Your interests”

  1. avatar Sean Cook says:

    A great list for college students. I especially liked the parts about study abroad, committing to things that will challenge you, and understanding alternate political viewpoints. What great ways to expand not only your brand, but your horizons. I’ll definitely be bookmarking this and sharing with students and collleagues.

  2. Glad you liked it Sean! I’m a firm believer in maintaining a well-balanced approach to career, school, personal, relationships, health, etc. I don’t ever want to feel complacent or bored with life!

  3. that was very interesting.

  4. avatar Katy Carey says:

    I enjoyed this post a lot. I’ve always believed change is for the better. It is a lot easier to go through life without it being mundane.

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Dan Schawbel

    Dan Schawbel, the founder of the Student Branding Blog, is a world renowned personal branding expert, the international bestselling author of Me 2.0, as well as the publisher of the Personal Branding Blog.

  • Connect With Dan

  • Chelsea Rice

    Chelsea Rice is the editor-in-chief of the Student Branding Blog. She began her work for just before graduating from Boston University, where she studied journalism and minored in international relations.

  • Connect With Chelsea

  • Recognition

    • Recommended resource - The Washington Post
    • "A terrific way for students to learn about branding" - Lindsey Pollak
    • "Worth checking out" - Psychology Today
    • HR World's top 100 management blogs