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On Baking

Shireen R., M1

Like many other people with a lot of pandemic angst and nothing to do about it, I started baking during quarantine. Though I’m not exactly ready for Bake Off, I really enjoy making cookies, cakes, and biscuits (and during one memorable instance, lemon sweet cream rolls!) for my family and friends. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t have time to bake during med school, but that hasn’t been the case at all. In fact, every time I’m so stressed I have a dream about macrophages, I pull out my mixer. The physical aspect of making something with your hands is so fun and calming, and it’s an extra that I will end up with something delicious at the end. Even if it’s not baking, I definitely recommend you find some sort of hobby during school that doesn’t involve your studying brain. The benefit of living close to so many other students is that there are plenty of people to share your baked goods with. I’m so grateful to have people to save me from eating the whole tray of brownies by myself.

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On Painting/Drawing

Eve M., M1

Having hobbies outside of school is a great way to destress, explore your passions, and change up the pace every once in a while. For me, I love to draw and oil paint. Ever since I’ve been a little kid, I’ve had a knack for art. I love to get in the zone and get creative. My favorite thing to do on a sunny afternoon in St. Louis is to grab my oil paint, a canvas, a blanket, and a speaker, and head to Forest Park to paint for a couple of hours. There are also lots of ways to engage with art through WashU. For example, WashU Med’s visual arts student group, Art to Heart, hosted a virtual paint night over Zoom this Fall. There are also some facilities on the Danforth Campus that are available for use for creative purposes. The city of St. Louis has a prolific art scene, as well. There are many galleries around town that feature local artists. The St. Louis Art Museum, the jewel of Forest Park, is absolutely breathtaking and also absolutely free. Other lovely art spaces around the city are the Contemporary Art Museum, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, the Luminary Gallery, the World Chess Hall of Fame, and more. There are also plenty of cool pieces of art in the WashU medical library and carrel spaces, some of which were created by other students and even by our professors!